Cumberland Island National Seashore officials are seeking public feedback on their draft fire management plan, which calls for a variety of approaches to battling wildfire on the island, including the use of "mechanical tools" inside designated wilderness.
If approved, the seashore's preferred alternative would permit the use of chainsaws and brush cutters within designated wilderness to clear away vegetation from Park Service buildings.
Cumberland Island officials say a new fire management plan is needed because the current plan is out of date, inconsistent with agency policy, and does not allow for flexibility in managing fires within the seashore.
“I’m excited to bring new fire management tools to the table,” said Superintendent Fred Boyles. “This plan and environmental assessment have been crafted with careful consideration in protecting all of Cumberland Island’s resources—cultural, natural, and most importantly human safety.”
The revised plan is intended to better protect island structures, facilities, residences, and resource values; restore fire to its natural role in the ecology of Cumberland Island; and be consistent with National Fire Policy changes.
Public comment on the proposal is being taken through November 29. You can find the plan at this site, and comment on that site as well.