Title: Big Cypress
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00004651/00001
 Material Information
Title: Big Cypress
Physical Description: 1 map : col. ; on sheet 40 x 42 cm. fold. to 10 x 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- National Park Service
Publisher: Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service
Place of Publication: Washington
Publication Date: 1980
Subject: Ecology -- Maps -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve   ( lcsh )
National parks and reserves -- Maps -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve   ( lcsh )
Outdoor recreation -- Maps -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve   ( lcsh )
Maps -- Big Cypress National Preserve (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Maps -- Everglades National Park (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Ecology -- 1:214,000 -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve -- 1980   ( local )
National parks and reserves -- 1:214,000 -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve -- 1980   ( local )
Outdoor recreation -- 1:214,000 -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve -- 1980   ( local )
1:214,000 -- Big Cypress National Preserve (Fla.) -- 1980   ( local )
1:214,000 -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve -- 1980   ( local )
Ecology -- 1:214,000 -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve -- 1980   ( local )
Ecology -- 1:214,000 -- Big Cypress National Preserve (Fla.) -- 1980   ( local )
National parks and reserves -- 1:214,000 -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve -- 1980   ( local )
Outdoor recreation -- 1:214,000 -- Florida -- Big Cypress National Preserve -- 1980   ( local )
Outdoor recreation -- 1:214,000 -- Big Cypress National Preserve (Fla.) -- 1980   ( local )
1:214,000 -- Everglades National Park (Fla.) -- 1980   ( local )
1:214,000 -- Florida -- Everglades National Park -- 1980   ( local )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
single map   ( marcgt )
General Note: Folded title: Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida.
General Note: Depths shown by gradient tints.
General Note: Text, ecosystem diagr., and col. ill. on verso.
General Note: Shows ecosystem areas.
Funding: Funded in part by the University of Florida, the Florida Heritage Project of the State University Libraries of Florida, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the U.S. Department of Education's TICFIA granting program.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00004651
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001627198
oclc - 06474546
notis - AHQ1918

Full Text

Young alligators (1) sun
themselves on a
culvert. which holds
warmth on cool da/s
Gators. predatory fish
and wading birds find
culverts prime fishing
spots The, wail below
culvert openings for the
current to channel fish
to them'

Ha I I -x-

7The cross section of Big
Cy/press ecosystems 212
shows seasonal water
levels Cypress trees
(pholo abo,/el can grow
in the water most trees
would drown Bald-
cypresses 151 border a
pond in the Bear Island
area, the foreground
shows typical grasses
and sedges A closer
look in Big Cypress
reveals a green lynx

spider (31 inspecting a
morning glory, or this
imperial moth |41 which
put down near the
Oasis Ranger Station
r, l: r :. [, 1- ,1 j ,, J ,, i ,-

Vast Wilderness Watered by Tropic;
Big Cypress Swamp. "Big refers not to the tree's size, but to
the swamp's extent of more than 6,200 square kilometers (2.400
square miles) in subtropical Florida. "Swamp" is a misnomer, for
the land consists of sandy islands of slash pine, mixed hardwood
hammocks (tree islands), wet prairies, dry prairies, marshes. and
estuarine mangrove forests. Still, "swamp" somehow fits. At its
best the swamp should be seen by any of us who dream of the
world as it was before we humans arrived. Airplants. both bro-
meliads and orchids, perch on the cypress and hammock trP
like strange bird nests. An occasional Florida panther leave
pressive paw marks in wet marl. Black bears claw crayfish"
the sloughs, or rip cabbage palmetto apart for its soft fr",;

Big Cypress is about one-third covered with cypress I
the dwarf pond cypress variety. Broad belts of thes e
wet prairies: cypress strands line the sloughs; anL. al
cypress domes dot the horizon with the symmetr, nt
bubbles. Giant cypresses such as those pictured in in. je
photograph above are nearly gone. They are the great jald-
cypresses. Today s few remaining giants, escapees of the lumber
era, embody antiquity; some are 600 to 700 years old. Their bul-
bous bases flare downward and outward to root systems loosely
locked in rich, wet organic peat. Their girths outstretch the com-
bined embrace of you and three long-armed friends. The big
cypress trees stand safe now, here in this national preserve, from
earlier fates as gutters, coffins, stadium seats, pickle barrels, and
the hulls of PT boats. It's reason enough for alligators, also pro-
tected, to grin.

al Summer Rains
We humans have tried most everything with this grand swamp in
our own short past here. The Miccosukee and Seminole Indians
subsisted here in tune with nature. Then grand schemes sought
to drain vast regions: meandering rivers were gutted to straight
canals; sawgrass prairies became sugarcane and citrus planta-
tions. Loggers came. Oil rigs came. Land speculators descended.
Then came roads, and drainage canals that parched extensive
tracts. But the main resource turned out to be water. not land, not
trees, not oil, but freshwater wending slowly seaward, requiring
a day to flow across 0.8 kilometers (a half mile) of the lands
incredibly unrelieved flatness.

