Integrating values and risk perceptions into a decision support system: Journal Article

While not written specifically about traditional cultural fire use, the framework discussed in this paper can also be applied to incorporating tribal public values into "place-based decision support technologies that are accessible to lay citizens as well as to fire-management experts."
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Listening and Learning from Traditional Knowledge and Western Science: A Dialogue on Contemporary Challenges of Forest Health and Wildfire: Journal Article

Journal of Forestry Abstract: "Native Americans relied on fire to maintain a cultural landscape that sustained their lifeways for thousands of years. Within the past 100 years, however, policies of fire exclusion have disrupted ecological processes, elevating risk of wildfire, insects, and disease, affecting the health and availability of resources on which the tribes depend..."
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Research that Benefits Native People - A Guide for Tribal Leaders: Curriculum Module

"...Access to data allows tribal leaders to make informed decisions, be proactive about shaping the future of their communities, secure funding for programs to benefit the community, and refine the programs currently offered to tribal citizens. "
Visit the NCAI website to learn more about their "Research that Benefits Native People" curriculum.
Visit site to view Module 1 >

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Fire Burners to Firefighters: The Nez Perce and Fire: Journal Article

Abstract: "This article presents results from an interview-based case study examining burning practices of the Nez Perce tribe in the Inland Northwest in both their contemporary and historical policy context. Despite the lack of a prominent fire tradition, our interviews uncovered a legacy of knowledge and cultural traditions linked to fire and a variety of contemporary fire practices on the reservation performed by land-management professionals and individual tribal members. Many of these practices, particularly those involving broadcast burning, have diminished over the years. We examine the reasons for this and the potentials for mitigating some of the practical and policy constraints to such burning. We conclude that the nontribal community still has much to learn about fire from those who have lived in fire-adapted landscapes longer than anyone else."

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Participatory Research in Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Book

Description:   "Participatory Research in Conservation and Rural Livelihoods starts from the understanding that all people create knowledge and that the   creation of sustainable livelihoods and of conditions that protect and sustain rural ecosystems are interrelated. Interdependent science, that is, science undertaken collaboratively by local and professional   scientists, can create new knowledge to achieve conservation goals.   Local experts and professional researchers demonstrate that   interdependent science can produce more accurate and locally appropriate data. Conservation scientists and practitioners will both benefit from  reading this book."
Link to site for purchasing >

Fortmann, Louise (ed). 2008. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.       

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Native American fire patterns in Yosemite Valley: a cross-disciplinary study: Journal Article

Abstract: The inability to distinguish between human-caused and lightning ignitions in fire-history studies has led to three major problems: 1) a basic assumption that all pre–Euro-American settlement fire regimes are ‘‘natural’’ unless findings are aberrant, i.e., outside the range of ‘‘natural’’ lightning fire regimes; 2) a lack of studies that explicitly or quantitatively determine ignition sources; and 3) use of regional anthropological overviews rather than site-specific ethnographic and archaeological data. A cross-disciplinary dendrochronological fire history and archaeological study conducted in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, shows that fire return intervals in areas with no historical lightning ignitions and a large Native American population were similar to those in locations with a high number of lightning ignitions. Native American fire regimes in Yosemite Valley consisted of spatially small, low-intensity surface fires in all areas regardless of differences in distance from a village site, identified land uses, or village size. Fire patterns appear to be independent of climatic fluctuations and dependent on human disturbance patterns. Archaeological and ethnographic data show no major difference between the population size, land-use patterns, or material culture of the Ahwah’-nee, the prehistoric occupants of Yosemite Valley, and other native groups in the Sierra Nevada or Great Basin. The cultural data and initial findings from this study suggest that lightning and Native American influences on fire regimes cannot be differentiated based only on fire return intervals and fire regimes;additional cross-disciplinary studies are needed to gain better understanding of human–fire interactions.
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Native American Land-Use Practices and Ecological Impacts: Journal Article

Abstract (excerpt): [Native American] “protoagricultural” techniques, based upon traditional knowledge of natural processes gained over the millennia, were applied to increase the quantity and improve select qualities of focal plant species. Fire was the most important management tool... There is currently an ecological “vacuum,” or disequilibrium, in the Sierra resulting from the departure of Native American [land management] influences. The recent decline in biotic diversity, species extirpation and endangerment, human encroachment into fire-type plant communities (e.g., chaparral), and greatly increased risk of catastrophic fires are but symptoms of this disequilibrium. It is recommended, there- fore, that land-managing agencies and land-use planners incorporate Native American traditional knowledge into future policies and programs for ecosystem management in the Sierra Nevada. This traditional knowledge, which permitted the adaptive success of large human populations and the maintenance of Sierran environments for more than a hundred centuries, must not be dismissed.
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Prehistoric burning in northwestern California: Book Chapter

