National Park Service Advances KNP Complex Wildfire Risk Mitigation Project in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

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The public comment period opens on July 22 and ends on August 21

July 23, 2022 – SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. – The National Park Service (NPS) is announcing next steps in advancing recovery efforts to mitigate roadside tree hazards resulting from the KNP Wildfire complex that has burned more than 88,000 acres of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (parks) from September to October 2021. Where a moderate to high severity fire crossed the roads, many fire-killed trees are now considered hazards to trees, meaning they pose a direct risk to human safety and property due to the likelihood of their failure and the potential to hit a human or man-made 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 risks of trees being 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 edge of the road. 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

If you have specific questions regarding this planning effort, please contact Elly Boerke, Environmental Protection Specialist, at (559) 565-3102.

The Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park
Credit: R Paterson/NPS
Source: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks


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