Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Community Notice: Pala Band of Mission Indians’ Wildland Fire Management Plan (WFMP) Comment Period

Pala Band of Mission Indians California Pala Notice

PALA, CA – The Pala Band of Mission Indians and the Pala Environmental Department request review and comments on the Pala Wildland Fire Management Plan (WFMP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

Pala Wildland Fire Manegement Plan (WFMP)
Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
Review and Comment
Online

Public Review

The Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are available for public review at two virtual locations:

  1. Pala Band of Mission Indians website (http://www.palatribe.com): Community Notice: Pala Band of Mission Indians’ Wildland Fire Management Plan (WFMP) Comment Period
  2. BIA NEPA Tracking System website: https://bianepatracker2.doi.gov

(Search: NEPA Tracker ID# 50249)

The 30-day public review period for the EA and FONSI will expire on October 18, 2022. 

Comments
Please submit your comments to Jeremy Zagarella: jzagarella@palatribe.com.

Notices

NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY

WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT PLAN
PALA INDIAN RESERVATION
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND FONSI

Notice is hereby given that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Pacific Region, Division of Environmental, Cultural Resource Management and Safety (DECRMS) has reviewed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for alternatives in the Pala Band of Mission Indians’ (Pala Band) Wildland Fire Management Plan (WFMP) for the Pala Indian Reservation, San Diego County, California.

The WFMP has two fire management alternatives: A preferred alternative and a no action alternative.  BIA selected the preferred alternative which would allow the agency to issue funding/permits/approvals to the Pala Band for tree cutting, prescribed burning, roadside hazardous fuels treatment, fuels treatment within 100 feet of structures, post-fire emergency stabilization/rehabilitation, and limited insect and disease control activities.

The Pala Band prepared an EA in support of federal requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 United States Code §4321 et seq.) and the BIA NEPA Guidebook 59 IAM 3-H.  The EA assesses the environmental effects that may result from the actions proposed in the WFMP.  Based on the analysis and potential impacts detailed in the EA, the DECRMS prepared a draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).  The public review period for the EA and draft FONSI will expire on October 18, 2022.

The EA and draft FONSI are available for public review at two virtual locations:

  1. Pala Band of Mission Indians website: http://www.palatribe.com
  2. BIA NEPA Tracking System website: https://bianepatracker2.doi.gov

(Search: NEPA Tracker ID# 50249)

The FONSI is a finding on environmental effects, not a decision to proceed, therefore it cannot be appealed.  25 CFR 2.7 requires a 30-day appeal period after the decision to proceed with the action is made before the action may be implemented.  Appeal information will be made publicly available when the decision to proceed is made.

For more information, please contact Jay Hinshaw, Environmental Compliance Coordinator, BIA, Pacific Region, DECRMS, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2820, Sacramento, CA 95825, telephone 951-690-5504, or jay.hinshaw@bia.gov.  Written comments should be mailed to the BIA, Pacific Region, Regional Director at this same address.

###

FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT

WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT PLAN
PALA INDIAN RESERVATION
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND FONSI

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Pacific Region, Division of Environmental, Cultural Resource Management and Safety (DECRMS) considered the potential effects of activities in the Wildland Fire Management Plan (WFMP) on the environment in relation to federal trust lands at the Pala Indian Reservation, San Diego County, California.  The Pala Band of Mission Indians (Pala Band) prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for two different fire management alternatives and transmitted the EA for DECRMS review and recommendation. The authorization of preferred alternative would allow the BIA to issue funding/permits/approvals to the Pala Band for tree cutting, prescribed burning, roadside hazardous fuels treatment, fuels treatment within 100 feet of structures, post-fire emergency stabilization/rehabilitation, and limited insect and disease control activities as described in the WFMP.

The Pala Band requested that BIA select the preferred alternative in the WFMP.  Based on the analysis and recommendations in the EA, I have determined that federal actions associated with the preferred alternative will have no significant impact on the quality of the human environment.  Therefore, in accordance with Section 102(2)(A) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

This determination is supported by the following findings:

  1. A legal notice was published in its entirety and ran in the North County Times in the April 1, 2021, edition.  The notice disclosed to the public that the Pala Band was preparing an EA for its draft WFMP and solicited comments on environmental impacts and alternatives.  A similar notice was posted that same day on the Pala Band’s official website.
  2. The preferred alternative, as analyzed in the WFMP EA, was jointly developed by the Pala Band’s fire, natural resources, cultural and environmental staff, as well as BIA’s fire and DECRMS staff.
  3. The EA discloses the environmental consequences of the preferred alternative and one other potentially viable alternative (the No Action Alternative).
  4. The preferred alternative requires environmental protective measures, ensuring all effects would be reduced to less than significant.
  5. The Pala Band’s wildlife biologist and natural resources planner analyzed potential effects to federally listed and candidate species and found that the planned actions would have no effect. Further, any new actions proposed under the WFMP will require a separate biological review.  Should it be determined during the review that a new action may affect federally listed or candidate species, then the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) would be consulted and the actions would not be funded or approved unless or until concurrence is received from USFWS.
  6. BIA’s Regional Archeologist determined that the preferred alternative would result in No Historic Properties Affected. The Regional Archeologist consulted the Pala Band’s Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) who concurred with this determination on March 4, 2022.
  7. The cumulative effects on soil, water, air, noise, vegetation, cultural resources, and living resources (species and habitat) were considered and determined to be less than significant.
  8. The DECRMS reviewed the preferred alternative concerning potential impacts to minority and low-income populations and communities with Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice and determined that any potential impacts were less than significant (the proposed activities are expected to benefit the Pala Band of Mission Indians).

Public Availability

A Notice of Availability (NOA) for the EA and this unsigned FONSI are posted at the Pala Administration Building, as well as on the Pala Band’s official website and the BIA’s NEPA Tracking System website.  The WFMP EA and FONSI are available for a 30-day public review period.

The EA and this FONSI are available for public review at two virtual locations:

  1. Pala Band of Mission Indians website: http://www.palatribe.com
  2. BIA NEPA Tracking System website: https://bianepatracker2.doi.gov

(Search: NEPA Tracker ID# 50249)

The BIA will take no administrative action on the preferred alternative prior to expiration of the review period and will consider any comments received in a timely manner.

Determination

I have determined that the Pala Band’s WFMP does not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.  Therefore, in accordance with Section 102(2)(A) of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C § 4321 et seq., an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

This determination is supported by the findings and the analysis contained in the entire administrative record, including the final EA, and the protective measures to be imposed.  This fulfills the requirements of NEPA as set out in the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing NEPA (40 C.F.R. 1500–1508), and the BIA NEPA Guidebook (59 IAM 3-H, August 2012).

###

Pala Environmental Department – Jeremy Zagarella
For more information or submit your comments, contact Jeremy Zagarella and the Pala Environment Department:
760-891-3510 | jzagarella@palatribe.com | ped.palatribe.com

Pala Band of Mission Indians
For more information, contact the Pala Band of Mission Indians:
760-891-3500 | www.palatribe.com

Letter - TR-4416-P5 583T Pala Wildland Fire Management Plan