Big Cypress National Preserve has announced that, as of July 22nd, ORVs may only use designated trail routes within any of the preserve units open to ORV access.
This historic measure comes after the preserve selected and marked ORV trails within the Corn Dance Unit. Until May of this year, the Corn Dance unit was the last unit within the original preserve where dispersed ORV use was authorized. ORV use has long been a traditional form of accessing remote areas of the swamp. Eliminating dispersed use and implementing designated trails is an important step that will protect resources while allowing sustainable traditional access to the area as required by law.
Preserve employees worked relentlessly over the past ten years to implement the 2000 off-road vehicle plan within the original portion of the preserve, approximately 580,000 acres. The plan’s implementation relied on using valuable input from a citizen-based ORV advisory committee, established in 2007. The preserve will continue to work closely with the public to ensure the trail network remains sustainable and continues to be improved over time.
This action is being taken concurrently with the lifting of the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure in all areas of Big Cypress National Preserve that allow for ORV access. This includes access by swamp buggies, ATVs, street legal 4x4s and airboats. All ORV access into the preserve is by special permit only.