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 »
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 »
Release of Florida Panther K304
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
This action is canceled until further notice. On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, Florida panther K304 will be returned to the Preserve. The release of the cat will take place around 5:00 p.m. at the Burns Lake Campground and Backcountry Access site off from Burns Lake Road. The road is located approximately six miles east of State Road 29 and 13 miles west of the Oasis Visitor Center on U. S. 41. Turn north on Burns Lake road, drive one mile and the campground/access point is on the left.
You are invited to attend this resource management activity. Since the release site is accessible, Preserve management, and the FWC, feel that inviting staff, sister agencies and partners would be appropriate and safe for participants and the panther. However, no guarantee is made of seeing the cat beyond a brief glimpse as it runs into the woods.
This management activity is tentative due to a number of variables. A notification will be sent if any changes are necessary.
The day following the activity a press release along with photos and film footage will be provided to the media.
Background on K304
Upon discovering K304 the NPS, working closely with the FWC and FWS, transported the kitten to the White Oak Conservation Center, a wildlife facility in northeastern Florida. At the facility K304 was cared for and housed in appropriate facilities with minimal human contact. Now K304, a young, healthy cat, is of the age that it can be released near the area it was born.
Did You Know?
Do not feed wildlife within the preserve. A "fed bear is a dead bear." This bear was fed and eventually became a threat to visitor safety. Nuisance wildlife is sometimes removed, but typically does not survive.