Public Comments Invited for EA
Pinnacles National Monument announces the opening of the public scoping period for the park’s Bottomlands Restoration Environmental Assessment – March 20 to April 21, 2008
This Environmental Assessment would update the 2005 Pinnacles Fire Management Plan (FMP) to include newly acquired lands in order to treat yellow star-thistle and to update the parkwide FMP to reflect recent scientific studies on managing chaparral.
To submit scoping comments -OR- to request a copy of the draft document when it is released, contact the park in writing:
Fax (831) 389-4489
During the scoping period, one public meeting will be held. Participants will have the opportunity to talk with park staff, participate in a public hearing, and submit written ideas and concerns.
The nearly 2,000 acres of land recently acquired at Pinnacles National Monument include rare valley oak savannahs and pockets of wetlands, which transition into hillsides of native buckwheat and chaparral. This addition to the park also includes over 200-acres of an aggressive weed, the non-native yellow star-thistle (Centaurea solstitialis), which threatens to spread throughout the Monument and onto adjacent lands.
Studies show that prescribed fire is an effective control technique when used on yellow star-thistle for at least three consecutive years; the Monument proposes to use this treatment on the yellow star-thistle infestation on the new bottomlands at Pinnacles.
Public comments will be used to determine the range of issues and alternatives to be addressed in the environmental assessment.
Issues that may be addressed include: the effects of aggressive weed species on native habitat; potential for native plant restoration in former pasturelands; effects of actions on the California red-legged frog and California condor; impacts of wildfire suppression and fuel reduction projects; effects of prescribed burning on chaparral, grasslands, weed infestations, or air quality; effects of herbicide application on thistle plants; potential erosion, sedimentation and effects on water quality; effects on recreation and visitor and staff safety.
Comments on the following topics are particularly useful at this stage in the planning process:
The preliminary project objectives are:
Alternatives that may be included in the Environmental Assessment are:
Did You Know?
The yellow star thistle is one of many invasive (non-native) plants threatening the ecosystems of Pinnacles. Many seeds are accidentally transported into the park on shoes and gear; you can do your part to prevent the spread of these pests by cleaning shoes, socks, and gear before visiting the park.