LA Times Op-Ed: Why Forest Managers Need to Team Up with Indigenous Fire PractitionersAugust 2, 2022
SMW attorney Sara A. Clark co-authored an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times calling for increased support for beneficial fires, especially in partnership with Indigenous fire practitioners, and for an update to our national approach to wildfire management.
The partnership between cultural fire practitioners and western scientists, which Clark is facilitating, calls for change in four areas: active land stewardship at the ecosystem level; restoration of tribal stewardship across both public and private lands; a significantly larger and better trained forest management workforce; and an acknowledgment that fire is part of the baseline environmental condition across Western states. Clark and her co-authors write that we need to fundamentally change the systems we’ve built to actively support cultural and prescribed fires in forested ecosystems, rather than engage in the futile and counterproductive effort to suppress all fires.
The full op-ed is available at https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-07-31/west-wildfire-prescribed-burn-indigenous-fire-practices or as a pdf here.