Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke visited Big Cypress National Preserve on Friday, October 6, 2017, and kicked off the long term recovery efforts in the preserve following Hurricane Irma. It was the first stop along his South Florida tour of Hurricane Irma’s impacts to national park units. Secretary Zinke traveled via swamp buggy along still waterlogged trails to clear debris and help reopen access to preserve users. Later that afternoon, Secretary Zinke met with preserve staff to learn more about recovery efforts and express support for their personal losses due to the hurricane.
Hurricane Irma recovery efforts continue in the preserve. Extensive debris and vegetation impacts have closed Loop Road and other recreational areas in Big Cypress to access. Multiple sawyer teams, mechanized equipment, and an elite team of arborists have been working to reopen roads and campgrounds to visitors and the community. Conditions are slowly improving and staff are working hard to prepare the preserve for the busy winter season.
Several volunteer days are planned to assist with clean-up efforts. To learn more about how you can support recovery efforts check back on the preserve’s website and Facebook for upcoming events.