Parks to Incorporate traditional techniques in Prescribed Burns
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. May 30, 2017 –
Firefighters at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are preparing for current and future prescribed burns. These burns will incorporate philosophies and techniques employed by park partners from the Native American community.
Tribal forums, held regularly, provide the parks with the opportunity to share knowledge and perspective on land management with federally and non-federally recognized tribes in the local area. Park fire management staff has been working closely with these partners in planning and preparing for prescribed burns.
Prescribed fire treatments in the parks’ foothills ecosystem are performed periodically in order to reduce fuel loads and increase defensible space, thereby protecting infrastructural and visitor safety in one of the hottest and driest areas of the parks. During the upcoming prescribed burn, firefighters will also incorporate traditional practices to promote health and acorn production in oak trees.
“The philosophy of this project is to have a broad landscape perspective, to understand the landscape and what it needs from us in order to be productive,” says Jessie Russett, archaeologist and tribal liaison for the parks. “The oak trees are an essential part of that landscape. If we take care of the oaks, they will take care of us.”
“We’re seeking to incorporate these practices on prescribed burns now and hopefully in the future, for multiple benefits,” says Todd Bates, fuels management specialist. “This collaboration has been really exciting.”