Chapter

The Use of Fire by Native Americans in California

M. Kat Anderson

in Fire in California's Ecosystems

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246058
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932272 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246058.003.0017
The Use of Fire by Native Americans in California

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This chapter investigates the Native American use of fire and discusses how this important cultural activity has influenced ecosystems and how it can continue in light of conflicting land management objectives. These uses included applying fire in fields and forests, keeping the country open, managing wildlife, manufacturing cultural items, and enhancing the growth of basketry material. Shrubs, trees, perennial bunchgrasses, herbaceous plants, sedges, rushes, and ferns can be managed with fire to enhance their quality and quantity. The ecological consequences of indigenous burning registers on organism, population, community, and landscape scales. Management of the landscape for cultural purposes remains an important activity for Native Americans today. A major issue for land management agencies is to provide opportunities for these practices to continue.

Keywords: fire; Native Americans; California; ecosystems; land management; forests; wildlife; basketry material; burning

Chapter.  7727 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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