The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments on a suite of preliminary alternatives for managing backcountry access and use within Big Cypress National Preserve. Concurrently with the review of preliminary alternatives, the NPS is also holding a scoping opportunity to receive public input related to the development of a wilderness study and potential wilderness proposal. Both the scoping period for the wilderness study and public review of the preliminary alternatives is open for public comment from now to March 11, 2016.
In addition, two public workshops will be held to provide information on the preliminary alternatives so that the public can inform their comments related to the process. The first public workshop will be on Wednesday, February 10, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Tree Tops Broward County Park, 3900 SW 10th Ave, Davie FL 33328. The second will be on Thursday, February 11, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141
While this review of preliminary alternatives is not a procedural requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NPS is seeking feedback on the alternatives at this early stage in an effort to keep the planning process both public and transparent. Input received during this review period will be used to refine and finalize the range of alternatives that will be analyzed in the draft Big Cypress National Preserve Backcountry Access Plan / Wilderness Study / Environmental Impact Statement (BAP/WS/EIS).
The preliminary alternatives and information on the wilderness study are available for public review and comment on the project website. Comments can be provided online at the project website or by mail to – Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, Florida 34141-1000.
While submitting comments, before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. For questions related to this process, please contact Bob DeGross via email or at 239-695-1107.