New Lawsuit Filed To Curtail ORV Use To Protect Fragile Resources Of Big Cypress National Preserve
In a new chapter to the decades-old saga of off-road vehicle (“ORV”) management in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve, we filed suit this week on behalf of a coalition of national and regional conservation organizations challenging the National Park Service’s creation of a massive network of secondary ORV trails in violation of the Preserve’s management plan and various federal environmental laws. Park Service officials have long acknowledged the devastating impacts of rampant ORV use on the Preserve’s sensitive soils, vegetation, hydrological patterns, and wildlife (which includes the highly endangered Florida panther, among other federally listed species), but the Service has nevertheless authorized an extensive off-road vehicle network that caters to recreational ORV users at the expense of these vulnerable resources. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, where four previous related lawsuits have been filed. The complaint is here and a press release concerning the new case is here.
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