reference : Managing California black oak for tribal ecocultural restoration

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/reference/5631fb79-8860-4b2f-98e9-ae2335ae28e0
Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract Many tribes in California and Oregon value California black oak (<i>Quercus kelloggii</i>) as a traditional source of food and other values. Over centuries or millennia, Native Americans learned that they could enhance production of desired resources by regularly igniting low-intensity surface fires in stands of black oak. Although black oak is likely to remain widespread in the future, a warming climate, increasingly dense forests, and altered fire regimes threaten the large, full-crowned mature trees that produce crops of high-quality acorns and provide cavities for many wildlife species. To examine the effects of different kinds of burns on tribal values including associated plants, fungi, and wildlife of special cultural significance, we reviewed and synthesized scientific studies of black oak in conjunction with interviews and workshops with tribal members who use the species and recall burning by their ancestors. We conducted two exploratory analyses to understand trends in large black oaks and potential tradeoffs regarding black oak restoration. Our findings identify opportunities for reintroducing low-intensity fire, in conjunction with thinning, to restore stands that are favorable for acorn gathering. We present examples of such projects and discuss how to overcome challenges in restoring the socioecological benefits of black oak ecosystems for tribes.<br></br> <b>Management and Policy Implications</b> Wildfires and forest densification threaten the large California black oaks that produce acorns valued by tribes for food and social well-being. Tribal members identified desired conditions including large black oaks with full crowns and low branches that produce abundant acorns free from pests and a relatively open ground surface with diverse plant communities and edible fungi near the oak trees. Tribal knowledge of using frequent, low-intensity fires and other traditional tending and gathering practices can advance strategies for promoting these conditions. Active treatments that remove competing conifer trees, reduce fuels, and reintroduce low-intensity fire are needed to support tribal values associated with gathering acorns and other plant resources associated with black oak stands. Targeting stands with large black oaks in gently sloped areas close to roads would promote tribal access while reducing the likelihood of adversely affecting sensitive wildlife such as spotted owls and fishers. Forest management plans can build on recent efforts to work with tribes in developing monitoring, forest thinning, and fire management activities to promote black oaks.
Author Long, Jonathan W.; Goode, Ron W.; Gutteriez, Raymond J.; Lackey, Jessica J.; Anderson, M. Kat
DOI 10.5849/jof.16-033
Date //
Issue 5
Journal Journal of Forestry
Keywords cultural burning; traditional ecological knowledge; forest planning; ecosystem services; landscape restoration
Pages 426-434
Title Managing California black oak for tribal ecocultural restoration
Volume 115
Year 2017
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 23682
_uuid 5631fb79-8860-4b2f-98e9-ae2335ae28e0