A. The Director is authorized to acquire by gift or purchase or by the exercise of the power of eminent domain, areas, properties, lands or any estate or interest therein, of scenic beauty, recreational utility, historical interest, biological significance or any other unusual features which in his judgment should be acquired, preserved and maintained for the use, observation, education, health and pleasure of the people of Virginia. Any acquisition shall be within the limits of any appropriation made by the General Assembly for the purchase of such properties, or of voluntary gifts or contributions placed at the disposal of the Department for such purposes.
B. The Director is authorized to institute and prosecute any proceedings in the exercise of the power of eminent domain for the acquisition of such properties for public use in accordance with Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1.
C. Before any property is purchased or acquired by condemnation, the Director may request the Attorney General to examine and report upon the title of the property, and it shall be the duty of the Attorney General to make such examination and report.
D. When any property is acquired by the Director under the provisions of this section without the aid of any appropriation made by the General Assembly and exclusively with the aid of gifts or contributions placed at the disposal of the Department for that purpose, he may place the property in the custody of the person or association making such gifts or contributions, or lease the property to such person or association, for a period not to exceed 99 years, upon terms and conditions approved by the Governor, which will best preserve and maintain such property for the use, observation, education, health or pleasure of the people of Virginia.
Code 1950, § 10-21; 1950, p. 394; 1984, c. 750; 1988, c. 891; 2003, c. 940.