Published: Oct 12, 2011 7:39 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - A conservation group is suing the National Park Service to stop a planned increase in off-road vehicle use in Florida's Big Cypress preserve.
    
The National Parks Conservation Association said in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Fort Myers federal court that the plan would allow vehicles into a 147,000-acre tract where they had been prohibited.
    
The lawsuit claims that could threaten habitat for the endangered Florida panther and the quality of water flowing south into the Everglades.
    
The group also says an advisory committee on off-road uses in the Big Cypress is unfairly tilted in favor of off-road vehicle proponents. The lawsuit contends the committee should have more balance.
    
The Park Service did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

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