Posts in Category: Media

Native Fire: Prescribed Fire through Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Tribal communities and their traditional wisdom play an important role in fire management of our forests and rangelands today and into the future.

Jemez Pueblo offers centuries of valuable fire lessons

In the wake of the devastating 2018 fire season in California, I penned a guest column for the Albuquerque Journal on the lessons from the past to coexist with wildfire today. Ancestors of Native American residents of Jemez Pueblo lived sustainably in fire-prone Southwestern Ponderosa Pine forests for centuries. I have been fortunate to work with tribal members from Jemez Pueblo in an interdisciplinary research project to document fire and human history in their ancestral landscape.

We tend to treat our contemporary fire problems as uniquely modern ones. This overlooks the thousands of years of experience that indigenous communities have with fire on their lands. We have a lot to learn from the past. We should look to interdisciplinary environmental archaeology and the traditional ecological knowledge still held in these native communities today to help us make better decisions as our forests and communities are transformed by fire risk on a warming planet.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1260496

Fire, Climate, and Society at the Archaeology Cafe

This is a Throwback Thursday post to share the video of a public talk I gave as part of the Archaeology Southwest Archaeology Cafe series in Tucson in 2016. Here I talk about my work in Arizona documenting the benefits of indigenous burning on the long-term resilience of Southwestern forests.

NPR interview on KERA – Native American fire and bison hunting

Here is some more news coverage of my recent paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. I was interviewed by KERA’s Justin Martin, the local host for All Things Considered. You can read a summary and listen to the interview here.

You can access the original paper here or on my Publications page.

Roos, Christopher I., María Nieves Zedeño, Kacy L. Hollenback, and Mary M. H. Erlick (2018) Indigenous Impacts on North American Great Plains Fire Regimes of the Last Millennium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115:8143-8148.

CBC interview on ‘Quirks and Quarks’ – Native fire use and bison

I recently had the pleasure to do an interview on a CBC science radio show, ‘Quirks and Quarks’, about our recent paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about the sophisticated ways that Native hunters used fire to manage prairies and manipulate bison herds. You can read more and listen to the interview here.

Our work was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. You can find a link to the work here and on my Publications page.

Roos, Christopher I., María Nieves Zedeño, Kacy L. Hollenback, and Mary M. H. Erlick (2018) Indigenous Impacts on North American Great Plains Fire Regimes of the Last Millennium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115:8143-8148.

 

What kind of fire can we live with?

We often ask the wrong question: how do we stop wildfires? The real question should be: what kinds of fire can we live with?

Environmental archaeology can be valuable here because we can learn from the successes and failures of past societies to live in fire-prone settings. This is what my colleagues and I have been doing in partnership with the Pueblo of Jemez in northern New Mexico. How did Jemez people live in fire-adapted ponderosa pine forests so successfully for centuries when we are in danger of losing this forest type to mega-fires today?

I recently had an opportunity to chat about these issues with my old schoolmate, Maya Lilly. She has made a video from that chat for her environmentally conscious lifestyle channel, Gungho Eco. Check it out.

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