Hunter Mountain Pinyon Pine Ecosystem Fire Treatment and Study
The area around William Lyle Hunter Cabin, on Hunter Mountain in the Cottonwood Mountains of Death Valley National Park, was identified in the Park's Fire Management Plan of 2009 as a high priority for implementing a prescribed fire. The purpose of the prescribed fire treatment was described in the Fire Management Plan as both protection of a historic resource-- the Hunter Cabin-- and maintenance of native plant communities. The plan identified a prescribed fire area of approximately 700 acres around the cabin, preceded by mechanical reduction of fuel loads around the cabin. Mechanical treatments to reduce fuel loads around the historic cabin and along the access road to the cabin have already been completed, in accordance with the Fire Management Plan.
The NPS proposes to analyze the potential impacts of a 50-acre prescribed fire and ecosystem study in order to proceed carefully toward the management goal outlined in the Park's Fire Management Plan.
The proposed project would combine a small-acreage prescribed fire with a fire treatment study involving fire effects study plots in a pinyon pine ecosystem. This study would provide a better understanding of the effects of fire in the Hunter Mountain ecosystem, and valuable data that would enable the National Park Service to proceed toward the goal of managing native plant communities.
Chief of Resources Management
Death Valley National Park