Anthro C12AC

Anthropocene #

  • The time when human activity began to have an influence on (global) landscape due to our use of fire
  • Large subject used in a range of fields – no single definition
  • Defining feature: combustion of carbon and greenhouse gases
  • Ice core measurement technique
    • As ice forms, methane and .$\text{CO}_2$ get trapped along with ash/dust/pollen which scientists can measure by coring
    • Ice can be dated so we can compare these variables so we can see change in greenhouse gases over time
  • Beginning is disputed
    • Industrial revolution (1780s)
      • Most popular among scholars
    • Atomic Testing (1940s)
      • The isotopic by-products of bomb testing provide a distinctive marker horizon in ice cores, ocean and lake sediments, and soils
    • Stages idea:
      • Includes vital events such as forest cutting and grassland conversion: the two largest spatial transformations of Earth’s surface in human history
      1. 1.8 million years ago: When fire was discovered
      2. 6000-4000s years ago: With neolithic agriculture
      3. 1780s: Industrial revolution
  • Identifying fire requirements:
    1. Evidence of temporal or spatial changes in fire activity and vegetation
    2. Demonstration that these changes are not predicted by climate parameters alone
    3. Temporal/spatial coincidence between fire regime changes and changes in the human record

Pyrogeography #

  • History of the variation of fire activity over space and time at the landscape scale in different regions of the world
  • Pyrogeography started in Silurian period when plant life began
  • Fire requirements: .$\text{13% O}_2$ in a normal environment and .$\text{30%}$ in damp vegetation.
  • Fires are a selection force in the evolution of plants

Four phases for Pyrogeography #

1. Natural Biospheric Fire – Natural Fire Regime #

  • (Potential) start date for pyrogeography
  • During Silurian and Devonian Periods (440-400 HYA)
  • Natural fire regime started during this period because it was the first time that the fire triangle came together
  • Fire triangle:
    • Ignition Source: (Since beginning) Natural ignition from lightening (most common), volcanoes, (rarely) falling rock sparks
      • These natural sources tend to only begin fires in the dry season
      • Lightening is most common in mountain regions (over a costal region)
    • Oxygen Source: (Cambrian period) Atmospheric Oxygen (from photosynthetic plants) leads to appearance of photosynthetic organisms
    • Fuel Source: (Silurian and Devonian Periods) Enough terrestrial plants in ecosystems to acts as fuel
  • During this time, natural fire regimes evolved
    • As coal became more common (Carboniferous period), fires did too
  • Started long time ago, before humans and dinosaurs

2. Wildland Anthropogenic Fire – Hunter/Gatherer Fire Regime #

  • When people began acting as the ignition source
  • Primarily used fire for domestic cases
    • Heating, cooking, warmth, etc.
  • When people move to a new land
    • Major changes in fauna, vegetation, and fires (charcoal)
    • People seem to bring fire with them as they migrate
  • Start dates
    • 40 ka for Australia
      • 90% of fauna went extinct
      • Lots of evidence of fire
    • 45 ka for Highland New Guinea
    • 50 ka for lowland Borneo
    • 20 ka for the Americas
      • Extinctions of many animals and vegetation
        • Debate: are these because of natural process like climate change (ice age -> post ice age?) or do people play a large role
      • Native Perspective – Indigenous people have been here since time began

When did humans actually discover fire? #

  • Defining the bridge between phase one and two is difficult
  • Definition problems
    • Do we ask when did (modern humans / hominin ancestors) develop the ability to control and utilize fire?
    • We also need to distinguish between (1) controlling / utilizing fire and (2) being able to start a fire on a whim
  • Archeological problems
    • Fire exists naturally, so we can’t assume all fire evidence is from human action
    • Other natural processes can look like fire (e.g. staining by minerals in soil, oxidation causing reddish patches)
    • Combustion of natural objects (e.g. bushes) can leave charcoal which looks like a human hearth
      • Additionally, evidence of a hearth doesn’t mean that humans started/controlled fire
    • Provides a single snapshot, has little temporal depth
  • Archaeological Record Analysis
    • In the field:
      • Observation and collection of materials
      • Study the geology of the site
    • In the lab:
      • Microscopic analysis to see if there was burning
      • If so, could the location of the sample been transported after combustion?
      • Further, how does the history of the burned object associate with cultural items

How long has fire been controlled? #

  • Europe: Strong evidence of 400,000 - 300,000 years ago
  • Western Asia: One established case from 780,000 years ago. Other sites are similar to Europe
  • Africa: Claims have been made for a cave site that shows fire around 1.5-1.6 million years ago
  • Note that opportunistic use of fire could have happened much earlier
    • Eg. lighting a torch from a natural-starting forest fire

3. Agriculture Anthropogenic Fire – Agricultural Fire Regime #

  • Required fire to alter the natural vegetation from perennial-dominated to annual-dominated landscapes.
  • People preferred to live in fire-prone places because the burning provides advantages for hunting, foraging, cultivating, and livestock herding

4. Industrial and Domestic Anthropogenic Fire – Industrial Fire Regime #

  • Low-severity surface fire regimes are being replaced with low-frequency, high-intensity crown fires that are outside the historical range of variability for these ecosystems
  • Western US: forests have also experienced an increase in hazardous fuels due to highly effective fire suppression policy that excluded fires for much of the 20th century
  • Eastern US: Fire suppression has shifted oak and pine woodlands to mesophytic hardwoods consequently reducing flammability and fire activity
  • Globally: urban areas have steadily expanded into wildland areas
    • Producing more ignition sources (arson and accidental)
    • Exposing more people to wildfire

Key Factors in Fire Regimes (Discussion 8-30) #

  1. Frequency
    • The interval of fire occurrences
    • E.x. every four years
  2. Area
    • Size, distribution, location
    • Ground fires (primarily dead plants) vs crown (burning upper canopy of living trees)
      • Crown fires areas are more difficult to manage because controlled burns still damage natural resources
  3. Severity
    • How destructive a fire is (high mortality = high severity)
    • Change in dominant species / change in ecosystem
    • Quantifiable by how much soil on the ground is visible
  4. Seasonality
    • How the season affects fires
    • May or may not be annual
    • May arise due to weather conditions
    • Ex. Annual to decadal cycles of drying conditions
  5. Interactions
    • General activity on the landscape leading to different fire outcomes
    • Droughts leading to stress on fuels
    • Beatles eating bark, making trees more vulnerable
    • Fire suppression leading to less severe fires
    • Climate change making fires more severe

Biodiversity and Fire as a Selective Variable in Evolution #

  • .$\text{C}_4$ grass
    • Spread during seasonal climate in the tertiary period (when fires became more common)
    • Fires lead to woodlands and created environments favorable to .$\text{C}_4$ grasslands
    • Since .$\text{C}_4$ is high flammability, it would have produced a feedback process that further increased fire activity,
      • Thus maintaining the grassland-dominated landscape
      • This process is similar to the one currently maintaining many of our savannas
  • Plant attributes
    • Heat shock
      • Certain species have seeds that will open with heat
      • Not exclusive to fire; correlated with soil heat too
    • Smoke
      • Highly selective and specific to fire
      • Smoke is a mixture of specific chemicals unique to itself
    • Note that plants become resistant to certain fire regimes, not necessarily all
      • Changes in fire regime can kill off fire resistant plants
  • Even small differences in the deployment of fire outside of natural lightning strikes can alter patterns of forest succession, fuel availability, and seasonality of ignitions

