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E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A NPS Fire Planning: Managing Fire in the Wilderness National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Southeast.

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Presentation on theme: "E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A NPS Fire Planning: Managing Fire in the Wilderness National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Southeast."— Presentation transcript:

1 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A NPS Fire Planning: Managing Fire in the Wilderness National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Southeast Fire and Aviation Management

2 NPS Plan Relationships General Management Plan or other foundational park document E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Cultural or Resource Management Plan, Wilderness Management Plan, etc. Fire Management Plan Multi-year Fuels Treatment Plan Burn Plans Wildfire Incident Action Plans

3 FMP Planning Requirements NPS Management Policies 4.5 (2006) NPS Management Policies 4.5 (2006) Parks with vegetation capable of burning will prepare an FMP Parks with vegetation capable of burning will prepare an FMP The plan & process will include/consider: The plan & process will include/consider: Collaboration – internal and external Collaboration – internal and external Environmental and cultural resource compliance documentation, compliance w/ Sec 7, ESA, wilderness, NHPA, etc. Environmental and cultural resource compliance documentation, compliance w/ Sec 7, ESA, wilderness, NHPA, etc. The influence of fire and fire management activities The influence of fire and fire management activities The consequences of fire exclusion The consequences of fire exclusion The ability of the park’s wildland fire program to meet natural and cultural resource management objectives, including wilderness management objectives. The ability of the park’s wildland fire program to meet natural and cultural resource management objectives, including wilderness management objectives. 3

4 FMPs and NEPA requirements The purpose of the FMP is to provide a detailed plan for the management of wildland fire in such a manner as to safely accomplish resource management objectives. FMPs are considered implementation plans and therefore must fully comply with NEPA requirements. They are typically accompanied by an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The purpose of the FMP is to provide a detailed plan for the management of wildland fire in such a manner as to safely accomplish resource management objectives. FMPs are considered implementation plans and therefore must fully comply with NEPA requirements. They are typically accompanied by an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 4

5 NPS Wilderness Policy These 3 documents are where you find the NPS policy on managing Fire in wilderness: These 3 documents are where you find the NPS policy on managing Fire in wilderness: 1. NPS Management Policies (2006) 1. NPS Management Policies (2006) 2. Director’s Order 18: Wildland Fire Management, Section 4.2 “Wilderness Policies” 2. Director’s Order 18: Wildland Fire Management, Section 4.2 “Wilderness Policies” 3. Director’s Order 41: Wilderness Preservation and Management 3. Director’s Order 41: Wilderness Preservation and Management 5

6 1. NPS Management Policies (2006) section 4.5 Fire Management or suppression activities conducted within wilderness, including categories of designated, recommended, potential, proposed, and eligible areas, will be consistent with the “minimum requirement” concept identified in Director’s Order 41. Fire Management or suppression activities conducted within wilderness, including categories of designated, recommended, potential, proposed, and eligible areas, will be consistent with the “minimum requirement” concept identified in Director’s Order 41. 6

7 2. Director’s Order 18: Wildland Fire Management Section 4.2 Wilderness Policies states that “Actions taken to manage wildland fire in wilderness using the appropriate minimum requirement concept will be conducted to protect life and safety and natural and cultural resources and to minimize the lasting impacts of the management actions and the fires themselves.” Section 4.2 Wilderness Policies states that “Actions taken to manage wildland fire in wilderness using the appropriate minimum requirement concept will be conducted to protect life and safety and natural and cultural resources and to minimize the lasting impacts of the management actions and the fires themselves.” “The potential disruption of wilderness character and resources will be considered before, and be given significantly more weight than, economic efficiency and convenience.” “The potential disruption of wilderness character and resources will be considered before, and be given significantly more weight than, economic efficiency and convenience.” 7

8 3. NPS Wilderness Policy- Director’s Order 41 Provides justification for the need for prescribed fire in wilderness. Provides justification for the need for prescribed fire in wilderness. Provides guidance for when to do a minimum requirements analysis. Provides guidance for when to do a minimum requirements analysis. Addresses both planned and unplanned ignitions, including considerations during extended attack under incident management teams. Addresses both planned and unplanned ignitions, including considerations during extended attack under incident management teams. 8

9 NPS Wilderness Policy- Director’s Order 41 Section 6.7 of DO 41 states: “….Augmenting natural ignitions with prescribed fire within wilderness may be necessary to restore or maintain ecological function. To guide these efforts, each park with burnable vegetation must have a Fire Management Plan (FMP) that defines the objectives, management requirements, and potential strategies and tactics for safely managing fire in order to meet overall land management and wilderness objectives.” 9

10 NPS Wilderness Policy- Director’s Order 41.……...MRAs A programmatic minimum requirements analysis must be completed as part of the development of the park’s FMP and companion environmental compliance document. Impacts to wilderness character should be considered as an impact topic in the EA/EIS. A programmatic minimum requirements analysis must be completed as part of the development of the park’s FMP and companion environmental compliance document. Impacts to wilderness character should be considered as an impact topic in the EA/EIS. The MRA must address the necessity of certain fire management actions for both planned and unplanned ignitions in wilderness, and specify at a programmatic level the minimum activities (methods or tools) that are generally permitted. The MRA must address the necessity of certain fire management actions for both planned and unplanned ignitions in wilderness, and specify at a programmatic level the minimum activities (methods or tools) that are generally permitted. 10

11 NPS Wilderness Policy- Director’s Order 41.……...more on MRAs Minimum requirements analyses should also be completed to address specific activities (methods or tools) for individual planned ignitions, as well as for actions that may be needed to restore, stabilize, or rehabilitate an area following fire. (This is often done as a “minimum tool worksheet” that tiers off the FMP’s programmatic MRA.) Minimum requirements analyses should also be completed to address specific activities (methods or tools) for individual planned ignitions, as well as for actions that may be needed to restore, stabilize, or rehabilitate an area following fire. (This is often done as a “minimum tool worksheet” that tiers off the FMP’s programmatic MRA.) A delegation of authority from the park superintendent to incoming Incident Commanders will include appropriate emphasis on the protection of wilderness resources and character and on the minimum requirements concept. A delegation of authority from the park superintendent to incoming Incident Commanders will include appropriate emphasis on the protection of wilderness resources and character and on the minimum requirements concept. 11

12 In closing, if you are a WRA on a fire on NPS land….. Obtain a copy of the park FMP Obtain a copy of the park FMP Check the FMP and accompanying NEPA compliance document to see what fire management strategies are allowed in the Wilderness (i.e. suppression only or wildland fire for resource benefit allowed, etc.) Check the FMP and accompanying NEPA compliance document to see what fire management strategies are allowed in the Wilderness (i.e. suppression only or wildland fire for resource benefit allowed, etc.) Read the MRA to see what the management constraints/restrictions are. Read the MRA to see what the management constraints/restrictions are. Insure that an incident specific MRA is developed for the long- term management of unplanned ignitions. Insure that an incident specific MRA is developed for the long- term management of unplanned ignitions. Check the delegation of authority from the park superintendent for information on the protection of wilderness resources. Check the delegation of authority from the park superintendent for information on the protection of wilderness resources. 12

13 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Southeast Fire and Aviation Management Liz Struhar, Fire Planner National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior


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