• The Florida panther's steely gaze - NPS/RALPH ARWOOD

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Secondary Trail Closure

    As part of a settlement agreement with plaintiffs related to the designation of secondary off-road vehicle trails, all secondary off-road vehicle trails are closed until further environmental review and analysis can be completed. More »

  • October Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee Meeting Cancelled

    The National Park Service at Big Cypress National Preserve has cancelled the off-road Vehicle Advisory Committee meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, October 7. More »

Timeline of Historic & Significant Events

2500 BCE

Glades People move into South Florida


Spanish explorer Juan Ponce De Leon makes first contact with American Indians in Florida


Spain cedes Florida territory to the US for $5 million


Florida becomes the 27th US state


Organic Act establishing the National Park Service is enacted by Congress


US-41 (Tamiami Trail) breaks ground connecting East and West Florida


Town of Pinecrest, along Loop Road breaks ground with plans of it being the "next Miami," but never fully realized


On April 26, US-41 officially opened


Ernest F. Coe drafted a proposal to Senator Duncan Fletcher, and Congresswoman Ruth Bryan Owen introduced legislation for Everglades National Park, which included today's Big Cypress National Preserve


Located at today's Monument Lake Campground, a Seminole conference, attended by approximately 275 Seminole Indians, Florida governor and other dignitaries met to discuss how the federal government could assist during the Great Depression, which they declined and asked to be left alone


The land within the national preserve's boundaries was heavily logged for its durable and rot-resitant cypress wood to be used for everything from the hulls of military vessels to bridges and railroad ties.


Marjorie Stoneman Douglas publishes Everglades: River of Grass, advocating for Everglades preservation


Everglades National Park is established, minus the land comprised of today's Big Cypress National Preserve


Everglades jetport breaks ground with plans of being the largest international airport in the world


Leopold-Marshall Report officially released regarding the environmental impacts of the Everglades Jetport. Construction was subsequently halted after the first of six runways was completed, in 1970.


Environmentalist Nathaniel Reed, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, and others advocate for establishment of Big Cypress National Preserve


On November 23, President Richard Nixon releases a statement proposing the federal acquisition of the Big Cypress Swamp for a national reserve


Big Cypress Conservation Act (Florida Statute 380.055) is passed by the House and Senate


Congress passed bill and sent it to President Richard Nixon, authorizing the federal government to purchase Big Cypress National Preserve for $150 million.


October 11, Big Cypress National Preserve is Established (Public Law 93-440), becoming America's first national preserve, through the leadership of President Gerald Ford


Big Cypress National Preserve Addition Act (Public Law 100-301), adding roughly 146,000 acres to the national preserve


General Management Plan for the "original preserve" Final.


Comprehensive Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan implemented


Long Range Interpretive Plan implemented


Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center dedicated


Cooperative Partnership Agreement between Big Cypress National Preserve and Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission finalized.


General Management Plan for the "addition" Final.


On September 12, Wilderness Eligibility Assessment initiated for Big Cypress National Preserve General Management Plan for the "addition."


On October 5, Big Cypress National Preserve celebrates its 40th birthday (October 11, 1974).

Did You Know?

A young alligator emerges from its egg.

Alligator hatching season is typically September through October in south Florida. A female can lay up to 50 eggs, about 45 of which will hatch, but only two or three will make it beyond the first two years of life.