With completion of the Tamiami Trail in 1928, the Big Cypress be-
came easily accessible; economic exploitation began in earnest.
Lumbering boomed in the 1930s and 1940s and small settlements
at Ochopee, Monroe Station, and Pinecrest attracted rugged
people. Many lived on here as hunters, fishermen, guides, plant
collectors, and cattlemen-latter day frontiersmen fleeing urban
restraints. Florida's first producing oil well was drilled in 1943
north of the present-day preserve, near Sunniland. During the
1960s drainage of the Big Cypress began as land development
and speculation schemes blossomed. Thousands invested sight
unseen in land that was under water much of the year. Public
interest burgeoned when jetport plans were unveiled in 1968 for
the swamp's eastern edge. The threat posed to the watershed of
Everglades National Park sparked establishment of the Big
Cypress National Preserve. The 1970s brought more enlightened
attitudes toward watersheds and wetlands, and today Florida is

much involved in environmental protection efforts. Now we are
back simply to trying nature's way while allowing for recreational

A reporter once overheard a south Florida native intone:' If Cali-
fornia had our water, they'd think they'd gone to heaven." One
hundred fifty centimeters (60 inches) of rain will fall in an average
year, beginning as clouds stacked up over the Gulf of Mexico as
thick as garfish in gator holes during the dry season. It falls and
falls to the northeast in the lakes of the Kissimmee basin, moves
slowly southward to Lake Okeechobee and then drains almost
imperceptibly into the Big Cypress and down into the Everglades
National Park.

It s a slow drainage upon which many creatures great and small
have learned to depend. Only man was quite slow to realize his
dependence. The land slopes but 3.1 centimeters per kilometer
(2 inches per mile) to the Gulf of Mexico, causing a delayed
drainage of the wet season s watery bounty, its lifeblood. The
gradual drainage extends the wet season by two to three full
months after the rains taper off in October. And it provides a
steady mix of freshwater and saltwater in the estuaries along the
coast of Everglades National Park. This nutrient-rich mix sup-
ports marine animals such as pink shrimp, snook, and snapper.
all important to Florida's fishing industry. The swamp also pro-
vides vital water for several southwest Florida cities. During the
wet season much of the landscape may flow with water belly-high
to a great blue heron.

Most out-of-staters come here in the dry season, winter, to es-
cape the rigors of snow and ice elsewhere. In the dry season
water evaporates or flows into the estuaries downstream and the
swamp's aquatic life concentrates in the remaining deeper pools
and sloughs. To these come stately wading birds, the herons and
egrets and the unique wood stork. And with some luck you may
see alligators, red cockaded woodpeckers, wild turkey, deer,
mink, or the bald eagle, as though the drying up of the water
reduced these creatures' hiding places. But that is illusion, life
simply concentrates at its source, water. Amazing things have
been seen here A gar might flash silver-gold in the amber water
under a bunch of ghost-orchid flowers Herons and ibises were
once measured here not by count but by the number of acres
their numbers covered at one sighting. For sounds try the wild
and unsettling wailing of the long-legged, long-billed, limpkin.
And use your other senses, too. Feel the saw grass, not a true
grass but a sedge, and in that feeling touch one of the oldest
green growing forms of this world.

Two worlds of beauty confront us here: the beauty of broad
sweeps and limitless horizons; and the beauty of infinite minia-
ture and interrelated worlds. One is the aerial view, perhaps of
the swallowtail kite; the other is the view from a self-propelled
canoe, or the view of a gator riding low in the water with only
eyes and snout protruding for a purchase on the visible world.
That s Big Cypress Swamp.

Acces Admnsrto Inomto 00 *0Regulations -

Two major highways
cross the preserve,
Alligator Alley (Rt.
84) and Tamiami Trail
C0 (US 41). With Rt. 29
to to the west, they
enable you to explore
the Big Cypress. The
*"sSscinating Loop
ad i iRt. 94) from
*.. LLMonroe Station to
Forty Mile Bend is
J Paved for only 13
:- kilometers (8 miles) at
- its eastern end. The
, 'graded dirt Turner
o .- Rier Road (Rt. 839)
3 :connects Tamiami
S,< Trail and Alligator
S- Alley. Drive unpaved
roads with caution;
they can be dusty or
muddy and rough.


