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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • 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 »

  • Campground Closure

    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 »

Preserve Seeking Public Comments

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Date: June 4, 2012
Contact: Damon Doumlele, 239-695-1158
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for development of up to eight off-road vehicle (ORV) trail heads in Big Cypress National Preserve and five turn lanes on U.S. 41. The EA documents the environmental impacts of three alternatives, including the no-action alternative. The NPS preferred alternative would develop trail heads at Skillet Strand North/South, Monroe Station, Sig Walker, Pace's Dike, and Boundary Line. Turn lanes would be located at Turner River Road, Burns Road, Skillet Strand, Monroe Station, and Oasis. Improvements at trail heads would include aggregate parking surface for trailer and/or auto parking, vault toilet, refuse containers, information boards, signage, gates, backcountry permit stations, sodding, and/or planting. A third alternative includes development at the same sites as the preferred alternative with the addition of trail heads at Turner River Road North and Windmill Tram.

To review the draft EA click here.

The NPS will host a public meeting from 5 - 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, Florida. The meeting will provide an opportunity for you to review the draft alternatives and provide comments and suggestions on changes prior to the preparation of a final EA. Information will be provided regarding the current status of this effort, and NPS staff will be available to answer questions. The meeting will be held in an "open house" format. There will be a short introductory presentation at the beginning of the meeting, but you are invited to visit at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and provide comment.

We invite your comments regarding potential issues and concerns that should be considered during the planning process. You can provide comments at the meeting, by mail, or on-line. 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 may also be submitted on-line.

Comments are requested beginning June 4 and must be received by July 5, 2012. Once the comment period concludes, we will consider all comments submitted in the development of the final EA.

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...