Notice: The Big Cypress WMA is now closed to the Python Removal Competition for the remainder of the Python Challenge™ as stated in the rules.

High water levels have prompted the FWC to issue an executive order temporarily restricting public access to Everglades and Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land and Rotenberger Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). This action is necessary because high water levels force area wildlife to take refuge on tree islands and levees, resulting in higher levels of stress for these animals. See participating areas that are open.

Also, due to current conditions, there are some road closures in Picayune Strand State Forest/Wildlife Management Area. Stewart Road is closed from between Faka Union Canal and Jane’s Scenic Drive in Fakahatchee Strand State Park until further notice. Triple G Road is also closed due to flooding until further notice. Please refer to the Picayune Strand State Forest page on the Florida Forest Service website for the most recent information on road closures.

While participants in the Python ChallengeTM are exempt from some of the restrictions, they may only access these areas in the following manner:

Rotenberger WMA: Unable to access.

Holey Land WMA: Only the L-5 canal may be accessed by vessels launched at Palmer’s crossover.

Everglades and Francis S. Taylor WMA: Vessel access to marsh or canal is via boat ramps located at or along Palmer’s crossover, Lox Road, Hwy 27, Alligator Alley/I-75, Holiday Park, WCA 3B, and Tamiami Trail/US 41. Pedestrian access is allowed from Tamiami Trail/US 41 to the L-28, L-67A and L-67C and L-29 levees. Participants must maintain a minimum distance of 100 yards from any tree island to minimize disturbance to upland wildlife.

A map of these access points is available.

You now must have a valid 2016 Python ChallengeTM permit to continue to accompany participants or offer guide services in these areas.