Excerpt: “In a landmark treatise on the ecology of Indian burning practices in California, Henry Lewis suggested an investigative approach involving “the collection and examination of the few and desultory ethnographic and historic statements about Indian burning to fit these into the findings and recommendations of contemporary ecological research.”
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Rediscovery of Traditional Ecological Knowledge As Adaptive Management Ecological Applications: Journal Article

Abstract: Indigenous groups offer alternative knowledge and perspectives based on their own   locally developed practices of resource use. We surveyed theinternational literature to focus on the role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in monitoring, responding to, and managing ecosystem processes and functions, with special attention to ecological resilience. Case studies revealed that there exists a diversity of local or traditional practices for ecosystem management. These include multiple species management, resource rotation, succession management, landscape patchiness management, and other ways of responding to and managing pulses and ecological surprises. Social mechanisms behind these traditional practices include a number of adaptations for the generation, accumulation, and transmission of knowledge; the use of local institutions to provide leaders/stewards and rules for social regulation; mechanisms for cultural internalization of traditional practices; and the development of appropriate world views and cultural values. Some traditional knowledge and management systems were characterized by the use of local ecological knowledge to interpret and respond to feed-backs from the environment to guide the direction of resource management. These traditional systems had certain similarities   to adaptive management with its emphasis on feedback learning, and its  treatment of uncertainty and unpredictability intrinsic to all ecosystems.                           
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Rekindling Native Fires: Journal Article

Excerpt: "Just up the hill from the old Lyons homestead, in what is now Redwood National Park, stand a group of majestic tan oak trees, their broad bases hollowed and blackened by fire. Amelia Lyons tended these trees by burning out the undergrowth around them, and like generations of Hupa women before her, she was rewarded with an abundant crop of acorns. Long after her death, the ground is littered with hundreds of small brown globes dropped by the trees. But without Amelia's fires, the acorns are riddled with weevil holes."
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The History of Oak Woodlands in California, Part II: The Native American and Historic Period: Journal Article

Abstract (excerpt): The open oak woodlands described in the accounts of Spanish explorers were in large part created by land use practices of the California Indians, particularly burning. Extensive ethnographic evidence documents widespread use of fire by indigenous people to manipulate plants utilized for food, basketry, tools, clothing, and other uses. Fire helped maintain oak woodlands and reduce expansion of conifers where these forest types overlapped. There is no clear evidence that the Spanish or subsequently the Mexican land uses had any significant impact on the distribution or abundance of oak woodlands. The introduction of livestock led to dramatic changes in understory species, which may have had some effect on oak regeneration, but this first wave of European settlement left California’s oak woodlands largely intact. During the American period, impacts on oak woodlands intensified. Oaks were cleared for fuel and charcoal, to open land for agriculture, and to improve rangeland. Fire suppression favored conifers where oaks and confers co-occur, leading to loss of oak woodlands.    
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Simulated Indigenous Management: A New Model for Ecological Restoration in National Parks: Journal Article

"In this essay, we argue for a shift that emphasizes disturbances created by indigenous peoples in the pre-Columbian landscape. We believe that there are areas within various national parks where nature has been influenced by long-term Indian occupation, management and cultural resource management that would reconstruct indigenous disturbances and include approximations for those disturbances as means of restoring and maintaining park landscapes."
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The Role of Indigenous Burning in Land Management: Journal Article

Abstract: "This article highlights the findings of the literature on aboriginal fire from the human- and the land-centered disciplines, and suggests that the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples be incorporated into plans for reintroducing fire to the nation’s forests. Traditional knowledge represents the outcome of long experimentation with application of fire by indigenous people, which can inform contemporary policy discussions."
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Prehistoric anthroprogenic wildland burning by hunter-gatherer societies in the temperate regions: A net source, sink, or neutral to the global carbon budget?  Journal Article

Abstract excerpt: "There is a need for more intensive multi-disciplinary study of prehistoric "hunter-gatherer" burning patterns in temperate regions. Calilbrnia is presented as a case study to demonstrate how powerful, effective, and widely employed fire was in the native repertoire for directly manipulating the wildland environment. It is highly likely that the magnitude of burning in other temperate regions as well as in California, has been underestimated by anthropologists."      
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