Devils Postpile National Monument to Update Fire Management Plan
National Park Service News Release
For release on: January 8, 2017
Contact: Deanna Dulen, 760-934-2289
Public Scoping Opens for Comments on Fire Management Plan Update
On January 8, 2018, Devils Postpile National Monument will initiate a public scoping process, in conformance with the National Environmental Policy Act, as an initial step towards updating the park's 2005 Fire Management Plan (FMP). The purpose of the update is to address fire and fuels management, respond to declining forest health, protect natural and cultural resources, and reduce the risk of catastrophic fire. Scoping comments will be accepted through February 16, 2018.
A combination of specific events and overall landscape conditions have increased the risk of catastrophic fire and affected forest health. After a century of fire exclusion, the 1992 Rainbow Fire burned 82% of the Monument. High burn severity areas that were formerly conifer forests are now dominated by shrubs and have very little conifer regeneration. In 2011, the Devils Windstorm blew down thousands of large diameter trees resulting in canopy loss and an enormous increase in dead and downed fuels. These two events, along with continued fire exclusion, drought and climate warming, have profoundly affected the forest stand structure and conifer regeneration, as well as increased fuel loading in the Monument.
The FMP and Environmental Assessment (EA) is needed to respond to the heavy fuel loading and altered forest conditions in the Monument and offer a strategy to improve ecosystem resistance and resilience to multiple stressors such as climate change, insect infestations and drought. The proposed FMP alternatives would address wildfire and fuels management throughout the Monument, including strategies for the suppression of unwanted wildland fire, the management of wildland fire for multiple objectives including resource benefit, and the use of prescribed fire and mechanical fuel treatments to promote resource protection objectives. The proposed FMP update builds on guidance from the Monument’s 2014 General Management Plan and 2016 State of the Park Report.
Public comments on the proposed scope of the EA for the FMP update are welcomed and can be made one of these ways:
DEVILS POSTPILE GENERAL MANAGEMENT PLAN
- A public scoping open house will be held at the Mammoth Lakes Library Ellie Randol room on January 17, 2018 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm.
- Letter addressed to Superintendent, NPS POB 3999 Mammoth Lakes CA 93546
- Online through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at parkplanning.nps.gov/depo. Select “Fire Management Plan Update”.
The National Park Service (NPS) has recently completed the Devils Postpile National Monument General Management Plan (GMP) which will provide long-term guidance for management of the monument.
The primary focus of the approved GMP is to emphasize key features with national significance for resource protection and connect visitors with nature and heritage, including traditional park experiences in a natural setting.
Key components of the selected alternative are as follows:
- Additional emphasis will be placed on connections and partnerships with the Inyo National Forest and the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
- The monument will continue to be managed as a gateway to a greater wilderness.
- Natural and cultural resources will continue to receive a high degree of protection with an increased emphasis on providing demonstrations for visitors on a range of resource management techniques to engage visitors in resource management activities and programs such as inventory and monitoring, invasive plant removal, historic preservation, and archeological investigations.
- Visitor experiences will continue to include a range of low-impact recreational opportunities that have traditionally been available within the monument such as camping, fishing, hiking, sightseeing and wildlife viewing.
- The monument will explore opportunities for increased trail connections and promote self-discovery and opportunities to connect with nature.
- Interpretation and education programs and media will emphasize themes related to corridors and connectivity as well as the role of the area as a gateway to a broader wilderness.
For more information or to read the documents, see the General Management Plan Page