Fire mimicry results from Piedmont, CA

19 10 2020

Here are some recent results from a grove of mature coast live oaks in Piedmont, CA treated with fire mimicry for the past 5 years. Most of the oaks are showing lusher, greener canopies, although one oak (shown below) has succumb to Sudden Oak Death. The remaining oaks have no sign of disease.

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Oaks in Pacific Grove, CA respond to fire mimicry

2 10 2020

Two years ago I treated 21 coast live oaks with fire mimicry at Canterbury Woods, a senior retirement center in Pacific Grove, CA. Today I inspected the oaks and re-photographed them. Here are the results. Most of the oaks appear to have a denser canopy after two years. Please take a careful look at the photos and judge for yourself.

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Initial stages of fire mimicry in Soquel, CA

27 09 2020

The last few days my crew and I have been doing fire mimicry treatments in a grove of coast live oaks in Soquel, CA. Here are the before-and-after photos of the areas we cleared, mimicking indigenous ground fires. Ideally, these areas will not only protect nearby homes and structures, they will also keep the surrounding forests free of canopy fires. Thus, we are saving not only the homes, but the adjacent forests as well from catastrophic fires.

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A lecture on my latest results – Texas Tech University online course: “Forests”

21 09 2020

This Fall 2020 I will be lecturing for the online course FORESTS, hosted by Texas Tech University, on the topic of “Forest Restoration Theory and Practice Based on Indigenous Cultural Tending”. The speaker list is excellent and I plan to participate on all of the lectures and discussions.

Tom “Little Bear” Nason, Esselen Elder, on the history of fire management in Big Sur

20 09 2020

I live on Esselen tribal land. The name “Esselen” is derived from the word Ex’xien, or “the rock”, assumed by many to be Point Sur (pictured above). Several years ago I met an Esselen tribal elder named Little Bear at a meeting of the Four Winds Council in Big Sur, CA. I have since joined him in sweat lodge ceremonies and jaunts into sacred redwood groves. His perspectives have fascinated me over the years I have known him.

With his permission I am reposting below a recent series of photos and commentaries by Little Bear on the history of land management here in Big Sur. Please pay attention!

Tom “Little Bear” Nason, September 20, 2020:

“My Great Grandfather Fred P Nason with guests in Pine Valley, Los Padres National Forest in 1940s. Our family has lived, loved and shared this sacred lands for over many generations and we always will forever.Our family has been practicing traditional native indigenous Esselen tribal burning of this valley up until 1970s. Government said STOP BURNING!! My Forefathers all told them that by ordering ceasing off these lands it would begin a dangerous situation by allowing the brush and scrub to grow out control and the forests would become choked off and when a natural force like lighting comes it would cause the lower brush to burn at high heat and kill the trees. In this photo you see many big ponderosa pine trees and open meadows surrounding them. As Natives of this lands we knew how to manage our lands and the forests. Since 1940s, we’ve had many wildfires come thru the Santa Lucia Mountains and some were good for the land and most have been extremely damaging. I will start posting more pictures and stories about how my family and tribe have seen our beloved and sacred places here in Big Sur changing so much due to imbalance and the deep sadness for losing so many of the old trees. We need change and it’s very challenging for all us to live with so many fires so frequently!! Prayers and Respect to all who listen to Mother NatureπŸ™πŸ½πŸŒ€πŸŒπŸŒ²πŸ»πŸ™πŸ½ Tom Little Bear Nason September 20th, 2020 Last Day of Summer🌞 Praying for Early Rains🌧

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Fire mimicry results with oaks in Carmel, CA

20 09 2020

Six years ago I began fire mimicry treatments on several coast live oaks in Carmel, CA. Three were infected with Armillaria disease, so I also surgically removed and cauterized the Armillaria stem cankers. Here are the results from a few says ago. Most of the oaks are showing denser, lusher canopies, and 2 out of the 3 Armillaria surgeries I performed appear to be successful.

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The Evolution of Gaian Science

19 09 2020

Here is a perspective piece I wrote on the evolution of Gaian science …

Fire mimicry results from oaks in Fairfax, CA

30 08 2020


Last week I inspected several coast live oaks that have received fire mimicry treatments for the past four years. The above and below photos show the results. Most of the oaks are showing noticeable imrpovement in canopy density, although two of the oaks do not show much change. Fortunately, these oaks have remained mostly free of disease.

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California’s big trees tell a story of overcrowding …

17 08 2020

I recently went on a several week journey to further investigate the big trees of California. Within the past month I have visited Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Forest, Sierra National Forest, Redwood National Park, and various northern California state parks. Simply put, there is an overcrowding problem, but not of tourists.


Above is a giant sequoia surrounded by dozens of younger trees, all of which are competing for the same resources as this ancient tree, In previous centuries, these younger trees would have been removed by fires set by the local California natives.


Fallen giant sequoias from paludification, along with over competition.

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Monterey oak responds to stem canker surgery

23 06 2020

In June of 2018 I performed fire mimicry treatment of an old coast live oak in Monterey, CA. The work included the surgical removal and cauterization of a bleeding stem canker, possibly Sudden Oak Death. Below are photos showing the procedure and as well as the recovery of the oak after two years. Be sure to look at the last photo!