Event Title

Restoring the Landscape – San Carlos Apache Reservation

Presenter Information

Dee Randall

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

https://www.restoringthewest.org/

Streaming Media

Abstract

San Carlos Apache Reservation - There is in essence one natural resource: The Natural World. We often think of it as separate parts based upon the different ways we use the resource, and the different types of expertise that are required to manage this resource. The health and quality of the natural world hinges on the balance of ecological, geological, hydrological, human, and other processes. San Carlos Forest Resources Program strives to use this knowledge to guide management of the natural resources.

Logging occurred since 1900 with the establishment of the Clover sawmill. The Bureau of Indian Affairs managed the forestry programs to promote timber industries; and foresters at San Carlos did what foresters everywhere did: they fought fire.

Fire has always been part of the ecosystem and large landscape fires that were frequent with low to moderate intensity. The establishment of the reservation and forest management practices of suppressing fires has caused fuel loading to increase and the forest to become unhealthy. Fires have been a part of Apache country, but Apaches did not set large fires. What they wanted from the land was edible wild grasses, game animals, shrubs for baskets, many dependent on routine burning that occurred from natural starts.11

Current forest silvcutural practices have fire as part of the treatment, not only to treat the slash from logging, thinning or fuelwood activities, but to go beyond the commercial acreage. Using natural starts with a confine and contain strategy help us to treat areas that are not feasible. In areas with no structures, using roads or natural features as containment lines has reduced the cost of fire suppression. Challenges we are faced with come from modern thinking of smoke and fire as always bad, as it is seen on the news, goals that conflict with policy, and the ever increasing human population demanding from mother earth that she provide for our every need. Fire is a natural tool and has been part of the landscape, with current conditions of our forest we must be able to the natural process as the most appropriate way to restore our forest to its healthiest most sustainable and resilient state.

Comments

Dee Randall is the Forest Manager for the San Carlos Apache Tribe. He started his career working as a ranch hand for the Ash Creek Cattle Association at age 9 and throughout high school during the summer months. Seeing the country from an early age strengthened his interest in natural resources. Dee’s forestry career started in Fire Management and later working as a Forestry Technician for the Tribe. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arizona in 1989 and started as the Forest Development Forester at San Carlos. Dee is a San Carlos Apache Tribal member.

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Oct 18th, 9:15 AM Oct 18th, 9:45 AM

Restoring the Landscape – San Carlos Apache Reservation

USU Eccles Conference Center

San Carlos Apache Reservation - There is in essence one natural resource: The Natural World. We often think of it as separate parts based upon the different ways we use the resource, and the different types of expertise that are required to manage this resource. The health and quality of the natural world hinges on the balance of ecological, geological, hydrological, human, and other processes. San Carlos Forest Resources Program strives to use this knowledge to guide management of the natural resources.

Logging occurred since 1900 with the establishment of the Clover sawmill. The Bureau of Indian Affairs managed the forestry programs to promote timber industries; and foresters at San Carlos did what foresters everywhere did: they fought fire.

Fire has always been part of the ecosystem and large landscape fires that were frequent with low to moderate intensity. The establishment of the reservation and forest management practices of suppressing fires has caused fuel loading to increase and the forest to become unhealthy. Fires have been a part of Apache country, but Apaches did not set large fires. What they wanted from the land was edible wild grasses, game animals, shrubs for baskets, many dependent on routine burning that occurred from natural starts.11

Current forest silvcutural practices have fire as part of the treatment, not only to treat the slash from logging, thinning or fuelwood activities, but to go beyond the commercial acreage. Using natural starts with a confine and contain strategy help us to treat areas that are not feasible. In areas with no structures, using roads or natural features as containment lines has reduced the cost of fire suppression. Challenges we are faced with come from modern thinking of smoke and fire as always bad, as it is seen on the news, goals that conflict with policy, and the ever increasing human population demanding from mother earth that she provide for our every need. Fire is a natural tool and has been part of the landscape, with current conditions of our forest we must be able to the natural process as the most appropriate way to restore our forest to its healthiest most sustainable and resilient state.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2017/Oct18/1