Implement a controlled broadcast burn at Manchester State Park as a post-treatment technique to reduce standing biomass of European beachgrass, a highly invasive dune species that displaces native dune mat vegetation and alters ecosystem functions. Burn units will cover approximately 55 acres over 3-5 years.
Each burn unit will utilize handlines and existing or legacy roads and trails as control lines wherever possible. Work will occur via use of handtools, small mechanical equipment, and heavy equipment. Vegetation removal on, under and around department structures shall meet the Guidelines for the Protection of Structures from Wildland Fire. More specifically, fuel modification may consist of:
• Removing limbs up to a height of 15-ft (from the uphill side) on trees;
• Modifying, relocating, and reconfiguring downed and dead material;
• Selectively removing tree seedlings, saplings, and poles less than 11-in. DBH;
• Creating spacing between shrubs and trees (2x the shrubs height);
• Felling dead and dying trees while maintaining sufficient snags for wildlife habitat;
• Mowing dry grass and relocating clippings;
• Raking away excess litter and duff or creating a scratch line around the base of trees, snags, stumps, infrastructure, developed areas, structures, or other resources; and
• Digging to mineral soil for handlines.
Prior to start of controlled burns, a DPR Environmental Scientist(s) shall identify protected wildlife and plant species and habitat and prescribe proper measures to maintain or increase populations and habitat and avoid adverse impacts, and a DPR Archaeologist(s) shall identify protected sites and prescribe proper treatments to avoid adverse impacts. Tribal consultation shall be initiated when required.
The project may require temporary closure of trails during project implementation, and/or have trail use be restricted, for public safety. Adjacent property owners will be notified before any broadcast burn event and public notifications will be made via social media and/or news outlets before any broadcast burn event.