2017 Long-Term Habitat Restoration & Hazard Fuel Reduction Plan / Environmental Assessment
The National Park Service (NPS) released a Fire Management Plan (FMP) & Environmental Assessment (2005 EA) for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in 2005 and implemented a prescribed fire program that same year. The FMP describes wildfire management strategies, fuels treatment, budgetary parameters, and the fire critique process. In the decision document, the 2005 Finding of No Significant Impact (2005 FONSI), the NPS selected Alternative 4: Integrated Program. Under the Integrated Program, all wildfire and unplanned fires are suppressed as soon as possible. However, prescribed fire and mechanical methods (cutting) are used to restore fire-adapted habitats and to reduce hazard fuel accumulations.
The FMP includes a number of appendices. Appendix E to the FMP is the 2005 Long-term Prescribed Fire & Hazard Fuel Reduction Plan (the 2005 Plan). The 2005 Plan added specificity to the FMP & 2005 EA by identifying and prioritizing sites in the Park to be treated over a 10-15 year period using the Integrated Program. An update to the 2005 Plan is needed now to 1) add important sites identified since 2005 and 2) provide management direction for the next 10-15 year period.
This document updates the 2005 Plan and will replace it as Appendix E to the FMP. It lays the groundwork for restoring fire-adapted habitats, reducing hazard fuel accumulations, and restoring the Park's pine plantations to more diverse forested habitats. Because controlling invasive plants is part of nearly every effort to restore habitats, this document also contains information from the Great Lakes Invasive Plant Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (Invasive Plant Management Plan) (NPS 2012) on the use of herbicides. It also includes information on tilling, seeding, and planting as these activities are often necessary to increase the biodiversity of sites. Because this document is broader in scope than the 2005 Plan, it has been renamed Appendix E: 2017 Long-term Restoration & Hazard Fuel Reduction Plan.
Scott Weyenberg, (715) 483-2285