The Redwood Region Audubon Society will host two online programs on local and regional fire management on September 10 starting at 7 p.m. Margo Robbins will present “Traditional Fire Practices in a Contemporary Context” and Lenya Quinn-Davidson will discuss “Bringing Preferred Fire Back to the Gens.”
Robbins is Executive Director of the Cultural Fire Management Council, a nonprofit organization located in the Upper Yurok Reservation, and co-founder and co-leader of the Indigenous People’s Burn Network. She will explain how these two entities are helping tribes revive their traditional burning practices.
The Indigenous People’s Burn Network is a support network led by Native Americans who revitalize their traditional cultures of fire in a contemporary context. The long-term goal of the Indigenous People’s Burn Network is to help Indigenous nations across the United States and abroad recover their traditional fire regimes. Cultural practitioners from the Yurok, Hoopa and Karuk tribes, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, piloted this project which resulted in the creation of the Yurok, Hoopa, Karuk Healthy Country Plan which outlines a path for the three tribes to recover their traditional practices. burning. .
The Cultural Fire Management Council is implementing the strategies outlined in the Yurok, Hoopa, Karuk Healthy Country Plan, which include: establishing a family-led burning program, building local capacity , the launch of collaborative burning and learning opportunities and the strengthening of cultural fire support.
The mission of the Cultural Fire Management Council is “to facilitate the practice of cultural burning on the Yurok reserve and ancestral lands, which will lead to a healthier ecosystem for all plants and animals, fire protection to long term for residents and will provide a platform that will in turn support Yurok’s traditional hunting and gathering activities. Its long-term goal is to fully reclaim the sovereign rights to use fire as a tool to restore the Yurok ancestral territory into a healthy and viable ecosystem that supports the cultural lifestyles of the Yurok people.
The Cultural Fire Management Council has several strategies to achieve these goals. These include the continued implementation of a cultural burn program, strengthening state and federal support for cultural burning, local capacity building, public awareness of good fires, and intergenerational knowledge transfer.
Robbins graduated from Humboldt State University in 1987 and comes from the traditional Yurok village of Morek. She is a registered member of the Yurok Tribe. She collects and prepares traditional foods and medicines, and is a weaver and badge maker. She is also Director of Indian Education for Klamath-Trinity Joint School District Mother and Grandmother.
Quinn-Davidson, Regional Fire Advisor for the University of California Co-operative Extension, will discuss recent efforts to put prescribed burning back into the hands of landowners, community members and cultural practitioners in all of California. Prescribed burning is used to increase biodiversity, reduce fire risk, and increase landscape and community resilience, and recent catastrophic forest fire seasons have sparked national interest in increasing its use. Quinn-Davidson will share her community work in Humboldt County, as well as statewide policies and community organizing activities that are changing the face of prescribed burn in the West.
Quinn-Davidson’s primary focus is the human connection to fire and increasing the use of prescribed burning for habitat restoration, invasive species control, and the resilience of ecosystems and communities. She works on prescribed burn issues at different scales, including locally in Humboldt County, where she works with private landowners to bring fire back as a land management tool; at the state level, where she collaborates on prescribed burning policy and research; and nationally, through his work and leadership on Prescribed Burning Training Exchanges (TREX).
Quinn-Davidson received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in social science from Humboldt State University. She is passionate about using prescribed burning to inspire and empower people, from rural pastoralists and agency leaders to young women pursuing careers in fire management and everyone in between.
Visit www.rras.org for the link to join these presentations.