Sen. Rick Scott Introduces Bill Supporting Miccosukee Tribe, Opposing Interior Department Takeover of Big Cypress National Preserve

May 6, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Senator Rick Scott announced the introduction of the Prohibiting Wilderness Designations on Big Cypress National Preserve Act which would codify a request from the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida to oppose a proposed wilderness designation for Big Cypress National Preserve. Congressman Scott Franklin is leading the companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 


This legislation follows a letter Senator Scott sent in March to the Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland expressing deep concern and opposition to any proposed wilderness designation of the Big Cypress National Preserve that impedes the management of the preserve and public access. Stakeholders, such as the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, have raised valid concerns that the proposed wilderness designation would unnecessarily impede the effective management of invasive exotic species and the preservation of native fish and wildlife habitats while also restricting access to the public and tribes. Additionally, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida opposes the designation in areas within the Big Cypress National Preserve. Read more HERE.


Senator Rick Scott said, “Big Cypress is a cherished natural resource, and its proper management is crucial to preserving its ecological integrity while maintaining access opportunities for the public. The Interior Department's proposal to designate Big Cypress as a wilderness area is a massive overstep by the federal government that would significantly diminish the conservation and recreational activities that those who live on and visit the preserve take very seriously to foster a connection between the public and nature today. I want to thank my colleagues for their support in protecting the integrity of Big Cypress National Preserve, and the Miccosukee Tribe for reaching out to my office to express their concerns. Together, we will continue working to ensure Big Cypress is managed in a way that benefits the public and preserves access for generations to come.”


Congressman Scott Franklin said, “In Florida, we know no one is better at preserving our state’s natural beauty than the locals who have lived on the land for generations. This overreach by the Biden Administration is not only unnecessary to protect this land, it’s in vehement opposition to the will of the affected counties in my district, our state’s agencies, and local Tribal Nations. I thank Senator Scott for his leadership on this issue in the Senate and my Florida colleagues for joining our effort to protect Big Cypress.”