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Section 1501.01 | Director of natural resources - powers and duties.

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(A) Except where otherwise expressly provided, the director of natural resources shall formulate and institute all the policies and programs of the department of natural resources. The chief of any division of the department shall not enter into any contract, agreement, or understanding unless it is approved by the director. No appointee or employee of the director, other than the assistant director, may bind the director in a contract except when given general or special authority to do so by the director.

The director may enter into contracts or agreements with any agency of the United States government, any other public agency, or any private entity or organization for the performance of the duties of the department.

(B) The director shall correlate and coordinate the work and activities of the divisions in the department to eliminate unnecessary duplications of effort and overlapping of functions. The chiefs of the various divisions of the department shall meet with the director at least once each month at a time and place designated by the director.

The director may create advisory boards to any of those divisions in conformity with section 121.13 of the Revised Code.

(C) The director may accept and expend gifts, devises, and bequests of money, lands, and other properties on behalf of the department or any division thereof under the terms set forth in section 9.20 of the Revised Code. Any political subdivision of this state may make contributions to the department for the use of the department or any division therein according to the terms of the contribution.

(D) The director may publish and sell or otherwise distribute data, reports, and information.

(E) The director may identify and develop the geographic information system needs for the department, which may include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) Assisting in the training and education of department resource managers, administrators, and other staff in the application and use of geographic information system technology;

(2) Providing technical support to the department in the design, preparation of data, and use of appropriate geographic information system applications in order to help solve resource related problems and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of department delivered services;

(3) Creating, maintaining, and documenting spatial digital data bases;

(4) Providing information to and otherwise assisting government officials, planners, and resource managers in understanding land use planning and resource management;

(5) Providing continuing assistance to local government officials and others in natural resource digital data base development and in applying and utilizing the geographic information system for land use planning, current agricultural use value assessment, development reviews, coastal management, and other resource management activities;

(6) Coordinating and administering the remote sensing needs of the department, including the collection and analysis of aerial photography, satellite data, and other data pertaining to land, water, and other resources of the state;

(7) Preparing and publishing maps and digital data relating to the state's land use and land cover over time on a local, regional, and statewide basis;

(8) Locating and distributing hard copy maps, digital data, aerial photography, and other resource data and information to government agencies and the public;

(9) Preparing special studies and executing any other related duties, functions, and responsibilities identified by the director;

(10) Entering into contracts or agreements with any agency of the United States government, any other public agency, or any private agency or organization for the performance of the duties specified in division (E) of this section or for accomplishing cooperative projects within those duties;

(11) Entering into agreements with local government agencies for the purposes of land use inventories, Ohio capability analysis data layers, and other duties related to resource management.

(F) The director shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to permit the department to accept by means of a credit card the payment of fees, charges, and rentals at those facilities described in section 1501.07 of the Revised Code that are operated by the department, for any data, reports, or information sold by the department, and for any other goods or services provided by the department.

(G) Whenever authorized by the governor to do so, the director may appropriate property for the uses and purposes authorized to be performed by the department and on behalf of any division within the department. This authority shall be exercised in the manner provided in sections 163.01 to 163.22 of the Revised Code for the appropriation of property by the director of administrative services. This authority to appropriate property is in addition to the authority provided by law for the appropriation of property by divisions of the department. The director of natural resources also may acquire by purchase, lease, or otherwise such real and personal property rights or privileges in the name of the state as are necessary for the purposes of the department or any division therein. The director, with the approval of the governor and the attorney general, may sell, lease, or exchange portions of lands or property, real or personal, of any division of the department or grant easements or licenses for the use thereof, or enter into agreements for the sale of water from lands and waters under the administration or care of the department or any of its divisions, when the sale, lease, exchange, easement, agreement, or license for use is advantageous to the state, provided that such approval is not required for leases and contracts made under section 1501.07, 1501.09, or 1520.03 or Chapter 1523. of the Revised Code. Water may be sold from a reservoir only to the extent that the reservoir was designed to yield a supply of water for a purpose other than recreation or wildlife, and the water sold is in excess of that needed to maintain the reservoir for purposes of recreation or wildlife.

Money received from such sales, leases, easements, exchanges, agreements, or licenses for use, except revenues required to be set aside or paid into depositories or trust funds for the payment of bonds issued under sections 1501.12 to 1501.15 of the Revised Code, and to maintain the required reserves therefor as provided in the orders authorizing the issuance of such bonds or the trust agreements securing such bonds, revenues required to be paid and credited pursuant to the bond proceeding applicable to obligations issued pursuant to section 154.22, and revenues generated under section 1520.05 of the Revised Code, shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the fund of the division of the department having prior jurisdiction over the lands or property. If no such fund exists, the money shall be credited to the general revenue fund. All such money received from lands or properties administered by the division of wildlife shall be credited to the wildlife fund.

(H) The director shall provide for the custody, safekeeping, and deposit of all moneys, checks, and drafts received by the department or its employees prior to paying them to the treasurer of state under section 113.08 of the Revised Code.

(I) The director shall cooperate with the nature conservancy, other nonprofit organizations, and the United States fish and wildlife service in order to secure protection of islands in the Ohio river and the wildlife and wildlife habitat of those islands.

(J) Any instrument by which real property is acquired pursuant to this section shall identify the agency of the state that has the use and benefit of the real property as specified in section 5301.012 of the Revised Code.

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