Superintendent Dave Uberuaga announces that the Fire Management Plan for Mount Rainier National Park has been completed and is now released for public distribution. This concludes a planning process that began in 2000. The planning effort included internal scoping with appropriate NPS staff and external scoping with the public and interested groups, agencies, and Native American tribes. The public review draft of the Fire Management Plan and Environmental Assessment was released to the public for a 60-day comment period beginning on December 19, 2003 and ending on February 28, 2004. Three interagency and three public meetings were held during this period at Naches, Enumclaw, and Packwood, Washington and separate meetings were held with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Squaxin Island Tribe, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the Nisqually Indian Tribe.
Consultations with the Washington State Historic Preservation Office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries were completed in March, 2005.
The Fire Management Plan will help ensure the perpetuation of the park’s ecosystems and natural ecosystem processes, while employing a fire management program that provides for the protection of life, property, cultural and natural resources. This plan includes an array of fire management strategies designed to meet fire and resource objectives. Superintendent Uberuaga stated that, “The Fire Management Plan acknowledges the role of fire as a natural ecosystem process while incorporating recent National Park Service policy and guidelines.” According to Uberuaga, “The ability to use the full spectrum of tools will increase flexibility, resulting in a proactive fire management program that combines better resource protection and better use of fire management dollars.”
The 2005 Fire Management Plan, Environmental Assessment, Errata, and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are available on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/mora
360-569-2211 ext. 3328