After 18 years the Devils Postpile National Monument is updating their Fire Management Plan.
Managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and designated by presidential proclamation in 1911, the Monument protects 800 acres surrounded by the Inyo National Forest. 687 acres of the Monument is federally designated Wilderness.
A new fire management plan is needed because the current management direction mandates full suppression and does not allow natural ignitions to be managed for ecosystem benefit. It also restricts fuels treatment projects to the northeastern 15% of the Monument that is not federally-designated Wilderness.
Prior to 18th century fire suppression, lightning-ignited fire occurrence ranged from three to thirty years between fires, with an average interval between fires of fourteen to eighteen years. Research shows that these fires were predominantly understory burns rather than high-severity stand-replacing fires. Under the Preferred Alternative the new plan would restore fire to this fire-adapted ecosystem through a combination of hand thinning, prescribed fire and fire-use techniques. Naturally-occurring wildfire would be managed for ecosystem health and public benefit. Costs and benefits to wildlife, old growth forests, cultural resources, air, water, soils, and native vegetation are all aspects Friends of the Inyo is considering in their comments.
Under the National Environmental Policy Act the plan requires an Environmental Assessment (EA) and public review process. The EA evaluates a range of alternatives and management actions for wildfire and fuels management within the monument and analyzes the impacts that could result from the implementation of these alternatives. One of the alternatives, or a combination of actions from multiple alternatives, will become the long-term fire management strategy for the monument.
The public comment period closes November 16, 2018.
You may comment online and download the document file through at the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website.
Select “Open for Comment” from the menu list on the left to open the EA file and comment page.
Use the button “Comment Now” to provide your comments on the EA.
For further information, visit parkplanning.nps.gov/depofireplan
Written comments may also be mailed but must be postmarked by November 16, 2018.
Superintendent, Draft EA Fire Management Plan Comments
Devils Postpile National Monument
NPS POB 3999
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546