Strickland Applauds Vote by Florida Board of Trustees To Transfer Land within Big Cypress National Preserve



12/08/2010

 Contact: Hugh Vickery (202) 208-6416

WASHINGTON -- Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland praised the State of Florida’s Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund vote to transfer approximately 29,000 acres of state-owned land within the Big Cypress National Preserve to the National Park Service.

“I commend the Board of Trustees for honoring its long-standing commitment to transfer these lands to the Park Service,” Strickland said. “It is another sign of the strong partnership between the Department of the Interior and the state in conserving and managing the natural resources of South Florida.”

"The state's action is welcomed as it largely fulfills the commitment by several Florida governors as well as the intent of past and current senators and congressmen representing the people of Florida" said Big Cypress National Preserve Superintendent Pedro Ramos. "Our partnership with the State of Florida is strong and we are fully committed to working with agencies such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Forestry as we continue to be good stewards of the land together and into the future.”

Big Cypress National Preserve was created by an act of Congress in 1974 and in full partnership with and through significant land contributions from the State of Florida. These are not the only lands pending transfer from the State of Florida. There are over 10,000 acres of School Board lands remaining to be transferred and the NPS will continue working with the State of Florida towards that end.

The National Park Service recently released the final General Management Plan for the Addition Lands within Big Cypress. The state's action opens the door for the service to move forward with the implementation of the plan which allows for recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, off-road vehicle use, hiking, and camping among others.


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