SCI Helps Secure Victory in Big Cypress Addition Lands Lawsuit.

bigcypressToday a federal judge issued a ruling that will pave the way for ORV use and eventually hunting in the “Addition Lands” of Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.  The judge rejected claims by anti-use groups that the National Park Service (NPS) violated the law when it adopted a management plan for the “Addition Lands.”  SCI participated in the case to help the NPS defend its actions.  The management plan, although not providing all the off-road vehicle (ORV) access desired by some user groups, will allow public ORV use in the Addition Lands for the first time since the federal government took over management of these lands.  ORV use is critical to hunting, which is set to commence in the Addition Lands once the NPS finalizes its hunting plan.  The final management plan also recommended fewer acres be considered for designation under the Wilderness Act than had previously been proposed.  In defending the plan, SCI submitted several briefs to the Court and participated in a day-long hearing in June 2013.  SCI hopes that this ruling will encourage the NPS to continue the process of opening this area to ORV use and hunting, uses that were supposed to have been allowed since 1996.

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