News Releases

Commissioners receive Big Cypress update

News Release

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) learned Wednesday that the general management plan for the Big Cypress National Preserve Addition lands is complete and has been made public. The FWC, along with several other state agencies, provided comment to the National Park Service to make sure the plan includes a full range of recreational opportunities, public access and resource protection, as per the original intent of the U.S. Congress. The FWC manages hunting opportunities within the preserve.

In 2008, the FWC adopted a resolution urging the federal government to open the lands quickly. The preserve addition comprises approximately 146,000 acres to the northeast of the original preserve.

Chuck Collins, FWC South Region director, advised commissioners that staff provided recommendations consistent with Congress' intent that the lands be distinguished from a typical national park. The intent of the congressional acts establishing the preserve and the addition was to ensure the protection of the area's flora and fauna and allow traditional recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, trapping and associated vehicle use.

"We are disappointed with the designations of 'backcountry primitive' and 'wilderness.' Those designations will place restrictions on significant portions of Big Cypress," said Commissioner Ron Bergeron. "However, we are committed to moving forward and working with our partners and elected officials to open these lands as quickly as possible to a wide range of recreational activity, while protecting its environmental integrity."

The FWC and the National Park Service will be working together to develop a hunt plan for the area.



FWC Facts:
The Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management needs volunteers who can share their time, energy and knowledge to help conserve our fisheries resources and teach others to fish.

Learn More at AskFWC