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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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 »

Public Comment Sought for a New Preserve Backcountry Access Planning Effort

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: November 19, 2013
Contact: Bob Degross, 239-695-1107

The National Park Service (NPS), in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), plans to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in association with the preparation of a backcountry access plan for Big Cypress National Preserve. 

The purpose of the plan will be to provide off-road vehicle (ORV) secondary trails, non-motorized trails, and a camping management approach that protects the Preserve's natural and cultural resources while providing for public enjoyment. The plan will also establish a permanent route for the Florida National Scenic Trail and other hiking opportunities. 

The primary purpose of this plan will be to further clarify the Preserve's management approach as it relates to secondary ORV trails, camping, and other backcountry opportunities. The plan will be developed in accordance with the Preserve's enabling legislation, NPS policy, and all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

A scoping newsletter providing further details on the plan is available at  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=49334

A scoping period during which the public, agencies, and other interested parties are invited to provide written input regarding backcountry access into the Preserve and the scope, issues, and alternatives to be addressed in the plan and the environmental process will be open for 45 days from today, 11/19/2013 through 01/02/2014. 

Following the completion of the scoping process, the NPS will begin developing draft alternatives for the backcountry access plan and EIS; this stage will likely begin in the spring of 2014. There will be opportunities to comment during the development of alternatives as well as during subsequent stages of the planning effort. Notifications will be sent out accordingly.

We welcome your initial written comments during the scoping period of this project. Please submit your comments online at  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=49334 or mail to Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141-1000. 

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail 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.

If you have questions, please contact Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107, bob_degross@nps.gov.

Did You Know?

Airboat traveling through wet prairies.

Airboats are one of the approved ways to access remote areas of Big Cypress National Preserve. Remember, all off-road vehicle access requires a valid permit, and visitors operating ORVs need to know the legal areas they can operate.