August 15, 2022

Supplemental Draft Backcountry Access Plan Released for Big Cypress National Preserve: Concerns Surrounding Sportsmen and Women Access

Contact: Mark Lance, Southeastern States Coordinator

Why It Matters: An increase in access would not only benefit Florida’s sportsmen and women, but it would also assist in the management of natural resources located within the Big Cypress National Preserve. Off highway vehicles can be an important tool for accessing backcountry destinations, managing wildlife habitat, and giving youth, elderly, and those with mobility limitations the opportunity to participate in outdoor recreation.

The former Alternative 3, as well as Alternatives 4 and 5 from the 2020 Draft Plan, were dismissed from further consideration by the NPS. Each Alternative in the current Supplemental Draft Plan evaluates a different approach:

The NPS will be hosting three virtual meetings on August 29 from 2:00-4:00 p.m., August 30 from 7:00-9:00 p.m., and August 31 12:00-2:00 p.m. to present the Plan and receive feedback from the public.

The public comment period on the proposed Supplemental Draft Plan opened on August 12 and will close September 26. The comment portal and more information on the Supplemental Draft Plan can be found here. CSF will review the Supplemental Plan and work with the Florida outdoor sporting community to advocate for increased access for sportsmen and women.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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