Fires Relating to Evolution #

  • Beneficial Attributes
    • Cooking hypothesis
      • Key claim: Fire + cooking started with the Homo erectus. As such, humans have evolved around a cooked diet that they can’t live without
      • Led to fitness advantage
      • More energy + nutrient from food, enabling body and brain size increase
      • Detoxing effect
      • Increase digestibility of all food
      • Cooking takes time, leading to social development
        • Distribution of tasks among group: (collection, preparation, even stealing)
      • Cooking accounts for reduction in jaw, tooth size (due to softer food), stomach, and digestive system size
      • There is no evidence of modern human societies existing without cooked food
      • Counterpoints:
        • It’s still unclear that Homo erectus controlled fire
        • There are some sites that show no example of cooking: e.g. Neanderthal sites in cold climates
        • Energetic effects aren’t well quantified
        • Digestive evolution may not have been linear; other adaptations related to fire occurred after Homo erectus
    • Protection benefits at night (especially versus the alternative: sleeping in trees)
    • Allowed much better vision in caves
      • Enables cave art
    • Evidence that some hominids could use fire to morph certain woods into tools (e.g. digging sticks, hafted spears)
    • Allowed humans to colonize colder environments
    • Increase prey abundances, maintain mosaic landscapes, and increase pyrodiversity and succession stage heterogeneity
  • Social bonding
    • Led to camp fires
    • Allows people to stay up later
    • Fire could be used as a story telling enhancer, means to pass on history, culture, etc.
    • Provides a sense of intimacy and openness
    • Opportunity for music
  • Fire-stick farming
    • clearing ground for human habitats
    • facilitating travel
    • killing vermin, hunting
    • regenerating plant food sources for both humans and livestock
    • warfare among tribes
  • Woody, closed-canopy shrublands were opened up or entirely displaced
    • Led to spread of fast-growing annual species that provided greater seed resources, travel, and hunting and planting opportunities
    • Ex. CA land was only used for agriculture after burnings, which led to many other alien plants spreading too
    • Reductions in arboreal cover and woody understory have the most potential to enhance erosion
    • Reshaping of landscapes has posed problems for ecologists trying to understand contemporary landscape patterns

Overview of Fires in California #

Conflagrating California

  • ~54% of CA ecosystems depend on fire
  • The remaining ecosystems that aren’t too extreme for fires (so not deserts, stony summits, wetlands, etc.) are fire adapted

    “Fire season is 13 months”

  • CA has a diverse ecosystem; each site is similar to another one elsewhere though
  • What sets CA apart is the scale and intensity of it’s fires

  • CA’s fires are unique in that they lead national discourse
  • Texas views the US as France views the EUnion – a canvas to project it’s ideals
  • Alaska view the US as a source of subsidies. It’s isolated and treated almost as a commonwealth.
  • California shares sizes, political isolation, and sense of selfhood with the aforementioned.
    • Unlike AL, it has a strong and wide economy
    • Unlike TX, it has been independent but not secessionist and, while CA and TX both have strong cultures, CA doesn’t project its
  • Importance - 1/9 Americans live in CA - 8th largest economy - Social uses 1/2 the national fire budget - Source (and testing ground) of new firefighting technology

    “CA is like the rest of the US, just more so”


  • Two CA
    • North and south
    • Sierra and Seacoast
    • Rich and poor
    • Scrubland, megalopolis, & wilderness
    • Lowest and highest elevation in nation (Mount Whitney @ 14,500 ft and Death Valley @ -280 ft)
  • Sierra Nevada is analogous to NoCal
    • Big tilt
    • Highest in SE and slants lower to N + W
    • Mostly timber
    • More frequent fires
  • Transverse Range is analogous to SoCal
    • Big Kink
    • Highest in E, bends sharp W then trails to pacific and N
    • Mostly bush
    • More intense fires
    • 56% of ppl live on 8% of land

  • CA is a national innovator
    • Created geological survey in 1860
    • Created Board of Forestry in 1885
    • Set standard for fire control
  • Light-burning controversy
    • Pro-burn:
      • Frontier practices (the Indian way of forest management)
      • Advocated for regular burning montane woods and lowlands
      • NoCal
    • Pro-protection
      • Use govt to prevent\fight fires
      • SoCal
    • National issue debated in CA
    • 1923: Light-burning anathematized

  • Leopold report, Wilderness Act, and Tall Timbers fire ecology conferences
    • Began in 1962
    • Aimed to transform fire control into fire management
    • Good for conservation + private land owners who wanted traditional working landscapes
    • Loggers and ranchers started moving out at this time
    • Didn’t target urban areas
  • Urban Areas
    • Used fire suppression

      CA to spawn as AK to wilderness

    • Fires in SoCal rained embers onto cities
    • SoCal retaliated w larger firefighting force
  • New Practices
    • Operation Firestop: Transform tech into operational programs
    • 1956: Aerial tankers used to drop retardant on firelines
    • 1961: Specialty fire crews expanded nationally
    • 1963: Forest Service opened Western Fire Lab to coordinate fire suppression w air attacks
    • 1970: Organized SoCal fire agencies towards common practices
  • Area Specialty
    • Florida: Prescribed fire
    • N Rockies: Management over back countries
    • (So)Cal: Fire suppression
      • Land management in Cali was synonymous to fire management, thus fire suppression

  • As CA grew, the motivation for fire suppression was primarily economical
  • This lead to divisive debates of suppression vs let-burn
    • When there were flames, it was fight or flight
  • Many fire ideas spread from CA
    • Often transformed and simplified

  • Fires are especially susceptible due to Scioecological Systems (SES)
    1. History of fires suppression
    2. Climate change
    3. More extreme fire weather
    4. Expanding development
    5. Droughts
  • Difficult to predict future fire regimes well
  • Changes in human behavior can amplify, but tend to cancel out climatic effects on fire regimes
    • For example, humans alter through changing land use, ignitions, fuel conditions, or fire suppression
    • Fire activity is influenced by climate variability
      • More (less) fire occurred in dry (wet) and warm (cool) years, and high-fire years were preceded by moist and sometimes cool conditions 1–4 y earlier.
    • (Sierra Nevada) fire-regime shifts correlate to SES changes, not shifts in climate.
  • Are best bet is to look at history and see how fire regimes changed from past changes in socioeconomic variables
    • Climate increased fire activity on a large-scale after Native American depopulation reduced the buffering effect of due to their burnings
      • Sierra Nevada tribes were hunter-gatherers who used sophisticated burning practices to manage resources
      • The fire index nearly doubled after depopulation
    • Later Euro-American settlement and fire suppression buffered fire activity from temperature increases
      • Logging, fire suppression, livestock increase (grazing effects)
  • The overall sensitivity of fire regimes to low-frequency temperature variation is related to temperature-driven vegetation changes that alter fuel structure and fuel type

