Friday, October 19, 2018

Traditional Forest Management

TED talk on Forest Management


As Paul says in the video, Native Americans managed the landscape with fire for thousands of years--in fact, the forests wouldn't exist without this legacy of fire.

Native American Forest Management

In California

 

Kat Anderson's, Tending The Wild is the definitive text on Native American land management in California.
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KCET: Cultural Burning, Episode 1

 


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Menominee Forest Keepers

 

"For more than 150 years, the Menominee have pioneered forestry practices that have preserved an ecosystem with numerous species and varied habitats. The result is a forest that is not only economically profitable, but also ecologically healthy.

The Menominee practice a sustained-yield approach to forestry; that is, they manage the forest to ensure that trees are harvested in amounts that will ensure a steady supply of timber far into the future. The Menominee approach is unique, blending modern forestry science with traditional beliefs embedded deep in their culture."

More info.



   

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Forests Are Human Artifacts

 

"Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did...but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison."

..."what the eco-imagery would like to picture as a pristine, untouched Urwelt [primeval world] in fact has been managed by people for millennia...[forests] are among the finest works of art on the planet."

"The Indians were the 'keystone species' of the American ecosystem...After disease killed off the Indians...buffalo vastly extended their range. Their numbers more than sextupled. The same occurred with elk and mule deer."

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Collapse of Native American populations changed the global climate by allowing forests to expand
When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they caused so much death and disease that it changed the global climate, a new study finds.

European settlers killed 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America, causing large swaths of farmland to be abandoned and reforested, researchers at University College London, or UCL, estimate. The increase in trees and vegetation across an area the size of France resulted in a massive decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, according to the study. 
Carbon levels changed enough to cool the Earth by 1610, researchers found. Columbus arrived in 1492. "CO2 and climate had been relatively stable until this point," said UCL Geography Professor Mark Maslin, one of the study's co-authors. "So, this is the first major change we see in the Earth's greenhouse gases."
Before this study, some scientists had argued the temperature change in the 1600s, called the Little Ice Age, was caused only by natural forces.
But by combining archaeological evidence, historical data and analysis of carbon found in Antarctic ice, the UCL researchers showed how the reforestation -- directly caused by the Europeans' arrival -- was a key component of the global chill, they said.
"For once, we've been able to balance all the boxes and realize that the only way the Little Ice Age was so intense is ... because of the genocide of millions of people," Maslin told CNN.

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