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Restoring indigenous prescribed fires to California oak woodlandsAuthor(s): Don L. Hankins
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-251. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 123-129
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionIt is recognized that California Indians have stewarded the landscape for millennia. As such, the coupling of fire and culture are interrelated and interdependent in many California ecosystems including oak woodlands. Colonization and subsequent governmental fire policy mandates have disrupted the cultural use of fire, which in turn has disrupted ecological functions where those fires are absent. As society grapples with the devastating impacts of wildfires and the loss of biological diversity, many Indigenous people see traditional fire use as a key to mitigation of devastating losses while retaining traditional livelihoods associated with burning. Indigenous burning in California is a keystone process, which creates heterogeneity of species and habitats while also promoting many culturally significant foods, materials and other resources of value to Indigenous communities and society. This research focuses on the restoration of Indigenous burning to oak woodlands and the ecological and cultural effects thereof. Preliminary findings and community perspectives of this research will be discussed.
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CitationHankins, Don L. 2015. Restoring indigenous prescribed fires to California oak woodlands. In: Standiford, Richard B.; Purcell, Kathryn L., tech. cords. Proceedings of the seventh California oak symposium: managing oak woodlands in a dynamic world. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-251. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 123-129.
Keywordsbiodiversity, blue oak, Indigenous prescribed fire, valley oak
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