NPS Seeks Public Comment for Sequoia and Kings Canyon Fire Mitigation Environmental Assessment

Scientists assessing the impacts of fires in Redwood Mountain Grove, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks/NPS – Daniel Jeffcoach

The National Park Service (NPS) announces next steps to advance recovery efforts to mitigate roadside tree risks resulting from the KNP Complex Wildfire that burned more than 88,000 acres of National Parks of Sequoia and Kings Canyon (parks) from September to October 2021. Where a moderate to high severity fire has crossed the roads, many fire-killed trees are now considered dangerous trees, meaning they exhibit a direct risk to human safety and property due to the likelihood of their failure and the potential to hit a human or artificial target.

The NPS is launching and seeking public comment on a KNP Complex Wildfire Tree Hazard Mitigation Environmental Assessment (EA) who will evaluate alternatives to minimize the threat to public safety and NPS infrastructure from the hazards of trees killed or otherwise damaged by the KNP Complex Wildfire. This project will also protect road corridors that serve as fire breaks, evacuation routes and access for firefighters.

Once public comments are received and analyzed, an environmental assessment will be prepared and posted for public comment that will evaluate specific alternatives to address the issue. The NPS expects the EA to be available for public comment in the fall of 2022 and expects a decision to follow in the winter of 2023.

Action currently proposed includes mitigation (limbing or removal) of all roadside tree hazards that burned at moderate to high severity in the 2021 KNP Complex Fire. In addition, the NPS is proposing to deal with debris that fell within 20 feet and within 80 feet of the roadside. Treatment options may include, but are not limited to, limb limbing and scattering on site, piling and burning on site, broadcast chipping, chipping and hauling, hauling of woody debris to a burn pit for burning, administrative use, or donation to tribal partners or other stakeholders. .

To review the proposal documents and/or provide comments, please visit the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/KNPTreeHazards

The NPS is accepting public comments on this planning effort until August 21, 2022. Please comment on the plan via the PEPC website. Written comments can also be mailed or hand-delivered to:

Superintendent

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Attention: KNP Complex Wildfire Risk Mitigation Project

47050 Generals Road

Three Rivers, CA 93271

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