Peopling of North America #

  • Traditional Perspective – Clovis First Model
    • 13,000 ka, there was an ice-free corridor that opened up and let people come to north America
      • People from Asia follow herds of megafauna across Bering Strait ( Beringia)
    • We have found kill sites across America
      • Butchered mammoth, horses, bison, ground sloths, etc.
  • New Thoughts about Peopling of Americas: Multiple Migrations of People 20,000-40,000 years ago
  • Coastal Migration Model:
    • Use Boats to Come to Americas from Asia
    • Some travels may not have been successful which is why there is less evidence for this theory
    • Based on:
      1. Evidence sophisticated cultures
        • Art, pottery, (primitive) technology, etc.
      2. Evidence of maritime seafaring at early date (Australia, New Guinea, Japan)
      3. People follow the Kelp Highway Maritime
        • Kelp forests very productive (food source)
        • Kelp Highway went along Pacific Rim

Peopling of California #

  • Earliest well dated sites in CA (13,000-10,000 BP) [Based on radio carbon dates]

    • Sites located in SoCal: Channel Islands, South Coast
    • These Islands have always been separated by water so we know people had boats relatively early
  • Find Evidence of Shell Middens

    • Contain shell, fish, other maritime foods
    • Have evidence of tools for kelp + technology
    • Big Game Kill Sites rare in California Dietary Differences (Midwest/Plains vs California)
      • Perhaps because of dietary differences
      • Suggests different groups of people, so potentially different groups of migrants
  • Major Changes observed on Channel Islands

    • Changes in Fauna (Pygmy Mammoths)
    • Changes in Flora
    • Evidence of Fires!
  • Debate about what caused these changes

    • Due to…
      • Climate Change
        • Climate change at end of Ice Age
          • Mega herbivores died after ice age, increasing fuel sources (vegetation) which we can see with charcoal signatures
        • Causes warming + drying (leading to fire)
        • Changes in vegetation and animals because they couldn’t adapt
      • Comet
        • Newest theory
        • Estimated that 5km comet hit earth somewhere
        • We’ve found comet-diamonds and various sites that have chemical signatures potentially from a comet
        • Cloud from comet would have affected photo-synthetic processes, killing plants + animals
      • People
        • People may have over-hunted animals
        • May have brought fire with them
    • Potentially due to multiple reasons
    • Kent thinks it’s likely climate change + people
  • Concluding Points

    • Clearly people knew about fire from earliest times
    • Very Sophisticated Maritime Peoples
    • (Kent’s opinion) Early for early anthropogenic
    • Influenced fire regimes from earliest times
    • Implications: the Holocene Epoch in CA
    • (last 10,000 years); you cannot assume
    • That only Natural Fire Regimes existed
    • Must consider the influence of people

Historical Fire Records in California #

Methods #

  • Key Question: What methods can we use to get historical information on fires?

1. Coring Lakes #

Lake Coring

  • Annual layers are laid down in some lakes
    • Realistically you can date to around fifty years of accuracy
    • This samples have deeper temporal depth vs other methods
    • We can also radiocarbon date these samples to determine the time period
  • What to sample
    • Charcoal present is indicates fire
      • Larger particle tend to travel small distances
      • Smaller particles can travel much longer distances
      • Some plants may be easier/harder to identify than others
    • Pollen analysis can give you knowledge on what (wind pollinated) plants were common at the time in that area
      • Provides broad perspective of vegetation over time
      • Pollen can travel far, so resolution isn’t great
    • Phytoliths
      • Tiny particles formed in many plants
      • They don’t break down – can stay in soil for hundreds to thousands of years!
      • Can be used to identify plant species
      • Cons: Not all plants produce them; overrepresented in grasses

2. Coring Trees #

Tree Coring

  • You basically jab a metal straw into a tree and get a sample of the tree
    • Doesn’t harm tree, tree naturally patches the hole itself
  • These sample contain rings
  • Give us age and growth rate of the tree
    • Growth increase in rings can allude to neighboring trees being killed
    • Dead neighboring trees means less canopy blocking sunshine and less trees competing for nutrients
  • Multiple samples can give us an overview of a landscape
    • Do we see a multi-age forest?
    • Do we see synchrony in growth rate?
  • Crossdating: To identify events, we compare the sample’s tree rings to those of other “regular” trees in different areas at the same time

Ring Example

  • Note that the example above is a rare occurrence

3. Fire Scars #

Scar Example

  • Fire scars occur when fire kills part of the cambium below bark, leaving a wound
    • The scar itself takes ~10 years to show up
  • Multiple dated wounds allude to multiple fire occurrences
  • You can also get the seasonality too
    • Spring trees have warmer water so the scars are lighter in color
    • Fall/winter trees have slower cell movement, so the scars are darker (this is called “latewood”)
    • Therefore, how deep the scar is in the wood corresponds to the season the fire occurred
  • Use crossdating for high accuracy and precision
  • Pines, White oaks, Sequoia, Redwood, Incense, and Cedars are all good trees to take samples from
  • Wedges:
    • You can take wedges from the tree to get access to the ring view
    • Both living and dead wood samples can be dated
    • Pines, redwood, cedar, giant sequoia are all rot resistant thus good species to sample
    • You ideally want to cut a thin wedge that has a large surface area and includes center of tree
  • Downsides
    • Trees heal covering up scars or scars are in an exposed cavity that can be seen
    • Problem when fire interval < 10 years (such as cultural burnings)
      • Most of the time fires aren’t severe enough to scare deeply enough and if they do scar, it’s feint
      • Only 5% of trees sampled scarred in Sierra Nevada
    • Fire scars have a finite lifespan (tree lifespan)
    • Paints picture only of a certain plant in the landscape

Fire History Study Sierra Nevada #

  • Two large sampling areas, one north and south Sierra Nevada
  • Systematic fire history sample in mixed conifer forests
  • Important confluence of at least 3 Tribes: Sierra Miwok, Yokut, and Western Mono.
    • Burned extensively for multiple objectives
    • This periodic burning limited severity of fires
  • Fire area did not exceed 1500 ha in any year.
    • Approximately 50% of area
    • This is tiny compared to the scale of other fires in California!

