A brief message to tribal leaders, resource managers, fire scientists and other interested parties (12 minutes 43 seconds)
Over the last two centuries, development, fire suppression, and resource management practices have increased wildfire incidence, severity, and costs. In response to growing wildfire hazard, the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) was created in 1998 as an interagency research, development, and applications partnership between the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An important focus of the JFSP is development and integration of science-based knowledge and tools to support wildland fire research and management, Western Science for Fire Management.
Fire has always been an important resource management tool for Indian tribes. Periodic under-burning not only produced desirable ecological conditions, but reduced fuel accumulations that might otherwise sustain intense fires and cause the catastrophic loss of property, resources, and lives. A fundamental land ethic, founded upon the survival imperative and implemented through adaptive management involving multiple and diverse values, has endured through millennia, in ways that conserve resources while providing for the needs of people. Indigenous legacies of experiential learning, based upon respectful interaction between man and nature, have evolved Traditional Ecological Knowledge.
There is a great potential for western science and traditional ecological knowledge to complement each other. The Intertribal Timber Council and the University of Washington, with support from JFSP, the BIA, and the Forest Service, are developing a proposal to promote sharing of fire-related information between tribes, agencies, and research organizations. Links on his page lead to a short video prepared to provide more information about this important opportunity, a draft proposal for your review and comment, and a site for you to share your thoughts on how a program can best be crafted to serve the needs of Indian Country.
Draft Proposal (PDF)