Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Hunting

NRA Comments On The Environmental Impact Statement For The Big Cypress National Preserve Addition Lands

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Printer Friendly version (PDF)

June 13, 2006

National Park Service
Denver Service Center
Big Cypress Planning Team
12795 West Almeda Parkway
PO Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-9901

Dear Big Cypress Planning Team:

The National Rifle Association (NRA) takes this opportunity to respond to the National Park Service's announcement that the scope of the General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) for the Big Cypress National Preserve Addition Lands will be expanded to include a wilderness study and an off-road vehicle management plan. The announcement invited the public to comment on these subjects.

The focus of our comments is on the wilderness study. The NRA acknowledges the fact that the study is required by the Addition Lands= enabling legislation; however, we believe that the language was included as standard language in legislation creating units of the National Park System at the time and didn't take into account the long history of mankind's presence in that area. A central issue to the wilderness review is how designation of wilderness will affect the traditional and customary activities that the enabling legislation and its supporters took great pains and precautions to protect.

The National Park Service's overview of the Wilderness Act, as provided in its website information about the GMP process, states that hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, camping etc. will be allowed, provided that motorized equipment or mechanical transportation is not used. This restriction may be acceptable in other units of the National Park System where mankind's presence was rarely felt and recreational activities, other than the very primitive, were uncommon. This is not the situation with the Addition Lands where these activities have been taking place for decades with the help of motorized vehicles and equipment. Wilderness designation would strangle traditional access and close the area to sportsmen whose activities the enabling legislation sought to protect.

The Wilderness Act overview also notes that for an area to quality as wilderness it has primeval character and influence to be retained. The Addition Lands have long been inhabited, visited and used by man such that this requirement for wilderness designation does not exist. If it did, it is unlikely that the Big Cypress would have been established as a National Preserve and the Addition Lands added to it. It would have been designated as a national park. Designation of a national preserve indicates that the area is more "open" to human activity than what is generally allowed in a national park, including such activities as hunting and the use of OHVs. Wilderness designation would turn the concept of a "Preserve" on its head.

The overview also notes that wilderness designation must at a minimum meet certain criteria including that the designated area appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable. For centuries man has traversed the Big Cypress and the Addition Lands. Man's imprint is found throughout the Addition Lands. The network of ORV trails alone would disqualify the area as suitable for wilderness designation.

In closing, the NRA agrees that the GMP/EIS should be expanded to include the wilderness study only because the summary of the GMP process states that, "until the wilderness suitability study and general management plan are completed, the Addition Lands will remain closed to recreational OHV use." However, the NRA strongly opposes any designation of wilderness within the Addition Lands because it contravenes the intent of Congress and the enabling legislation.

Big Cypress National Preserve and the Addition Lands were set aside to provide recreational opportunities not generally allowed in national parks. There was no intent to have these activities and the access necessary to enjoy them subjected to the restrictions of a national park designation, and most assuredly the intent was not to subject them to the restrictions of the Wilderness Act.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments for the public record.

Sincerely,

Susan Recce
Director
Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources

TRENDING NOW
Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, April 9, 2021

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the House voted to pass House Bill 3096 on third reading. It has been sent to the Senate for further consideration.

U.S. House Bows to Biden, Passes Legislation to Cancel Your RIGHT to Obtain a Firearm

News  

Monday, March 15, 2021

U.S. House Bows to Biden, Passes Legislation to Cancel Your RIGHT to Obtain a Firearm

The U.S. House Representatives, with the urging and support of Joe Biden, passed two bills on Thursday – H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 – that would usher in a sweeping overhaul of how firearms are bought and sold in ...

South Carolina: Constitutional Carry Passes Critical Vote

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

South Carolina: Constitutional Carry Passes Critical Vote

Today, the House voted 69-47 to advance House Bill 3096 after second reading. This clears the way for H. 3096 to receive a third reading tomorrow, where the House can vote to pass it.

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

News  

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

On December 23rd, ATF posted a document to its website indicating that its recently published Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces” is withdrawn.

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Signs Two Pro-Gun Bills

Friday, April 9, 2021

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Signs Two Pro-Gun Bills

Today, Governor Jim Justice signed House Bill 2499, to exempt firearms and ammunition from state sales and use taxes, and House Bill 2793, to create the option of a nonresident West Virginia concealed carry permit. ...

BATFE Leadership Push Biden to Target Pistol Stabilizing Braces and Unfinished Receivers

News  

Monday, November 16, 2020

BATFE Leadership Push Biden to Target Pistol Stabilizing Braces and Unfinished Receivers

Just in case anyone needed further proof that much of the federal bureaucracy is more interested in serving themselves and left-wing political interests than public service, news broke this week that rogue elements of Bureau ...

NRA-backed Constitutional Carry Signed in Tennessee

News  

Thursday, April 8, 2021

NRA-backed Constitutional Carry Signed in Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee signs NRA-backed constitutional carry bill to advance the self-defense rights of all Tennessee gun owners. 

West Virginia: Pro-Gun Bills Pass

Thursday, April 8, 2021

West Virginia: Pro-Gun Bills Pass

Yesterday, the House of Delegates promptly voted 87-0 to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 2793. It now goes to Governor Jim Justice’s desk for his signature.

NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

News  

Friday, April 9, 2021

NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

During a press conference on Thursday, President Biden announced that he would once again be targeting law-abiding gun owners by ordering ATF to develop two new restrictive regulations. Aiming to accessorize the Department of Justice’s ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.