The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the impacts of the proposed Fire Management Plan (FMP) at Mesa Verde National Park (MVNP) and Yucca House National Monument (YHNM) (collectively, "the parks"). The FMP EA considers wildland fire management practices, techniques, and tools including ground and aviation operations, suppression, and fire fuels management such as manual, mechanical, and prescribed fire treatments.

The EA evaluates two alternatives regarding the management of wildland fires. It describes the environment that would be impacted by the alternatives and assesses the environmental consequences of implementing the alternatives

* indicates the current step in the planning process
Step 1. Develop range of preliminary concepts
Step 2. 30-day public comment period
Step 3. Refine range of preliminary concepts and develop alternatives
Step 4. Gather necessary information to evaluate the impacts of alternatives
Step 5. Assess compliance needs under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and other environmental regulations
Step 6. Identify environmental impacts and select preferred alternative
Step 7. Prepare initial plan/environmental document
Step 8. Public review of initial plan/environmental document
Step 9. Analysis of public comment
Step 10. Prepare final plan/decision document
Step 11. Release final plan/decision document to the public *

On February 9, 2024, the National Park Service (NPS) issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an environmental assessment (EA) for the Mesa Verde National Park and Yucca House National Monument fire management plan (FMP). After consideration of the environmental assessment and public, tribal, and agency comments, the finding concludes that the project will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required.

Alternative B was selected because it best meets the project purpose to incorporate federal wildfire policy and guidance grounded in the evolving science of wildfire management consistent with NPS policies and requirements. Alternative B also provides a flexible range of options and activities that the NPS could use to respond to changes in environmental conditions and the specific needs of fire management within the parks.