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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • 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 »

  • October ORV Advisory Committee Meeting Canceled

    The National Park Service (NPS) at Big Cypress National Preserve has canceled the previously scheduled Off-road Vehicle (ORV) Advisory Committee (ORVAC) meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, October 7. More »

Public Scoping Workshop Dates Announced For Backcountry Access Plan

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Date: March 20, 2014
Contact: Bob Degross, 239-695-1107

Acting Superintendent J. D. Lee announced today that Big Cypress National Preserve has set the dates and times for two public scoping workshops for the backcountry access plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) being prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

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

The public is invited to attend a public scoping workshop at which you will have the opportunity to discuss the plan with National Park Service staff and provide input regarding backcountry access into the Preserve and the scope, issues, and alternatives to be addressed in the plan. 

The dates and locations of these meetings are:

- 5:30-7:30 P.M., April 7th, Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center, 250 Racquet Club Road, Weston, Florida 33326

- 5:30-7:30 P.M., April 8th Big Cypress Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East Ochopee, Florida 34141

Following the completion of the scoping process, the National Park Service will begin developing draft alternatives for the backcountry access plan and EIS; this stage will likely begin early this summer. 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.

Did You Know?

A great white heron scratches its neck. Notice the color of the legs.

The great white heron is very similar to the great white egret. However, look closely and you will see that the heron has yellow legs, while the egret has black legs. The great white heron is found only in south Florida in the United States. It can also be found on several caribbean islands.