Oaks in Monterey, CA respond to fire mimicry

1 01 2021

Three years ago I began fire mimicry treatments on a grove of very sick coast live oaks in Monterey, CA. the photos (above and below) indicate that most of the oaks have responded nicely, showing improvement in canopy density and lushness. Note that one severely diseased oak below (Case No. 20171202.6) had a surgery and cauterization procedure that appears to have been successful. At least for these trees, 2020 has ended on a positive note!

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Video recording of “Forest restoration theory and practice based on Indigenous cultural tending”

17 11 2020

Here a link to the video of my recent lecture and discussion in the course FORESTS, hosted by the Humanities Center of Texas Tech University. Many thanks to Bruce Clarke and Michael Borshuk for facilitating this talk! Please note that you need to enter the passcode below.

Passcode: Q35Uy1+?

Upcoming zoom lecture (Thursday, Nov. 12) – “Forest restoration theory and practice based on Indigenous cultural tending”

7 11 2020

This Thursday, November 12, (5:30 pm Pacific Time) I will be conducting a zoom lecture and discussion for the online course FORESTS, hosted by Texas Tech University, on the topic of β€œForest Restoration Theory and Practice Based on Indigenous Cultural Tending”. The points I will be addressing are: Gaia theory, ecological succession, fire ecology of California, evidence of cultural modification of trees and landscapes, and approaches to forest restoration. The lecture is open to all, just be sure to register beforehand. Follow the embedded link to register.

Fire mimicry results with oaks in Novato, CA

2 11 2020

The above coast live oak is a ~500 year old coast live oak that was clearly pollarded by resident Coast Miwok people. I recently inspected this and several other coast live oaks treated with fire mimicry in February of 2019. Due to the difference in time of year of the photos these results are not exact comparisons. Still, significant improvement in canopy density and lushness is apparent in all the oaks, except for the untreated (control) oak shown in the final image.

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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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