KNP Complex Wildfire Tree Hazard Mitigation in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks » KNP Complex Wildfire Tree Hazard Mitigation in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on the KNP Complex Wildfire Tree Hazard Mitigation Environmental Assessment (EA) which proposes to mitigate roughly 12,000-15,000 roadside tree hazards within the burn perimeter of the 2021 KNP Complex Wildfire (KNP) in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (parks).

Areas subject to proposed tree hazard mitigation include the Generals Highway, Mineral King Road, Crystal Cave Road, Crescent Meadow Road, Redwood Mountain Road, and the Clover Creek Spray field. Action may also be taken in other developed areas within the KNP burn perimeter as necessary to meet desired conditions, safety, and resource protection goals. In addition, the NPS is proposing to treat woody debris within no more than 80 feet of the road's edge.

The KNP Complex Wildfire burned over 88,000 acres of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and adjacent lands during the fall of 2021, resulting in high levels of tree mortality across the landscape and adding to the already extensive levels of conifer mortality previously documented within the parks and throughout the Sierra Nevada. Where dead or otherwise defective trees overlap with developed areas, some are considered tree hazards - meaning they pose a direct risk to human safety and property due to the likelihood of their failure and potential to hit a human or man-made target.

The EA, which is written in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, evaluates three alternatives to minimize the threat to public safety and NPS infrastructure from tree hazards killed or otherwise damaged by the KNP Complex Wildfire and analyzes alternatives for treating debris from these hazards in an effort to protect road corridors that serve as fire breaks, evacuation routes, and access for firefighters and other emergency personnel. Compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and other applicable laws are also being conducted.

The preferred alternative includes mitigating (removing) tree hazards along roadways and developed areas within the 2021 KNP Complex Fire burn perimeter and the treatment of fallen debris within up to 80 feet from the road's edge.

Public comments on the EA will be accepted through 11:59 P.M. on March 4, 2023.
Comments that provide the NPS with the following types of feedback are particularly helpful:

 Is the information provided in the EA accurate?
 Does the EA present the full range of reasonable alternatives?
 Has the NPS considered technical information necessary to complete the impacts analysis.
 Is NPS' impacts analysis adequate?
 Are the project mitigations sufficient?

The Environmental Assessment can be accessed via the "Document List" link on the left-hand side of this page.

Following the public review period, the NPS will consider all feedback to inform next steps which could either be selecting an alternative (or variation of an alternative) for implementation or determining that additional analysis is necessary prior to making a decision. If an alternative is selected for implementation following this public review period, the NPS will document the decision through a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) which will be reviewed by the Superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and, if appropriate, approved by the Regional Director of Interior Region 10. The NPS anticipates making a decision about these next steps no later than April 2023.

Please click "Document List" or "Open for Comment" on the left-hand side of this screen to view and comment on the project documents.

Contact Information

Elly Boerke, 559-565-3102