September 18, 2017
Contact: Brent Everitt
Ochopee, Fla. - Big Cypress National Preserve remains closed and all recreational activities, including backcountry trails, campgrounds, and hunting access are suspended following Hurricane Irma. The major hurricane caused significant damage throughout the national preserve making many of the areas unsafe for visitors. In order to ensure the safety of visitors and recovery teams, all recreational are not permitted through the duration of the closure.
Assessments have begun in the park, but have not been completed in the preserve’s back country. Hunting will remain closed until the National Park Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission concur that it is safe to resume these activities. Law enforcement rangers are patrolling the preserve to enforce this closure.
Big Cypress National Preserve closed on September 6, 2017, ahead of Hurricane Irma making landfall in the continental United States. In addition to the damage within Big Cypress, many surrounding national parks also received damage. The National Park Service has activated the Eastern Incident Management Team to manage the cleanup and recovery efforts.
The team is responding to 15 national parks in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and the Caribbean impacted by Hurricane Irma. Updates on the status of these parks and Big Cypress National Preserve can be found at http://go.nps.gov/irma.