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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Secondary Trail Closure

    Effective 8/1/2014, following the 60-day recreational ORV closure, only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open to recreational ORV use and access. All secondary trails will remain closed on an interim basis for an additional 60-days More »

Environmental Factors

5SunriseMist-(3)-Credit-Richard-Eskin
"Sunrise Mist"
Richard Eskin
 

For countless centuries, the landscape and associated plant and animal life of Big Cypress and the Greater Everglades Ecosystem have been shaped and altered by the forces of nature. Flood, drought, hurricanes, fire, frost, have had their influence. Those same environmental factors continue their molding and sculpting today, though often on a time scale that seems to make change invisible.

In more recent times, the interactions of people and the landscape have influenced the landscape and the life that depends on it. Swampland has been drained, cleared and cultivated, roads have been constructed, and homesteads established. Wildfires were stopped and non-native vegetation was introduced. Pollutants have also degraded water quality. Non-native plants and animals, which have arrived in this country from distant parts of the world, threaten to have substantial impacts on the Preserve's swamp ecosystem.

National Preserve staff and cooperating scientists are working to better understand these environmental factors and to find ways to manage those that are adversely impacting the condition of preserve resources.

Did You Know?

Hunters entering the Preserve on a swamp buggy. Photo courtesy of Jack Moller.

Big Cypress National Preserve was one of the first national preserves within the National Park System. As a preserve, Big Cypress manages for a broader range of recreational activities, including hunting and off-road vehicle access.