Politics

Judge Bans Off Roadin’ In Section Of Big Cypress Preserve

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Florida Everglades

(Source: AP)

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FORT MYERS (CBSMiami/AP) – The on again – off again ban on ‘off roading’ on the trails in parts of the Big Cypress National Preserve is on again.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John E. Steele overruled a 2007 decision by the National Park Service to open 25 miles of trails in the preserve along Interstate 75. Conservation groups had sued the government over the decision.

Steele said off-road and swamp buggy vehicles affected the area’s soil, vegetation and wildlife. He also said the park service opened the trails without making a required environmental assessment.

The Big Cypress Sportsmen’s Alliance says hunters had worked with the park service to open the trails and believed proper procedures were followed.

The preserve includes 729,000 acres of cypress swamp, wet prairie and pinelands. Hunters say off-road vehicles are necessary to access remote camps.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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