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Fort Davis National Historic Site Fire Management Plan and Environmental Assessment

Fort Davis National Historic Site » Fort Davis National Historic Site Fire Management Plan and Environmental Assessment » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) is starting the process to update the Fire Management Plan (FMP) for Fort Davis National Historic Site (FODA). Before this update occurs, the NPS is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA). This EA is part of the process to update management strategies, manage vegetative fuels, and update terminology. A focus of this planning is to protect and enhance Park cultural and natural resources, and to create and improve defensible space.

FODA encompasses the buildings, ruins and artifacts, foundations, and cultural landscape of two important frontier military posts active from 1854-1862 and 1867-1891. During these historic periods, the area was more open and less vegetated, a result of the intense human activities such as livestock grazing and firewood gathering. Since ending those activities the vegetation has responded by growth of brush species and mesquite; the brush has increased in density and height due to fire suppression. This more abundant vegetation has developed fuel loading that lends itself to higher severity of wildfires that could threaten visitors, staff and firefighters, cultural sites, park structures, and neighboring lands. The NPS intends to manage the vegetation in a way to protect values at risk and to restore and maintain the historic landscape. A new FMP will allow FODA to achieve management goals.

FODA plans to continue to suppress all wildfire ignitions on its 523 acres of federal land, but also to engage in active vegetation management activities. These active measures will better protect cultural sites, facilities,neighboring properties, and natural resource values. A new FMP will also include updates in national fire policy and terminology. The Categorical Exclusion that was utilized in the 2005 FMP is no longer available. This EA will replace the NEPA compliance work in support of a new Fire Management Plan.

FODA plans to adhere to the following broad goals as it updates its Fire Management Plan:
1. Protection of human life is the first priority in all wildland fire management activities.
2. Historic properties will be protected from wildland fire and suppression activity damages. The NPS will also consider in-park actions that minimize the threat to adjacent private property.
3. Activities will occur to restore and maintain FODA's vegetation communities and protect natural resource values.
4. FODA will strive to enhance working relationships with appropriate federal, state, and local cooperators.
5. FODA will ensure adjacent communities are informed about park fire management activities, and that fire-related concerns are considered.

The NPS is preparing this EA in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to provide the decision-making framework that 1) explores management alternatives to meet FODA objectives, 2) evaluates potential impacts to park resources and values, and 3) identifies mitigation measures to minimize the degree of these impacts.

There are two formal opportunities for the public to comment: during this initial project scoping, and again following the release of the EA document. You are invited to participate in this process by voicing your ideas, suggestions, comments, or concerns related to FODA fire management activities. These comments will be considered during preparation of the EA and FMP.

Contact Information

Attention: Superintendent
Fort Davis National Historic Site
PO Box 1379
Fort Davis, TX 79734