Thoughts and images from our “Restoring Fire Safe Communities: Fire Mimicry and TEK” workshop at Indian Canyon (Nov. 11-13, 2022)

14 11 2022

Kanyon Sayers-Roods welcoming us to Indian Canyon with song and ceremony

In 2005 I had a thought (ironically, or not, beneath an Ancestor coast redwood) of creating a movement called Sudden Oak Life, with the intent of helping restore the dying oak forests of California through the efforts of fire mimicry. The movement has grown steadily over the years as more and more positive results from my fire mimicry practice have been documented. Now that I’m able to give more time to sharing these practices with the larger community, the Sudden Oak Life movement is now blooming.

Thanks to the fine efforts of EcoCamp Coyote and Indian Canyon Nation this past weekend we attracted more than 70 participants of all genders, ages, and ethnicities for our “Restoring Fire Safe Communities: Fire Mimicry and TEK” workshop at Indian Canyon. Along with my teachings on fire mimicry, we had TEK instruction led by Kanyon Sayers-Roods (Mutsun Ohlone) and Chanel Keller (Esselen Tribe), We were also honored to receive some heartfelt teachings from Anne Freiwald and Lydia Neilsen on methods of stream restoration. Ammon Felix guided us in the basics of chain saw safety and operation. At the end of the workshop, the enthusiasm of the participants for the teachings shared and the futures created were palpable.

I’m immensely pleased to see how this movement has grown in both size and diversity! Below are a few images of our event.

Clearing, thinning, and pruning to reduce fuel loads in an oak forest
Staging cut materials for burning and biochar production
Chanel Keller (Esselen Tribe) sharing her Traditional Ecological Knowledge
EcoCamp Coyote rockin’ the mobile off-grid kitchen
Preparing for our Saturday night dance party with DJ Hawk
Students learning how to surgiically remove a stem canker infection
Cauterizing the surgical wound
Applying a mineral poultice to the wound
Patrick teaching us about the healing Celtic symbology he applies to the limewashed oaks



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