Monroe County Loop Road Resolution

Loop Road is a road that runs from the forty mile bend on the Tamiami Trail (designated US 41), running from the east to Monroe Station on the west. This rural road (designated 94), is 26 miles long, at most points, just a single dirt lane covered with a canopy of trees and surrounded by swamp on both sides and is entirely within the Big Cypress National Preserve. This road has traditionally been used by sportsmen, fishermen, tourists, alligators and snakes. This use included all types of vehicles, from registered street vehicles to swamp buggies (now called ORVs by the National Park Service) and all terrain vehicles (ATVs) (single passenger vehicles).  Built  about 1925, this rural road passes through Dade, Monroe and Collier Counties and as such was owned and maintained by those counties. As you might imagine, being so remote, especially from the rest of Monroe County, little maintenance was actually done on parts of it.

The National Park Service decided that since the Loop Road was within the Big Cypress National Preserve, they would take control  of the Monroe County portion of the road. They proposed this to Monroe County and certainly that sounded like a good idea to the Monroe County Commission, since the road was probably 80 miles or so, from the rest of Monroe Counties road system and difficult to maintain. So for $10.00, Monroe County gave the NPS a quit claim deed for the Monroe County portion of the Loop Road. Monroe County also specified a few requirements.

The NPS almost immediately closed the part of Loop Road they gained control over, to swamp buggies and ATVs, "Traditionl Uses". This was never Monroe Counties intent, and therefore has passed the following Resolution (No. 301-2006) and sent it to the National Park Service. So far, the NPS has ignored the resolution and not opened the Loop Road back up to the traditional use of swamp buggies and ATVs on the road.

The National Park Service again demonstrates there is no respect for traditional uses and the heritage of people (Gladesman Folk Culture) in the Big Cypress Swamp. They are certainly not respecting Monroe Counties Resolution.

  The NPS has also made attempts to gain control of Collier Counties roads within the Big Cypress National Preserve. So far, the Sportsmen have been able to keep that from happening. Surely any roads going under the NPS control would be closed, as the Monroe County portion of Loop Road has been.
March 10th 2007