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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • 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 »

  • 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 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?

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."