Congressional enactment of the Seminole Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1987 paved the way for resolution of a thirty-nine-year political and legal conflict between the Seminole Indians and the state of Florida over control of one of the most environmentally sensitive regions in the state.1 The area, known as the East Big Cypress Reservation, was a 28,000-acre tract lying in western Broward and Palm Beach counties, and it formed a rectangle measuring approximately six miles north to south and eight miles east to west. On the west, the tract abutted the federal Big Cypress Indian Reservation, which was acquired for the tribe in the 1890s, expanded by Executive Order in 1911, and named formally during the 1930s.2 Approximately 16,000 acres of the East Big Cypress preserve was included within Water Conservation Area No. 3A, a sawgrass-covered vestige of the original Everglades flowage pattern which is controlled by the South Florida Water Management District. To the north were privately held agricultural lands, while to the south lay the 76,000-acre Miccosukee Indian Reservation.
Kersey, Jr., Harry A.
"The East Big Cypress Case, 1948-1987: Environmental Politics, Law, and Florida Seminole Tribal Sovereignty,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 69:
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol69/iss4/5