Cypress National Preserve takes flak for its ORV plan
Parks Traveler website published two articles this week about an
off-road vehicle plan in the Big Cypress National Preserve in south
Florida that are of interest to those following the ORV rulemaking at
Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The articles made the rounds in e-mails among seashore beach access
supporters this week, and links to them appeared on some message boards.
In the first article, Superintendent Pedro Ramos defended the preferred
alternative in the plan amidst charges that he circumvented National
Park Service policies on wilderness preservation to provide greater
off-road vehicle access to some new lands that were added to the
Ramos said that while oil and gas exploration are not allowed in
national parks, it and other uses, such as hunting, trapping, and even
ORV use, are permissible in Big Cypress, because it has a “different
mandate” from Congress.
Some supporters of more reasonable access at Cape Hatteras National
Seashore than will be allowed under its preferred alternative also say
that the seashore has a different mandate from Congress.
In 1940, Congress changed the name of the Cape Hatteras National
Seashore to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational
Area. The “Recreational” part was later dropped by the Park
Service but the law in Congress still stands. (More information can be
found in the Editor’s Blog of Aug. 5, 2009,
“What’s in a name?”
Read the interview with Superintendent Ramon
National Park Traveler website.
The second article is about a lengthy letter that the South Florida
Wildlands Association wrote to National Park Service Director Jon
Jarvis, urging him to reject the preferred alternative in the ORV plan.
That step, the group said would “truly fulfill the lofty
of the Organic Act of 1916” by setting aside more of the landscape for
The article says the “voluminous” letter outlines a range of problems
the wildlands association believes the ORV plan will create. Among
those issues are impacts to the endangered Florida panthers that live
within the national preserve, perceived "unfairness" in the amount of
ORV trails that would be allowed within the Addition lands, and
unreasonable impacts to natural resources in the 147,000 acres spread
across the preserve's northeastern corner.
Read about the environmental group’s
objection on the
National Parks Traveler website.