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Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
The National Park Service will be implementing the annual 60-day recreational Off-Road Vehicle closure from 12:01 a.m., Monday, May 23, 2011 through 11:59 p.m., Thursday, July 21, 2011. Recreational access will resume on Friday, July 22, 2011. This closure relates to those areas of the Preserve that allow for ATV, swamp buggies and street legal 4x4s.
The closure was originally scheduled to be 6/6 - 8/5, but due to the recent fire activity the closure is being modified. This action is being implemented after consultation with stakeholders as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan calls for a 60 day seasonal closure to allow for a period free from resource pressures related to ORV use. The ORV closure within Big Cypress National Preserve was first instituted in 2002.
Landowners, and their guests, that hold special use permits to access private properties within the Preserve will retain continued access to property along approved routes.
Zone 4 of the Stairsteps Unit of the Preserve will reopen on Friday, June 10, 2011 pending water levels that allow for safe travel. The 60 day closure in Zone 4 was implemented on Monday, April 11, 2011.
Zone 4 of the Stairsteps Unit of the Preserve allows for access via airboats only. The Bear Island, Turner River and Corn Dance Units, and Zones 2 and 3 of the Stairsteps Unit provide for access by specified, wheeled ORVs.