Area burned in California #

  • Before 1800
    • Lightning fire
    • Indian burning
      • Burned most of grasslands, wetlands, oak woodlands, some forests
    • 4.5 million acres/yr. burned

Costal California Today #

  • Large area: scotia to Morro bay
  • Very diverse vegetation type
    • From mixed conifer to costal prairie
    • Fire regimes depend on vegetation, thus they’re diverse
    • Likewise, some regions don’t consider burning at all and only do suppression whereas others use burnings frequently
  • General ignition sources
    • At higher mountains, lighting ignition occurs (still rare, however)
    • At lower elevations / costal areas, human ignition is the main sources
      • Looking at history, we see that Indian fires dominated for thousands of years
  • Sudden oak death (SOD) in Tanoak Forest
    • Invasive pathogen in Marin Country
    • Dead trees increase the severity of fires
  • Prescribed fire periods
    • Done in fall if not drying to damage trees
      • Trees are in dormant phase, less damaging
    • Done in spring if trying to control/limit
      • Wet spring conditions are easier to manage

Location Types #

  • Costal Prairie
    • Interval: Short
      • Frequent fires critical to killing shrubs/trees
      • Therefore, due to human intervention douglas-fir and shrublands have began to take over prairies
    • Source: Indian
    • Type: high – removes overstory of grass
    • Size: Small to moderate
  • Coast Redwood
    • Severity: low
      • Have thick, adapted bark
    • Interval: Short up to 1880’s
    • Size: Small to moderate
    • Source: Indian burnings
    • Can re-sprout after fires
    • Redwoods are very fire and rot resistant so many contain information about fires
    • Difficult to date because the asynchronous ring structure
  • California Annual Grasslands
    • Interval: Short
      • Interval needs to be short so that shrubs don’t come in
      • Practicing fire suppression/exclusion results in quick spreading, non-fire resistant plants like douglas-firs taking over
    • Severity: high – removes overstory of grass
    • Size: Moderate to Large
    • Non-native plants dominate today, very different
      • Human intervention lead to overgrazing and drought which enhanced ability for mediterranean plants to prosper
      • It’s hard to go back and restore to native ecosystem state
  • Coastal Scrub – Coyote Bush (Oakland hills)
    • Interval: Moderate
    • Severity: High
    • Size: Moderate
    • Source: Indian burnings for diverse objectives
  • Oak Woodlands, Mixed Oak Woodland
    • Severity: Low
      • Have thick, adapted bark
    • Frequency: High
    • Size: Small
    • Naturally dense
      • Very dense nowadays due to lack of Indian burnings
      • Dense locations are less productive than managed and open areas
    • Mosaic of vegetation patches created that limit fire spread
  • Chaparral
    • Interval: Low-Moderate
      • Frequent burnings can lead to (invasive) grassland conversion (especially in SoCal)
      • Many other “fire follower” species begin growing after fires too
    • Severity: High
      • Very volatile even in spring (non-dry conditions)
    • Size: Moderate to high
    • Stand replacing regime
      • 30-75 yr. interval
      • Crown fire adapted
      • High intensity burns
      • Climate driven
        • Droughts
        • Low fuel moistures
        • Foehn winds – Winds from east that are generally dry and warm
    • Fire scars – not common
  • Knobcone Pine
    • Severity: High - High severity required to activate seeds
    • Interval: Moderate to long
    • Size: Moderate to large
    • Overstory tends to burn completely
  • Douglas-fir in North Coast
    • Severity: Moderate
      • Not adapted for fire (have thin bark)
    • Interval: Low to moderate
    • Size: Moderate
    • Changed from fire exclusion, harvesting, and fire suppression

Native Californians #

  • Long-History of Human Occupation in CA
    • Archaeological Evidence: 13,000 years or more
    • Evidence for multiple immigrations from both sea and land to California
    • Diverse composition of people
  • Native communities are still in California
    • 110+ recognized tribes today in CA
    • We can learn from them now about how they treated fire over history
    • 80-100 languages spoken between all tribes
      • Evidence for multiple immigration waves
    • The concentration of native communities is most dense North of Mexico
  • Packed Landscapes:
    • Many Tribes (Tribelets) or Small Nations
    • 100-1000 people make up polities
    • Mostly small Tribal territories
    • Crowded Landscapes
  • Complex Societies
    • Village Communities have Elaborate Ritual and Political Organizations
      • Different people would specialize in different areas
    • Food Storage (Granaries)
    • Sophisticated Material Culture: Baskets, Shell Beads, etc.
  • Non-Agrarian People
    • No formal agriculture practices outside SE CA
    • Sustainer primarily by hunting/gathering (use of wild plants and gatherers)
    • Adjacent Areas – neighboring people would grow corn, beans, squash but Indians chose not to practice agriculture
    • Perception about Non-Agrarian people Changed over time
      • (Falsely) Seen initially as passive foragers that minimal impact to environment

Indigenous Stewards of Land and Sea #

  • Better way of describing CA Indians (compared to hunter gatherers)
  • Indians worked/work as Active Agents to Augment Environmental Productivity and Diversity
  • Seascape Stewardship: Various ways Native people enhanced the productivity and sustainability of shellfish populations and fisheries
  • Landscape Stewardship:
  • Anthropological Rethinking back to 1940s, picks up steam in 1970s, 1980s that culminates with Anderson 2005 publication
  • Various Methods Employed in Landscape Management Practices:
    • Transplanting Water Diversion
    • Pruning/Coppicing
    • Weeding/Tillage Sowing/Broadcasting Seeds
    • All for the purpose of enhancing productivity of natural plants/animals
  • Most Important: Anthropogenic or Cultural Burning was the key method of stewardship
    • Long History in California (Channel Islands)?
    • Mediterranean Climate is Fire Enabler
      • Wet cool winters lead to high plant production
      • Dry and drought-ful summers provide a dry, extensive fuel base
    • Native Californians realized that fire was a natural occurrence and learned to live with fire
    • Reasoning for Cultural Burnings (Landscape scale)
      1. Fires Control Insects/Pests
      2. Remove Detritus, clean-up landscape
        • Allows light through which leads to healthy growth
      3. Open Pathways
      4. Use Fire to Hunt Game (driving animals into traps/valleys) and Insects
      5. Produce Straight Stems for cordage, baskets
      6. Augment Growth/Diversity of Plants and Animals in Territory
        • Grasslands and other plants may have deeper roots which make them more difficult to kill
      7. Increases productivity of nutrient rich plants that animals eat
        • Deer heard sizes are correlated with burnings
      8. Stimulate Growth of broad spectrum of economic resources
        • Through burning in Patchy Mosaics
    • How Areas Were Burned
      • Instigate fire regimes with frequent, small, low-intensity surface burns
        • Seasonality of burning very important to minimize risk of catastrophic fires
        • Additionally, risk reduced by reduce fuel loads + creating fuel breaks
      • Burn to increase productivity and stimulate growth of broad spectrum of economic resources
        • Notably shrubs with berries, oak woodlands, coniferous
      • Intentionally create Patchy Mosaics
        • Increase quantity, diversity and sustainability of key plants and animals
        • Different environments benefit from different style burnings resulting in checkerboard-esque patterns
        • Used for foods, medicines, and raw materials
        • Minimize risk of catastrophic fires due to reduced fuel loads and fire breaks
      • Burn areas contained by natural rivers/hills/ridges/basalt flows
    • Implications of Cultural Burning
      • Not Pristine Wilderness, but Managed Anthropogenic Landscape – you have to take into account Indians when looking at CA’s landscape
      • You can’t do restoration without bringing in people
        • Now, because of a lack of recent cultural burnings, some habitats are struggling

