Backcountry Access Plan
Dear Friends of Big Cypress National Preserve,
The National Park Service (NPS), in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), plans to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in association with the preparation of a backcountry access plan for Big Cypress National Preserve.The purpose of this plan is to provide off-road vehicle (ORV) secondary trails, nonmotorized 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. While this plan will be rooted in the 2000 Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan and 2011 General Management Plan/Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan for the Addition (Addition GMP), there is a need to further clarify the Preserve's management approach as related to secondary trails, camping, and other backcountry opportunities.
You will find on this website a scoping newsletter that provides you with information about the project and asks for your help. This project is very important to Big Cypress National Preserve, and your input is invaluable.
The National Park Service expects issues other than those discussed in the scoping newsletter to be identified during the scoping process. Various ways to address these will be developed during the "Alternatives" stage of the planning process. Public scoping comments will help develop alternatives that will then be fully analyzed in the EIS.
There is an opportunity for you to comment on the project via this website.The public scoping comment period is open until May 11, 2014.
Open house-style scoping public workshops will be held in spring 2014. Specific dates, times, and locations will be announced in local media and on this website.These meetings will provide information on the planning process and opportunity to interact with staff, ask questions, and submit comments and suggestions.
We look forward to receiving your input on this important project.
Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve
Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107