• 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 »

  • 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 »

State to Transfer Lands to Big Cypress

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Date: December 7, 2010
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

In a historic decision, the State of Florida Board of Trustees voted favorably today to transfer approximately 29,000 acres of State owned lands within the Big Cypress National Preserve to the National Park Service. This action delivers on a decades old promise and legislative action by the State of Florida to purchase and donate lands to the NPS in conjunction with the creation of the first preserve in the national park system.

"The state's action is welcomed as it largely fulfills the commitment by several Florida Governors as well as the intent of past and current Senators and Congressmen representing the people of Florida" said Big Cypress National Preserve Superintendent Pedro Ramos. "Our partnership with the State of Florida is strong and we are fully committed to working with agencies such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Forestry as we continue to be good stewards of the land together and into the future" he added.

Big Cypress National Preserve was created by an act of Congress in 1974 and in full partnership with and through significant land contributions from the State of Florida. These are not the only lands pending transfer from the State of Florida. There are over 10,000 acres of School Board lands remaining to be transferred and the NPS will continue working with the State of Florida towards that end.

The NPS recently released the final General Management Plan for the Addition Lands within Big Cypress. The State's action opens the door for the NPS to move forward with the implementation of the plan which allows for recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, ORV use, hiking, and camping among others.

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.