DEP official in charge of state lands quits

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A high-ranking official in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has resigned.

Kelley Boree, who had been director of the Division of State Lands since last May, turned in her resignation letter Friday.

That letter was provided to FloridaPolitics.com on Monday night after an informal public-record request earlier in the day.

Boree did not provide a reason for the resignation in her letter, and a DEP spokeswoman did not offer one. Boree could not be reached Monday night.

The division is “Florida’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship (and) as such, the Division’s role goes far beyond just acquiring lands for protection,” its website says.

“It provides oversight for the management of activities on more than 12 million acres of public lands including lakes, rivers and islands.”

Boree’s hiring was heralded in a DEP press release from last year:

“Kelley’s vast work experience and knowledge of both the public and private sector is going to prove invaluable to the department,” said then-Deputy Secretary for Land and Recreation Katy Fenton. “Her commitment to Florida’s parks and extensive background with land acquisitions make her the ideal candidate for this position.”

Boree joins the department from the City of Jacksonville, where she has served as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the past four years, overseeing one of the largest park systems in the state. As a current member of the Acquisition and Restoration Council, she is active in the evaluation, selection and ranking of state land acquisition projects on the Florida Forever priority list, as well as the review of management plans and land uses for all state-owned conservation lands.

Boree is a graduate of Williams Woods College with a degree in Business Administration and is a Certified Park & Recreation Professional, an active member of the Florida Recreation and Parks Association, and the National Recreation and Parks Association.

She has been involved in a number of creative partnerships such as the Timucuan Trails State and National Parks, a partnership between the Florida Park Service, National Park Service and the City of Jacksonville. This partnership became a national model, linking federal, state and local public lands to provide a seamless experience for visitors.

“Kelley Boree has been a great advocate for public lands who I have had the great fortune to work with for many years,” said St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman. “She is a fantastic choice and I know she will bring her passion and dedication to this important position to celebrate and protect public lands for Floridians and our environment.”

In her new role, Boree will be tasked with ensuring state lands are accessible to all, while protecting the natural resources for which the land was acquired.

“Kelley will be a great asset to the state of Florida,” said Maria Mark, executive director for the Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation. “Kelley’s leadership in our parks department, particularly with regard to Preservation Parks, has greatly benefited Northeast Florida and she will be missed. But we are fortunate to have someone with her experience in Tallahassee.”

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.