From the deadly conflagration in Hawaii to the toxic smoke blanketing the East Coast, this year’s wildland fires have driven home the reality that wildfires are a huge and growing threat. In response to this national crisis, in 2021 President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created the federal Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, which has just released its final report.
At the fall 2022 Environmental Law Conference, SMW partner Sara Clark moderated a panel titled “Restoring Beneficial Fire in California.” The conference, sponsored by the California Lawyers Association, is held every year at Yosemite National Park. Panel participants Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Craig Thomas, and Don Hankins discussed the history of fire exclusion in California and the […]
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 […]
California’s recent fire seasons have been staggeringly destructive, and are poised to worsen over upcoming decades as the impacts of climate change increase. Yet, we are not helpless. The use of beneficial fire—at the right times and in the right locations—can increase forest resiliency and reduce wildfire risk. California’s pending Strategic Plan for Expanding the Use of Beneficial Fire points public agencies in the right direction.
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger’s attorneys also regularly write for other publications. Some recent articles that may be of interest include: Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine: Black Lives Matter as Government Speech Daily Journal: Restoring California’s Leadership in Setting Tailpipe Emissions Standards Daily Journal: Competition and Collusion on the Road to Clean Cars ABA Environment, Energy, and […]
An agreement between the plaintiffs, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation – Belardes and the California Cultural Resources Preservation Alliance, Inc., and the university includes permanent protection of Puvungna, prohibits development, and allows continued religious and cultural Tribal activities.
Tribes Look to Expand Cultural Burning to Restore Traditional Practices and Address Catastrophic Wildfire Threats
People indigenous to California have proactively ignited the landscape to manage plants and wildlife, provide community protection, control insects and disease, and engage in cultural and religious practices since time immemorial. Experts estimate that before 1800, between 4.5 million and 12 million acres of the state burned annually, through some combination of lightening and cultural burning.
Karuk Tribe Releases “Good Fire” Report, Addressing Barriers and Solutions to Increasing Cultural Burning
SMW Attorneys Sara Clark and Andrew Miller, together with cultural fire practitioner Don Hankins, authored Good Fire: Current Barriers to the Expansion of Cultural Burning and Prescribed Fire in California and Recommended Solutions for the Karuk Tribe. The report, which has been extensively cited in the media and by policymakers, examines the specific challenges faced […]
San Francisco – Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP is proud to announce the addition of two new partners, Sara A. Clark and Sarah H. Sigman. Both attorneys were associates of the firm before joining the partnership. “We are excited to have Sara Clark and Sarah Sigman join our team of partners,” said Richard S. Taylor, […]
The firm represents the Colorado River Indian Tribes in tribal court actions to regain lands from non-Indian holdover tenants, resulting in a watershed Ninth Circuit ruling upholding tribal court jurisdiction. (Water Wheel Camp Recreation Area, Inc. v. LaRance, 642 F.3d 802 (9th Cir. 2011).)