2014 Zone 4 Closure
Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, April 7, 2013, the Zone 4 airboat access within Big Cypress National Preserve will be closed due to low water conditions. More »
Turner River Closure
Turner River is closed due to low water conditions. It is advised that visitors consider paddling Halfway Creek as an alternative. More »
Beginning January 27, through August 28, Burns Lake Campground will be closed to camping. It will still be accessible for day use and backcountry access, however. 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 »
Portion of Florida National Scenic Trail Closed
Florida National Scenic Trail as well as its side trails north of Interstate 75 are closed due to the Orange Blossom Fire. More »
Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Permit Lottery
Contact: BICY ORV Office, 239-695-1205
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Big Cypress National Preserve is announcing the implementation of the ORV Permit Lottery for those interested in obtaining an ORV permit for the 2009 permits. Permits are valid for 13 months, January 1, 2009 through January 31, 2010. The 2000 Final Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (ORV Plan) calls for implementation of a random drawing lottery system as a means of ensuring fair access to ORV permits which have a ceiling of 2000 permits per year.
Permit applications may be submitted by mail or fax and are due into the permit office or postmarked by November 30, 2008. Send via mail to - Big Cypress National Preserve, Attention ORV Permit Office, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141, or via fax at 239-695-2850.
Lottery applications will be mailed out to current permit holders and landowner/lessees with property located within the legislative boundaries of Big Cypress NPres. You may also request the application from the Oasis ORV Permit Office or download an application at - [to be posted once on web]
In 2007 the National Park Service sold 1,911 permits and the agency is on track to sell about the same number by the end of this year (the 2008 permit year.) Accordingly the Superintendent has announced that the preserve will initiate the lottery process effective 10/31/08. Lottery applications will be mailed out to current permit holders and landowner/lessees with property located within the legislative boundaries of Big Cypress NPres. You may also request the application from the Oasis ORV Permit Office or download an application by clicking here.
In order to provide equal opportunity the ORV Management Plan stipulates the following rules:
Entries may be submitted by mail or fax and are due into the permit office or postmarked by November 30, 2008.
If the number of entries is greater than 2000, a random drawing will be held by December 15, 2008 to select 2000 winners. Successful participants will be notified by mail and/or email so that they can complete their permit purchase. All successful participants must complete their purchase of an ORV permit by January 31, 2009.
Should the total number of permit requests exceed 2000, the initial drawing will be designed to issue one (1) ORV permit opportunity per applicant. If there are still permits available the next round/s will allow multiple permits to be issued to the same applicant.
If the number of requests does not exceed 2000 all applicants will be provided an opportunity to purchase an ORV permit with a maximum of 5 ORV Permits.
Unclaimed Permits will be returned to the pool of available permits. Should the number of applicants exceed 2000, unclaimed permits will be made available to the next person on the list. If the number of applicants is less than 2000, than all applicants will be able to purchase their requested permits and the remainder will be sold on a first come, first served basis after January 31, 2009.
Since it is not unusual for one family member to purchase, register or title all of their families recreational vehicles in their name, this does not preclude the owner of a vehicle from seeking an ORV permit in the name of the family member most likely to use it. In such cases the entry must specify the name of the family member who will most likely operate the vehicle.
ORV permits are non-transferable and are valid for 13 months, January 1, 2009 through January 31, 2010. At the time of purchase an applicant must specify which vehicle the permit will be placed on and the ORV must have a valid inspection sticker.
All successful applicants are required to have a current inspection sticker when they purchase their permit. Those with expired inspection stickers, stickers up for re-inspection or vehicles that are being registered for the first time will need to pass inspection prior to purchase of the ORV Permit. We do not want to inconvenience you, so it is in your best interest to call ahead and make an appointment for inspection since we can only conduct a limited number of inspections each day. If you wish to purchase a permit for a vehicle that has not yet been inspected, you may bring the ORV to the Oasis Visitor Center between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Friday through Monday except December 25th.
As a reminder, ORV operators must possess a valid, free ORV Operators Permit before operating a permitted and inspected ORV in the Preserve. These are available at the Oasis Visitor Center during the hours and days listed above. You will need to show a valid state drivers license or learners permit and participate in a computer based training course.
Call us at 239-695-1205 if you have any questions. Thank you for your continued participation and cooperation in our ORV management program.
Did You Know?
Many do not expect to see bears in Florida. Actually, we have a healthy population within the state. Big Cypress is one of their ideal habitats in Southwest Florida. If camping in the area, be sure to keep your camp "bear proof."