• 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 »

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?

manatee

Mermaid sightings have been reported by sailors throughout history who often blamed the part-woman, part-fish beings for leading them astray. But folklore experts believe that what those sailors were seeing were not mermaids, but rather air-breathing manatees, or their dugong relatives. More...