Controversy regarding cultural burnings #

  • Some argue that cultural fires were small in size, near villages, and had little impact on the larger ecosystem
  • Rather, natural fires best explain these fires
  • Evidence Types tend to be soft;
    1. Tribal Oral Traditions have a Short Temporal Depth for cultural burnings
      • Observations limited primarily to last 250 years
    2. Limitations arise when primarily referring to Ethnohistoric Sources
      • Ethnohistoric Studies are from (typically Spaniard around 1600-1700) explorers and not trained as anthropologists
      • Accounts tend to be spotty, geographically biased, and not very detailed
      • Sources don’t include key fire regime aspects (freq, seasonality, severity, area, synergy)
      • Susceptible to biases, uncertainty, and anecdotes
    3. Ethnographic Studies
      • Information is word of mouth history from within the tribe that’s passed from one generation to another
      • Recorded by anthropologists
      • Information is very brief/general and lacking in our definition of fire regime now
      • Old archeologists may have viewed Indians as hunter/gatherers (which is wrong!)
      • Colonizers prevented cultural fires (fire exclusion)
        • Fire exclusion is when fire is indirectly removed from the environment
          • E.x. adding livestock removes fuels, reducing/removing fire
          • E.x. Colonizers removing Natives (for reasons other than their cultural burnings) removed fires, changing fire regime
        • Whereas fire suppression is mindful + target specifically at stopping fires
          • E.x. Using firetrucks, airplanes, etc. to stop a fire from spreading
          • E.x laws preventing you from creating fires during the dry season
      • Thus, when we started Ethnographic studies in 1901(ish), we didn’t see the history before because current tribes weren’t allowed to perform cultural burnings
  • Instead, critics would like to see hard ecological data (fire scars, pollen analysis, charcoal accumulation, phytoliths)
  • Two main reasons to address these criticisms
    1. Differential impacts due to colonialism in different spaces and at different times
      • Some areas colonized much earlier than others in the state
        • Central and Souther coast colonized 2.5 centuries ago by Spaniards
        • Others only were colonized during the gold rush)
      • Some tribes subjected to Fire Exclusion/Suppression policies
        • Lacking specific information about when these policies were enacted
        • Tribes colonized during gold rush tend to have more information than those colonized earlier in time
      • Consequently, some tribes have not been able to practice Cultural burning for generations
    2. Political Implications
      • Some scholars argue that there is no real evidence that Native people were good stewards of the land
        • Point to times when animals/plants went extinct
      • Consequently, they should not play a special role in decision making Ecological restoration projects today
        • Nor play much of a role in the management of our public Lands today

Eco-archaeological Research #

  • Eco-archaeological Research: When we bridge ecological studies with anthropological / archeological studies and native Oral traditions
  • Tries to tackle Major Challenge of Eco-Archaeological Research: Differentiating Natural Fire Regimes from Anthropogenic Fire Regimes
    • Compare Expected Fire Regime from Lightning Strikes with Observed Fire Regime Based on multiple lines of evidence

Lightening Strikes

  • Long-Term Diachronic Approach that Employ Multiple Lines of Evidence:
    1. Native Oral Histories/Traditions
    2. Ethnohistorical Accounts
    3. Ethnographic Studies
    4. Ecological Studies of Fire
    5. Archaeological Research
    6. Other methods
  • Involves Researching with Tribes

Two Case Studies #

1. Sierra Nevada Mountains #

  • Difficult to carry out research because of high ignition rate due to lightening being common
    • Hard to differentiate between natural and anthropogenic fires
  • Research done by Linn Gassaway
    • Specifically looks at Yosemite Valley which Home of Southern Sierra Miwok people
    • Utilized Ethnohistory, Ethnography, Archaeology, Dendroecology (Fires Scars)
  • Lightning Fires less Frequent in Valley Floor, more common on mountain peaks
    • Natural Fire Regime in the valley has a Long Interval Between Lightning Ignited Fires
  • Three Basic Findings By Gassaway:
    1. Fires more Frequent for prehistoric, protohistoric historic times than expected for Natural Fires Alone
      • Evidence for potential Cultural Burning
    2. Still evidence of fire activity in 1800s (When Native peoples were removed)
      • Miwok people still maintaining traditional fire practices?
    3. 1890s: Fire frequency reduced when Military takes over administration of Yosemite Valley – Evidence for Fire Suppression

2. Eco-Archaeological Study of Central Coast of CA #

  • Research done by John Keeley
    • Central Coast great place to do study of Cultural Burning
    • Hypothesis Presented for Strong Likelihood of Cultural Burning Here
    • Low Frequency of Lightning on Coast
      • Natural Fire Return Interval around 50 to 100 Years
      • Greater Bay Area: About 2-5 lightning ignitions per hundred kilometers squared per century
    • Conditions of high frequency (around 5 years) fire interval (cultural burnings)
      • Forests dominated by Douglas fir would be suppressed
      • Redwood (fire adapted) forests would remain dominant, but have a more open understory with less fuel
      • Shrublands would be suppressed and costal parries would take over
    • Conditions of low frequency fire interval (natural)
      • Shrublands and forests would be common Absence of Cultural Burnings
  • Central California Coast Project
    • Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
      • Issues of Food Security and Food Sovereignty
        • Limited Access to Native Foods
        • Do not own much property
      • Tribe has Commitment to Ecological Restoration
        • Want to return indigenous plants and animals to the land
    • Established the Amah Mutsun Land Trust (AMLT)
      • Purpose is to restore natural resources
      • Purpose it to steward lands and waters
      • Return to path of traditional ecological knowledge
    • AMLT working with resource agencies who own much of the land (CA State Parks, BLM, etc.)
      • AMLT also working to purchase land for the tribe
    • Established Native Stewardship Corps
      • Boots on the ground for ecological restoration
    • Amah Mutsun Tribe interested in Collaborative Work
      • Legacy of Colonialism
      • Tribe working with collaborative team to bring Knowledge of indigenous stewardship practices out of dormancy
      • Opportunity to integrate Indigenous Science With Western Science
    • Amah Mutsun work with Team of Scholars from UCB, UCSC, and California State Parks
    • Three components of project
      1. Synthesize Previous Work:
        • Ethnohistory, Ethnographic Observations, Tribal Oral, Traditions, Historical Fire Ecology
        • Cuthrell: Early Spanish explorers demonstrate extensive grasslands that must have been maintained through prescribed cultural burnings, as well as established Indigenous burning systems
      2. Undertake Field/Lab work—Fire Ecology Studies:
        • Take samples of Fire Scars (Redwoods), Pollen/Charcoal, Phytoliths, Lake Cores
        • Cuthrell: Phytolith Data from soil cores in Quiroste Valley indicate a long term history of grassland vegetation over the last ~1500 years
      3. Archaeology
        • Archaeology provides understanding of past cultural practices (e.g., tools, settlements)
        • Emphasis on recovering floral and faunal remains; evidence of kinds of resources harvested;
        • Intersection of Archaeology with Fire Ecology; When we see changes in fire regimes, vegetation – Do we see changes in kinds of resources harvested As outcome of landscape stewardship?
        • Study number of sites:
          • Middle Holocene (6500-3000 BP)
          • Late Holocene (3000-500 BP)
          • Historical (after 500 BP)
        • Collaborative Field Schools
          • Involves UCB students, faculty
          • State Park Archaeologists, ecologists
          • Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, AMLT
          • Native Stewardship Corps
        • Employ Low Impact Methodology
          • Geophysical survey work (ground penetrating radar)
        • Examples of Sites
          • CA-SCR-7 (6500-4000 BP)
          • CA-SCR-10 (1300-1200 BP)
          • Bolcoff Adobe (1830s-1840s)
        • Recovery of Plant and Animal Remains
          • Excavate Soil
          • Flotation of Soil to Recover Remains
          • Laboratory Analysis
        • Cuthrell:
          • Food remains indicate costal prairie seed foods (which came from prairies) were prominent parts of people’s diets during the last 1000+ years.
          • Charcoal from hearth fires indicates fire-compatible trees such as redwood were the primary fuel sources, while fire-vulnerable trees like Douglas firs were not as common
    • Our Findings:
      • Observed fire frequency greater than Expected from Lightning Ignitions Alone
        • Strong evidence of Cultural Burning
      • Extensive Cultural Burning:
        • Begins about 1769-1770 CE
        • Pattern of frequent, low intensity burns for the past 9-10 Centuries; up to Portola Expedition
        • Create Coastal Prairie Environments,
          • Evidence of grasses, clovers, tarweeds, hazelnuts, etc.
          • Also evidence of plant foods being harvested that required frequent fires to maintain
      • Patchwork of fires—burning areas every 1 to 5 years or so – maintain coastal grassland
      • Work in other areas corroborating our Findings
        1. Other Study Areas
        2. Coastal Prairies – extend from California to British Columbia
      • Conclusion
        • Key Point for Rest of Class: How can these Lessons from the Past derived from studies Indigenous Landscape Stewardship Practices be employed today?

