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Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Acting Superintendent J. D. Lee announced today that Big Cypress National Preserve has reopened the public scoping period for a backcountry access plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) being prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The comment period will be open until May 11, 2014, in accordance with a related notice of intent published in yesterday'sFederal Register.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.
You are invited to provide written input regarding backcountry access into the Preserve and the scope, issues, and alternatives to be addressed in the plan and the environmental process. There will also be two public scoping meetings at which you will have the opportunity to ask questions and submit comments. The dates and locations of these meetings will be announced in the near future.
Following the completion of the scoping process, we will begin developing draft alternatives for the backcountry access plan and EIS; this stage will likely begin this spring. 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.
We welcome your initial written comments during the scoping period of this project. Please submit your comments online at http://parkplanning.nps.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment–including your personal identifying information–may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.