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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Annual 60-Day ORV Closure for Wheeled Vehicles

    Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, June 2, the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure for all units of the Preserve that allow for wheeled ORV access will begin. The closure will be lifted on Friday, August 1. More »

  • 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 »

  • Campground Closure

    All campgrounds but Midway and the loop in the Bear Island Campground are closed through August 29. More »

  • Interstate 75 Mile Marker 63 Closure

    Beginning summer of 2013, the rest area and backcountry access at Mile Marker 63 will be closed due to construction. More »

Addition Lands General Management Plan

Final General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/WS/ORV Plan/EIS) for the Addition.

And Biological Opinion prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under Section-7 of the Endangered Species Act for the preferred alternative described in the GMP/WS/ORV Plan/EIS.


BACKGROUND

The Big Cypress National Preserve was set aside in 1974, to ensure the preservation, conservation, and protection of the natural scenic, floral and faunal, and recreational values of the Big Cypress Watershed.

The importance of this watershed to Everglades National Park was a major consideration for its establishment. The name Big Cypress refers to the large size of this area. Vast expanses of cypress strands span this unique landscape. The Preserve is a mosaic of vegetation communities and provides habitat to a diversity of species, including 10 federally listed threatened and endangered species such as the Florida panther and the West Indian manatee.

In 1988, Big Cypress National Preserve was expanded by about 146,000 acres with the passage of the Big Cypress National Preserve Addition Act (Public Law (PL) 100-301). The Addition consists of about 128,000 acres northeast of the original preserve boundary and approximately 18,000 acres along the western boundary.

Did You Know?

Researchers gather data from a bear that was removed as a nuisance.

Do not feed wildlife within the preserve. A "fed bear is a dead bear." This bear was fed and eventually became a threat to visitor safety. Nuisance wildlife is sometimes removed, but typically does not survive.