Colonization of California #

Introduction #

  • Maritime Exploration
    • The first real instance of Colonization
    • Happened from 1542-1603 then a long break
  • Spanish Missions, Presidios (forts), Pueblos (civilian settlements)
    • Happened from 1769-1823
    • Primary goal was to Christianize and Civilize
    • Created large farm areas
    • Recruited thousands of Natives as labourers
    • Select locations where existing towns had reduction policies
      • Reduction policies moved natives into a single village after their land was taken
  • Mexican Missions, Ranchos
    • When Mexico took over CA
    • Happened from 1822-1846
    • Established huge, private ranches (Ranchos)
      • Ran by natives
      • Generated lots of money
  • Colony Ross
    • Russian Colonization from 1812-1841
    • Carried out by Russian American Company
      • Hunted sea otters
      • Sold pelts to China
    • Recruit Native Alaskans who served as primary hunters

Impact #

  1. Native population declines
    • Many deaths due to diseases (some of which hit instantly, some which took time)
    • Violence and warfare between natives and soldiers
    • (Sexual) Abuse of young women
  2. Unleashing of Foreign Weeds, Pests (Crosby 2004)
    • Raised range of new foods on large ranches
    • Thousands of cattle changed landscape too by overgrazing
    • Weeds spread aggressively at expense of indigenous plants
    • Land remains changed even today (90% of biomass in grasslands today isn’t native)
    • Archaeological Evidence of Spread of Weeds Mission excavations and adobe (mud) bricks
  3. Grazing Economy (Dart-Newton, Erlandson 2006)
    • Free-Range Grazing (no fences)
    • In addition to cattle, brought Sheep, Goats, Horses, and Pigs
      • Wild pigs are still an issue today
    • Major impacts to local environments and Native Foods
      • Overgrazing trample indigenous Ecological habitats
      • Help spread weeds
  4. Commercial Hunting of Mammals
    • Terrestrial Fur Trade
      • Primarily hunted beaver
        • Pelt used to make hats in Europe
      • Exterminate beavers from Western North America, Northern California
      • Major Impacts for wetland habitats
    • Maritime Fur Trade (Colony Ross)
      • Use Native Alaskan Hunters Very Efficient
      • Harvest primarily Sea Otters
        • Nearly eliminated, otter population still low population today
      • Major Changes to Kelp Forests which impacted Fisheries of California
  5. Fire Exclusion (Timbrook)
    • Began in 1793 when the Governor prohibited burning from Natives
    • Explicit Policies Enacted to Stop Native Peoples from Cultural Burning
    • Affected both Native Neophytes and so Called Gentile Indians (not part of missions)

Implications #

  • Loss of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)
    • Amah Mutsun Tribal Band (Lopez 2013)
      • Could not conduct ceremonies, prayer songs
      • Could not Steward the land
      • Unable to pass information to next generation (loss of TEK)
      • Willing to work with archaeologists, fire ecologists – bring knowledge out of dormancy
        • Working to Restore Landscape Today
    • Chumash People (Timbrook et al 1993)
      • Located around Santa Barbara
      • Ethnohistoric accounts of Native Burning, but largely faded from tribal memory when ethnographic research conducted in 1920-1930s
  • Significant Impact to Local Coastal Environments
    • Increase of Foreign Plants and Animals
    • Decline in Diversity and Quantity of Indigenous Flora and Fauna Decreases
    • Loss of Food Security, Food Sovereignty, Native Medicine, Raw Material, etc. for Natives
  • Many Coastal Tribes Displaced
    • Colonial Invaders take away Native land
    • Especially costal land
  • Major Transformation in California Fire Regimes
    • Cultural Burning on Coast Stopped
      • Coastal Prairies get overrun by woody vegetation quickly
      • Even if grazing kept off shrubs, new grasses would begin growing
    • Some Disturbance keep areas open: Grazing, Colonial Burning?
    • Altered Fire Regimes due to new plant types

