• 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 »

Commercial Services Operator Training

Once a commercial operator receives a permit to operate at Big Cypress National Preserve, the owner and guides will be required to attend training provided by Big Cypress staff and others.

Training for operators consists of:

  • Two full days of training on-site at Big Cypress National Preserve - 1.25 days inside and .75 day field trip. Field trips will be specific to permitted activity
  • Operators will also be required to participate in three additional documented training opportunities throughout the year, to be selected from a list provided by the National Park Service to the operator.

Examples: Rookery Bay Ecotour operator workshops, Florida Master Naturalist Program, Big Cypress seasonal employee interpretation training, Big Cypress National Preserve invitational "Lunch and Learn" sessions, Preserve scheduled interpretive programs, Online opportunities, such as those provided on www.eppley.org

Other training opportunities not on the list can be submitted to Big Cypress for approval, but must be approved in advance, in order to be accepted to meet requirements for training. Our intention is to provide as many opportunities to get National Park Service approved training as possible, and providing it to as many commercial operator staff as possible.

The training is mandatory for the owners and managers of commercial operations, and since the operator will be required to provide training to meet NPS standards, we will try to "catch" the guides as they arrive for the season.

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.