Audubon Recommends Mangement Approach to Big Cypress Lands

Collier County Audubon-Feathers and Friends Updates

Drawing on its science and policy expertise and experience in the Big Cypress Swamp, coupled with local chapter leadership, Audubon of Florida and Collier County Audubon Society (Audubon) on September 30 sent a formal set of recommendations for a resource and recreational access management plan for 147,000 acres of Addition Lands in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Please read the letter at this link www.collieraudubon.org/conservation/BigCypress.pdf
Audubon’s and many other letters followed more than two years of working with interested parties in the public, plus State and federal agencies, which developed and reviewed numerous alternatives. Among the prominent issues were proposed formal wilderness designation on much of the lands; addressing resource protection, research and management needs; and allowing for appropriate public access for traditional swamp buggies on trails. Audubon’s researchers doing baseline Everglades restoration monitoring studies in this area drafted the bulk of the recommendations which struck a balance between wilderness resource protection and allowing compatible traditional motorized access by sporting groups who were integral to the original protection and establishment of the Preserve in 1974 and the Addition Lands in 1988.

Public comments are being reviewed by the National Park Service and a final decision will be made over the next year. Read the current alternatives on which Audubon commented at this link: http://www.nps.gov/bicy/parkmgmt/addition-lands-gmp.htm.

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