Timber Owners and Early Use of Fire (10/4) #

  • 1880: Advocates for ‘light burning’ in California appear – some thought fire was needed to manage forests
    • Whereas cultural burnings are done for specific intentional reasons, light burning is done for other reasons such as reducing fuel, increasing food for livestock, and other economic reasons
    • That is, cultural burning is a form of light burning
  • 1900: Debate start regarding fire management near Lake Almanor in CA
    • Private forest land owners practiced ‘light burning’ following early Indian and sheep herder traditions
    • Most foresters dismissed this proposal as mere ‘Paiute Forestry’ (derogatory term based on an Indian tribe)
  • 1902:
    • H.J. Ostrander attacked ‘protectionist’ policy of fire control as worse than effective because it allowed fuel to accumulate
    • US National Academy of Science committee on forest reserves urged fire control policy
  • 1908:
    • Gene Tolly: Sierra National Forest Ranger from 1905-1912 and cowboy assigned to range management for USFS
    • Gifford Pinchot: 1st Chief of the USFS
    • Tolly took Gifford on a back country trip through the Sierra National Forest to try and convince him to allow Indian Burning to keep meadows and forests from getting overgrown but Gifford didn’t buy it
  • 1910:
    • Sunset magazine was an outlet used for forestry discussion at the time
      • G.L. Hoxie wrote in the magazine to advocated light burning claimed it should not be merely acceptable but made mandatory
      • Made economic, not ecological argument
    • Unfortunately at same time, Great Idaho Fire occurred
      • Burned 3 million acres and killed 85 people.
      • Happened due to drought period with ignitions from lightning, locomotives, and logging
      • Resulted in national debate:
        • Senator Weldon Heyburn (R-Idaho) led effort to disband the USFS so that private land owners could manage their own land
        • Others argued that the newly found US Forest Service (1905) should be expanded so that it could prevent future fires (happened, turns out govt tends to only grow bigger)
  • 1930s: Two experiments were occurring in northeast CA around this time
    1. Full Control
      • McCloud River Lumber Company
      • Use trains, hand crews, etc
    2. Light Burning
      • Thomas Barlow (T.B.) Walker was raised from Minnesota and ran the Red River Lumber Co. near Lake Almanor
      • Clinton Walker (T.B’s son) wrote a letter to the Red River Lumber Company in 1938 (years after he had left the Company) saying:
        1. The general condition of the forests when the white man first came into CA was very excellent
        2. Then came the foresters from Yale University and put the tourniquet on the forests
        3. Would prefer to remove the tourniquet in our timber matters [which] is the lack of fire
        4. I requested permission [to burn] from the State Forester and the USFS DuBois. Both refused
        5. We proceeded to burn anyway, and Chief Forester Graves came out from Washington and DuBois and many others with cameras and notebooks to get damaging evidence
        6. They stayed several days and followed the burning, with comment by Graves that the work was excellent
        7. DuBois apologized to me for panning me in the newspapers previously
      • Graves suggested that T.B underwrite a chair of fire protection at Yale University
        • Walker agreed, contributing .$$$ 100,000 (a huge amount of funding 1900’s). Harvey Chapman hired who was huge force in longleaf pine is southeast US
    • Over the next decade trials done across the US, especially in pine belts of the West and South
    • Stuart Show (from Stanford btw) looked for light burning area around Mt. Hough, Claremont, Meadow Valley Country
      • Found a suitable area near Snake Lake
      • Commit data/scientific fraud by adding more fuel:

        “Ed and I did 250 acres alone and, except for the long hitch of work, didn’t have any trouble. The only dishonest thing we did was to pile some pine limbwood in big fire scars of a few large pines, with the gratifying result that they burned down and became damage statistics”

      • Dave Rogers already had made up his mind regarding light burnings

        “Went over nonchalantly to reburn Snake Lake (in 1920). It would have been O.K. except that Plumas Supervisor Dave Rogers came out the night of the burn, grabbed a brush burning torch and ended up stringing fire outside the line on two opposite ends. Then he left.” “You can understand our deep affection for Dave and the Plumas”

      • The use of fire in forest management was not given an objective evaluation anywhere in the Western US including Indigenous burning
  • 1940s: Harold Biswell was a professor in the Berkeley Forestry Department from 1947 - 1972
    • Biswell conducted prescribed fire research in the forests of Georgia from 1942 to 1947 when he was a researcher for the US Forest Service Southern Research Station
    • Began prescribed fire work in Ponderosa pine forests in 1951 (Boggs Mountain near Middletown as well as Teaford Ranch in the Southern Sierra near Bass Lake)
      • Both of these locations were private land because no government agency would let him burn in public land
    • Said in his 1958 paper:

      “At the time the idea of burning was fairly new to me and I looked upon fire as the arch enemy of forests and forestry”

    • His 1958 paper showed it was possible to use fire in CA forest management and warned about future problems if fuels were not reduced
      • His conclusions were very controversial at the time
      • His PhD students recall

        “There was little opposition to him burning in grasslands and shrublands, but when he began burning experiments in ponderosa pine forests, active and open criticism of him and his work exploded. He was referred to as “Harry the Torch,” “Burn-Em-Up Biswell,” and other derisive names, and not always behind his back”

      • No forestry faculty would work with Biswell.
        • UCB Forestry faculty voted to forbid him or his graduate students to work at Blodgett Forest
        • (Scott’s Opinion:) At the very least, some UC Berkeley forestry faculty should have worked cooperatively with Biswell to further explore this topic
    • In 1973, he was given the Berkeley Citation, awarded for his contribution to the University of California that “go beyond the call of duty and whose achievements exceed the standards of excellence in their fields.”
      • He was the first UCB forestry professor to get this award

Early Foresters and Fire (10/6) #

  • Some debate, but suppression wins in 1910s
    • However, one exception: Southern US continues to use fire
  • Pre WWII:
    • 1933: Civilian Conservation Corps labor (CCC) used to fight fires
      • Hired many people due to great depression
    • 1935: 10 AM (National) Policy: All fires should be out by 10AM the day after they’re detected before conditions that would make fire more severe arise
  • During WWII
    • Firefighting resources (people, machines) tied up with the war
      • Consensus objectors put into fire fighting crews
      • Many were ridiculed but they fought the fire with little technology and overhead
    • Japanese sub fires shell near Santa Barbara
      • Fear of Los Padres NF and others being burned
    • Japanese also launch fire balloons
      • Hundreds hit the US, but they’re kept hidden from public
    • Public urged to be careful and fire is connected to the war
    • USFS organizes Cooperative Forest Fire Protection Campaign
      • Fire protection was framed as National Security through public campaigns
      • Huge push to save resource during the war
        • “Careless matches aid the Axis”
        • “Our carelessness, their secret weapon”
      • Bambi brought (in 1944)
        • Movie showed terrible fires started by hunters
        • Only on loan from Disney for 1 year
      • Smokey Bear named in 1945
        • Named after asst. Chief of NYC Fire Dept. 1919-1930 – “Smokey” Joe Martin
  • Post WWII
    • Smokey Bear (cont.)
      • “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!” created in 1947
      • Canada steals him in 1956.
      • Focus broadened to appeal to children
    • 1950: The “Real” Deal
      • Las Tablas fire breaks out and a bear cub found almost dead
      • Cub is treated and heals, eventually ends up in D.C. Zoo
    • Still endearing
      • One of most recognized figures in U.S. behind Santa and Mickey Mouse
      • Stamps made (1984)
      • Own zip code (20252) – you can write him a letter and get a reply
      • Office, Web page, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
    • Has Smokey’s message been TOO successful?
      • Original message was very black and white

Colonialism (10/8) #

Settler Colonialism In The American #

Earlier Colonial Enterprises (1769-1846) #

  • Missionary Colonies: Franciscan Missions – interested in converting
  • Mercantile Colony: Colony Ross (Fort Ross) – interested in pelts and profit
  • Common Features to both:
    • Predate Settler Colonialism
    • Involved Few Euro-Americans – workforce was almost all Native people
    • Self-Contained Agrarian Systems
    • Native people integral to their success
  • Major Outcomes ( 9/27/21 Lecture)
    • Loss of Traditional Ecological Knowledge
    • Significant Environmental Impacts to Coastal CA
    • Many Coastal Tribes Displaced
    • Transformations in Fire Regimes

