• info@wildcumberland.org
  • PO Box 872 Scottdale, GA 30079

Fix the Fire Plan

The Park Service has proposed a harmful fire management plan that would actually increase its manipulation of island ecosystems, even in the wilderness. Fire will continue to be suppressed, and salt water and fire retardant chemicals dumped across the island. Even worse, the Park Service proposes to do more mechanical fire interventions like bulldozing swaths of the island wilderness and spraying herbicides across large sections of the island.

Please email Superintendent Fred Boyles at fred_boyles@nps.gov in the next 30 days. None of the proposed alternatives in the plan are acceptable, but Alternative 3 at least acknowledges the wilderness and is the best of the current options. If possible, encourage the Park Service to do the following:

•    There should be no unnatural ignition except immediately around structures to create a defensible space and/or to retard an advancing natural fire line threatening a structure.

•    Trails should not be opened as firebreaks, but maintained at a minimal width as trails.

•    Saltwater is lethal to many species of plants and animals.  Its use should be restricted to immediate protection of structures.  The use of fire retardant chemicals should also be so restricted.

•    Water should not be taken from Whitney Lake for firefighting operations.  Buckets that have been used with retardant also introduce inappropriate chemicals to the natural system.  Large tanks for bucket dipping may be filled with freshwater at the Candler compound, Plum Orchard, Stafford Field, and Dungeness.