Monday, June 13, 2016
Big Cypress: Intro
My name is John Hesdon and this summer I have been assigned to Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida.
I am writing this at the end of my second week here at the preserve and it has been interesting to say the least.
I arrived on a Saturday night and was patrolling with Ranger Jarred Barber Sunday morning. Over the next two weeks I would be shown around all of Big Cypresses many Visitor Centers, camp grounds, off road vehicle trails, backcountry trails, fire stations, highways, waterways and airstrips. There has been a lot to learn and take in, and it has been a blast the whole time. This park is just a bit bigger than Independence was last year. I have been learning from Ranger Barber, as well as Rangers Mike and Sasha Herrin, what makes Big Cypress such a unique place to work. I have visited several of the private residences located in the Preserve and have spent a day in defensive tactics training with BICY’s Law Enforcement Officers. I have also spent some time in the off-road vehicle department learning where the Parks many different permits come from. In my free time I have been studying RM-9 and CFR and exercising in an effort to get ready for the seasonal academy in the fall. I have also been exploring the area. Big Cypress is located in between Naples and Miami and is just North of Everglades national Park, so there is a lot to do when I’m not hiking or driving the park.
Now officially paired with my supervisor, Ranger Drew Hughes, I am soon going to be exploring the backcountry more thoroughly on foot and in swamp buggies. I will also be getting some time on boat patrol. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds.
Stay tuned for more!