EA Hazardous Fuels Management Plan 08-21-13
The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing new and more detailed protocols to manage hazardous vegetative fuels to protect structures and human lives from wildfires within the boundaries of National Park System units in Alaska. Areas covered in the proposed plan include: Katmai National Park and Preserve, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, and Western Arctic National Parklands (WEAR). WEAR parks include Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Noatak National Preserve, and Kobuk Valley National Park. This analysis does not include areas in Southeast Alaska, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Denali National Park and Preserve, the latter which already has an approved fire hazardous fuels management plan.
Each NPS area addressed in this EA has an approved fire management plan and associated vegetative fuels management plan designed to protect the built environment (including historic structures) and the lives of visitors, employees, and firefighters in the event of wildfires. These plans, completed 8 to 12 years ago, did not address the scope of mitigation actions regarding hazardous vegetative fuels build-up as part of a proactive fuels reduction program. This EA is needed to evaluate the scope and effects of detailed protocols for the removal of vegetation that could carry a wildfire toward infrastructure and humans, and to address a maintenance plan for retaining competent fire breaks around facilities and sites. The EA analyzes the proposed action and alternatives and their impacts on the environment.
Comment Period: 08/21/2013 - 09/20/2013