Big Cypress National
Preserve is adminis-
tered by the National
Park Service, U.S.
Department of the
Interior. For informa-
tion contact the park
manager at P.O. Box
1247, Naples, Fla.
33939. Telephone
(813) 262-1066.
Congress set aside
about 40 percent of
the Big Cypress
Swamp, 231,000 hec-
tares (570,000 acres),
in 1974 as a national
preserve, a new cate-
gory of lands deserv-
ing Federal protec-
tion. The preserve's
wild country will be
protected, but certain

-, ~ A

pre-existing human
uses, not allowed in
most National Park
System areas, will
continue here. Hunt-
ing continues, under
special joint Federal
and State regulations.

Many Big Cypress
landowners with
homes on their land
keep their property.
Off-road vehicles
licensed by the Na-
tional Park Service
are allowed: see reg-
ulations. Oil and gas
exploration continue,
regulated to ensure
minimal impact. Exist-
ing cattle grazing and
airstrips continue

by permit. Man con-
tinues to use and
enjoy the area, but
with more planning
and care.

The National Park
Service plans to es-
tablish visitor infor-
mation centers and
ranger stations here.
For the present, you
can get visitor infor-
mation at Preserve
Headquarters, 850
Central Ave., Room
304 in Naples; at
Oasis Ranger Station
89 kilometers (55
miles) east of Naples
on US 41 in the pre-
serve; and at the Ever-
glades City and Shark
Valley entrances of
Everglades National

What we do today be-
comes our legacy for
tomorrow. National
Park Service regula-
tions are designed
to protect the Big
Cypress as Congress
intended. They are
summarized here for
your convenience;
obtain detailed infor-
mation at the Oasis
Ranger Station, tele-
phone (803) 695-4111,
or at Preserve Head-
quarters in Naples.
All plants, animals,
rocks, and other fea-
tures are protected
against collection and
injury. (See "Hunt-
ing") Collecting ar-
cheological artifacts

or disturbing historic
sites or Indian
mounds is prohibited;
they are protected by
the Antiquities Act.
Please make sure you
leave no lasting en-
vironmental impact
here. Dispose of litter,
including pop tops
and cigarette butts,
properly. Give this
brochure to a friend
when you are through
with it.
Use fire with care. In
certain seasons fire
can burn more than
ground cover. When
dry organic soils can
b-irn right down to
Ii Alone bedrock.

Hunting, fishing, and
trapping of game ani-
mals are jointly man-
aged by the National
Park Service and the
Florida Game and
Fresh Water Fish
Commission. Special
Florida Game Man-
agement Area regula-
tions apply in the
preserve. Check with
a park ranger or state
wildlife officer for
information. Licenses
are required.
All off-road vehicles,
including swamp bug-
gies, airboats, ATVs,
and tracked vehicles,
must have a permit
from the National
Park Service for travel

in the preserve. Park
Service regulations
require certain safety
features. State regu-
lations require all
off-road vehicles to
display permit num-
bers on the sides and
top of the vehicle so
the information is
visible from the air.
The area between the
Loop Road (Rt. 94)
and the Tamiami Trail
(US 41) is closed to
all off-road vehicles.
The Florida Trail, the
marked hiking trail
between Alligator
Alley and the Tamiami
Trail, is also closed
to all vehicles. Vehi-
cles may cross the

Florida Trail but they
may not traverse it.
Other areas in the
preserve may be
private property or
closed temporarily.
Please honor closure
signs you may en-

G 3932

There is one privately
owned campground
in the preserve, at
Ochopee. Find camp-
ing 2.5 kilometers
(1.5 miles) west of the
preserve on Alligator
Alley; at Everglades
City; Collier-Seminole
State Park; and near
Naples. Motels are in
Naples, Everglades
City, and Ochopee.
East of the preserve
find accommodations
in the Miami area.
Everglades National
Park campgrounds at
Long Pine Key and
Flamingo are reached
via Rt. 27, southwest
of Homestead.
Roadside rest areas

are found on major
highways. Boardwalk
trails and Big Cypress
information are found
at Indian villages
along the Tamiami
Trail and at Corkscrew
Swamp Sanctuary, a
refuge northwest of
the preserve near
Immokalee run by the
National Audubon
If you leave the road
to explore or hunt in
the Big Cypress,
please remember that
some land remains in
private ownership.
Check with a park
ranger before you
begin a hiking, airboat,
or buggy trip.

S' GoO 1980-311.309/31 o /- 0

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs