Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

Last September, we shared an article about the benefits of controlled burns and other Indigenous practices for wildfire management and mitigation. Now, the Bootleg fire in Oregon is offering up some more evidence to support that Indigenous practices could be lifesaving in a climate change-fueled fire future.

The wildfire was moving rapidly through the state when it came upon the Sycan Marsh Preserve, a 30,000-acre wetland. The region is thick with ponderosa pines and managed by The Nature Conservancy who works with local Klamath Tribes to implement pre-colonial forest management techniques. Thanks to their work, the fire slowed and dimmed as it reached the forest, giving firefighters time to move in and steer the blaze away from a critical research center.

As part of their Indigenous forest management, the tribes work with researchers to conduct prescribed burns and thin out some younger trees. The forest not only helped slow the wildfire’s progression, but damage to the forest was also far less severe than in other areas the flames moved through. Some firefighters even reported wildlife seeking refuge on specially designated “green islands” designed to be avoided by flames under the treatment method.

Hundreds of Native American tribes used to conduct regular controlled burns throughout the west until European settlers outlawed the practice. Unfortunately, centuries of fire suppression, combined with climate change, has created the perfect storm for the severe fires which rage across the western US each summer. As climate change continues to intensify, investment in controlled burns and other pre-colonial management techniques could be the only way to quell the west’s devastating fires.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Algae wrapped in droplets improves efficiency of artificial photosynthesis

In our quest for the most sustainable, most renewable sources of energy, humanity continues to look to nature for inspiration. One of nature’s most efficient energy systems is photosynthesis, which is how plants convert sunlight, ... Read More

Evidence shows Vikings arrived in Americas nearly 500 years before Columbus

Researchers have known for a while that Vikings from Greenland founded the village of L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around the turn of the millennium, but now, a study published in Nature has finally pinpointed ... Read More

Egypt’s State Council swears-in the nation’s first female judges

Egypt’s State Council was established in 1946 and is an independent judicial body that deals with administrative disputes, disciplinary cases, appeals, reviews draft laws, decisions, and contracts that involve the government or a government-run body. ... Read More

Is group or individual work more productive? Here’s what science says

Are you a group project person or do you prefer to fly solo? We all have our work preferences, but what does science say about teamwork and productivity? A new study conducted by Quartz aims ... Read More

Wildlife filmaker provides a unique insight into the daily lives of bees

You may have seen bees flying around your backyard or local park, but it can be difficult for the naked human eye to grasp the full complexity of the lives of these pollinators. During the ... Read More