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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

Preserve Announces Annual ORV Closure

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Date: May 12, 2010
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

Beginning on Monday, June 7, 2010 the annual 60-day Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) closure will be implemented within Big Cypress National Preserve. ORV access will be re-opened on Friday, August 6, 2010.

Upon reopening access in August all ORV use within the Turner River Unit of the Preserve will be along designated primary and secondary trails only. Preserve staff are currently working on marking the trail system within the unit and maps of the designated trails will be available at the Oasis ORV Office and on the Preserve website prior to August 6.

The National Park Service continues to move towards ORV use along designated trails only within the Preserve. Presently, designated ORV trail use is required within Zones 2, 3 and 4 of the Stairsteps Unit, and within the Bear Island Unit of the Preserve.

The Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan calls for a sixty-day seasonal closure to allow for a period free from resource pressures related to ORV use. The off-road vehicle closure within Big Cypress National Preserve was first instituted in 2002.

Landowners that hold special use permits to access their private properties within the Preserve will retain continued access to their property along approved routes.

Zone 4 of the Stairsteps Unit of the Preserve allows for access via airboats only. The Bear Island, Turner River and Corn Dance Units, and Zones 2 and 3 of the Stairsteps Unit provide for access by specified, wheeled ORVs.

Did You Know?

Bear in a tree.

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."