2009 Revision of Park Fire Management Plan
The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Site, has reviewed and approved the 2009 Fire Management Plan. This plan delineates the appropriate management response that Park staff will follow in the event of a wildland fire. The plan defines levels of protection needed to insure personnel and public safety and to protect facilities and resources. The plan establishes a fire management unit that represents the entire historic site. The fire management plan includes manual or mechanical fuel treatments as components of fire management program at the C&O Canal NHP. The plan does introduce the concept of prescribed fire use on agricultural properties so this fire management technique could be implemented at C&O Canal NHP to assist with invasive management and retain historic open spaces.
The fire management plan meets the requirements of the NPS Director's Order 18, which states that "each park with vegetation capable of burning will prepare a wildland fire management plan to guide a fire management program that is responsible to the Park's natural and cultural resource objectives and to safety considerations for park visitors, employees, and developed facilities."
Every five years parks are required to complete a FMP revision. The C&O Canal NHP last revision was 2004.
The project's Interdisciplinary Team has reviewed the project for impacts to natural and cultural resources. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to the environmental, historical, cultural, archeological, or visual resources. It meets categorical exclusion # G.2 "Post-fire rehabilitation activities not to exceed 4,200 acres (such as tree planting, fence replacement, habitat restoration, heritage site restoration, repair of roads and trails, and repair of damage to minor facilities such as campgrounds) to repair or improve lands unlikely to recover to a management approved condition from wildland fire damage, or to repair or replace minor facilities damaged by fire. Such activities must comply with the following (Refer to the ESM Series for additional, required guidance.) (1) Shall be conducted consistent with bureau and Departmental procedures and applicable land and resource management plans; (2) Shall not include the use of herbicides or pesticides or the construction of new permanent roads or other new permanent infrastructure; and (3) Shall be completed within three years following a wildland fire."
The project also meets the National Historic Preservation Act/Section 106 Programmatic Agreement, Streamlined Review Process 7. Hazardous Fuel and Fire Management.
For further information about this project, please contact Natural Resources Program Manager or Chief Ranger, at 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740.