Settler Colonies #

  • Immigration of European/foreign settlers
    • British employed Settler Colonialism in Eastern USA
    • Establish Permanent Residences
  • Predicated on Removal of Indigenous People
  • Employed “Logic of Elimination” – Moral Ground for Taking Land Away
  • After American Revolution – USA Adopts Settler Colony Practices; Manifest Destiny; Millions of people moved westward
  • Key Dates for California:
    • 1840s: Movement of settlers along California, Oregon, Mormon Trails
    • 1846: Mexican-American War, Annexation of CA
    • 1848: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Gold Rush
    • 1850: California became the 31st State
    • 1869: Transcontinental Railroad Completed
    • 1850s-1870s:Settler Colonialism really takes off

Implications Of Settler Colonialism #

1. Genocide (Madley 2016 Reading) #

  • 1846-1870s – Dark Ages for Native People
  • Extermination of Indians supported by Governors and other Politicians:
    • First Governor Peter Burnett proclaimed “War of Extermination
    • Senator John Weller (Governor in 1858) – “White Man Demands Extinction
    • California Legislature passed anti-Indian laws:
      • Legal slavery of Indian Children
      • Bounty Hunters paid by the scalp
      • No rights in Court (couldn’t testify against a white person)
      • Vagrancy Laws, etc.
      • California and Federal Government Supported militias – volunteer companies (Essentially Death Squads) that removed Indians from their lands
      • California and Federal Governments – allocated over $2 million dollars for this
  • Also diseases, starvation, etc. took a terrible toll on Indians
  • Outcome of Extermination Policies: Native people Decimated, while Colonists Explode in Numbers:
    • Indian Population:
      • 1769 = 310,000
      • 1846 = 150,000
      • 1900 = 15,000
    • Settler Colonist Population:
      • 1850 = 92,597
      • 1900 = 1,485,053

2. Reservations #

  • Unlike other Western States, most California Tribes did not have treaties with the Federal Government (as such, tribes cannot practice cultural burnings!)
  • Abysmal Treaty Record in California
    • 1851-1852: 18 Treaties Negotiated with Tribes of California; Proposed Reservation Land of 11,700 sq miles (Anderson 2005 Reading)
    • None of the 18 Treaties Ratified by US Senate even though some Natives already moved
      • Politicians didn’t want to give up good agricultural land
    • Subsequent attempts to create Reservation Land – Not very Successful;
  • 1850s-1870s: Military Reservations
  • 1870s-1900:
    • Federal Funding for Small Land Grants
    • Influence of Helen Hunt Jackson, Her Book, Ramona, very important in Humanitarian movement
      • Fictional book told a love story of an Indian chief which became a best seller and brought attention to the situation
  • 1906-1930: Another period of federal funding for small Land Grants for California Indians but it was all tiny sections of land (called Rancheria lands)

3. Federal Recognition #

  • Discuss Importance of Federal Recognition: Housing, legal assistance, Indian Health, food distribution, child welfare, Indian arts and culture development, fund tribal cultural heritage programs, tribal historic preservation officers, NAGPRA, Indian Gaming
  • Three-Tiered System in California:
    1. Gaming Tribes (Fed Recognized)
    2. Non-Gaming Tribes (Fed Recognized)
    3. Unacknowledged Tribes
  • In California Many Tribes Not Federally Recognized (Unacknowledged Status with Federal Government – no land or status with feds!) – Why is this the case?
    • 1851-52: treaties not ratified
    • 1870s-1900s:
      • Award Federal Recognition to tribes with strong continuities with Past; Those that maintained Indian cultural practices over time
      • This was influenced by early anthropologists (i.e. UC Berkeley)
        • Program of “Ethnographic Salvage”
        • Tended not to work with Tribes who had undergone major transformations, acculturation
      • Discuss Spatial Distribution of Fed Recognized Tribes; Many Unacknowledged Tribes in Former Mission Lands
      • E.x. Ohlone Indians in post-mission times did not disappear
        • 1840s: In East Bay
        • 1860s: Lived at Alisal Rancheria well into 1900s
          • Active Indian community – inter-marry with other tribes, Hispanics
          • Some Anthropologists claim they were “culturally extinct” role that early Anthropology Played in Tribes obtaining Federal Recognition, and those that did not (Lightfoot 2005 Reading)

4. Environmental Degradation (Anderson 2005 Reading) #

  • Commodification of Environment
  • Gold Mining, Hydraulic Mining
    • Impacted rivers and lakes
  • Commercial Agriculture and Ranching
    • Drained wetlands
    • Monocropping
  • Commercial Hunting of Game, Birds, Fishing
  • Massive Timber Harvests
    • Clear cut total forests
    • Exploitive – not forestry
    • Specifically Redwoods, Sierra Nevada
  • Dam Rivers
  • Unleash Plethora of Foreign Plants/Animals

Four Outcomes Of Settler Colonialism On Indigenous Landscape Management Practices In California #

1. Fire Prohibition Policies #

  • Initially Directed Against Native People;
  • Racism – Early Fire Bans Did Not Apply to All Settler Colonists
    • Settlers, Ranchers, and timber companies still burned land
  • Why Natives Signaled out for Ban?
    • Fire Suppression –- Component of Settler Colonialism
    • Strategy to Facilitate the Removal of Natives from their Lands?

2. Minimal Reservation Land Implications for Indigenous Stewardship Practices; #

  • Fewer Restrictions on Indian Trust/Reservation Lands
  • However, Lack of Tribal Lands in California
    • Curtailed ability of tribes to Revitalize Landscape Practices, such as Cultural Burning
  • Compare California with Trust Lands in American Southwest!!

3. Native People Lost Access To Resources From Their Tribal Lands #

  • Major problem for tribes—they were not granted trust land (reservations) AND they had minimal access to resources on Public Lands (California State Parks, BLM, National Park Service, US Forest Service) Until Recently – Tribes not allowed to undertake Stewardship practices on Public Lands
    • no cultural burning
    • no harvesting of foods, medicines, raw materials

4. Conservation Practices: Exclusion Of Native People (Anderson 2005, Johnson 2014 Readings) #

  • Influence of John Muir on Conservation Movement in USA in early 1900s
    • Early debate about conservation practices involving light burning, indigenous stewardship
    • Believed land was cathedral of nature and should be untouched (so no Indian burning!)
  • John Muir:
    • Argued for creations of pristine, natural preserves untouched by people
    • Did not Advocate for Native Stewardship Practices, such as Cultural Burning
    • Conservation Model –- Put Fence Around Property and keep people out
    • Fire Suppression Policies of Settler colonialism
      • One component of broader package of developments that have kept tribes from revitalizing cultural burning until recently
  • Policies of extermination, genocide; poverty, diseases, food shortages; limited sized reservations; many California tribes unacknowledged; massive environmental destruction of tribal lands
  • Upshot of Discussion, up until the 1960s-1970s, Native Californians had little or no land to call their own, minimal tribal land, little access to resources on Public Lands in California for harvesting foods, medicines, raw materials for baskets, etc.
  • Greatly curtailed ability to undertake Indigenous Landscape Stewardship Practices, such as Cultural Burning