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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Secondary Trail Closure

    As part of a settlement agreement with plaintiffs related to the designation of secondary off-road vehicle trails, all secondary off-road vehicle trails are closed until further environmental review and analysis can be completed. More »

  • October Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee Meeting Cancelled

    The National Park Service at Big Cypress National Preserve has cancelled the off-road Vehicle Advisory Committee meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, October 7. More »

Preserve Seeking Public Comments on Copeland Prairie Mitigation Plan Environmental Assessment

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Date: March 6, 2014
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

The National Park Service is seeking public comments on a Copeland Prairie Mitigation Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) for Big Cypress National Preserve. The purpose of the plan is to enhance wetlands in a 325-acre portion of Copeland Prairie in the Preserve that would reverse much of the adverse hydrologic and ecological impact caused by construction of road-related infrastructure in the last century. This project is required by state and federal permits as mitigation for wetland impacts from stabilization of off-road vehicle (ORV) trails elsewhere in the Preserve, in accordance with the Preserve's recreational ORV management plan.

The EA analyzes the impacts of two alternatives: 
Alternative 1 - No Action - Continue Current Management 
Under alternative 1 current management of two culverts under Birdon Road and canal plugs in Birdon Canal would continue. Minimal maintenance would be conducted and no impediments to sheet flow would be removed. 

Alternative 2 – Copeland Prairie Wetlands Mitigation – Preferred Alternative
Under alternative 2 a 325-acre area of disturbed wetlands would be restored by 1) removing 12 acres of abandoned, elevated farm roads to enhance sheet flow, 2) rehabilitating and re-engineering two culverts under Birdon Road to increase water flow into the site, and 3) installing three fill plugs in Birdon and Diagonal canals to direct water into the culverts and halt saltwater intrusion. 

To review the EA, visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=49273. You can provide comments online or by mail. Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. 

Comments by mail may be sent to Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, Florida 34141-1000. Comments are requested by April 5, 2014. Once the comment period concludes, we will consider all comments submitted in the development of the final plan/EA.  

Did You Know?

Many large trees that did exist were harvested in the early 1900s.

There are few "big cypress" in Big Cypress National Preserve. The name actually refers to the great expanse of cypress forest, hundreds of thousands of acres, within the Big Cypress Swamp.