Wildland Fire Management Plan
Yellowstone National Park has completed an environmental assessment (EA), and the Intermountain Regional Director has signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an updated Fire Management Plan. The EA evaluated the impacts associated with an update of its Fire Management Plan (FMP) as recent fire program management guidance and policy has changed. Fire management policy has evolved since the last FMP prepared in 2004.
The 2012 FMP EA described the alternatives and their consequences relative to implementation of a comprehensive fire program including wildland fire response, fire protection, and fuels management utilizing prescribed fire, manual and mechanical treatments.
Natural systems contain communities that are fire adapted or fire dependent and may require periodic fire to retain their ecological integrity. Loss of fire can result in diminished integrity including unnatural succession, loss of species, and vulnerability to intense wildland fire based on fuel loading. To comply with NPS policy, Yellowstone needed to have a comprehensive fire management program that protects natural and cultural resources, the public, and employee and park facilities.
Two alternatives were evaluated in the 2012 FMP EA. Both alternatives included a continuation of active management of fire and fuels within Yellowstone. The main difference between the proposed alternatives would be the inclusion of one-quarter mile fire suppression zones surrounding frontcountry developed areas to help manage and mitigate risk to values.
The National Park Service encouraged public participation throughout the NEPA process during which the public had two opportunities to formally comment on the project; the first was completed during initial project scoping, and the second during the public comment period for the Environmental Assessment (found in the "Document List" at the left). Comments were accepted online at this website though October 19, 2012.
The FONSI is available for your review at the "documents list" at the left.
Al Nash, (307) 344-2010