Updates from May 2021


May 2021

Despite the challenges of the pandemic and our mostly remote work, we have a lot to report on the West on Fire project. Working closely with Lead Researcher Jared Aldern, we submitted a large grant to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. If the grant is funded, ICW will be the fiscal and administrative sponsor for a set of three prescribed burns on private and tribal land in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains (no earlier than winter 2021). The grant has a lot of moving pieces, and we have enjoyed our collaboration with a number of individuals and institutions thus far. Special thanks to ICW Associate Director, Elizabeth Logan, for her insight and attentiveness. We should hear on the grant no later than the end of this month.

ICW was honored to co-host “Revitalizing Cultural Fire Across California: A discussion with Indigenous leaders,” with partners Cal State East Bay and C. E. Smith Museum of Anthropology. Moderated by Cal State East Bay Assistant Prof. Tony Marks-Block, panelists Elizabeth Azzuz (Cultural Fire Management Council, Yurok), Ron Goode (North Fork Mono), Teresa Romero (Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation), Don Hankins (Plains Miwok, Professor CSU Chico) and Chook-Chook Hillman (Karuk) shared a rich conversation on the importance of fire.

Our new postdoctoral colleague, Rebecca Miller, successfully defended her Stanford doctoral degree this spring, and we congratulate her and welcome her to the team.

We are very excited to be bringing student researchers to the West on Fire project. Our Los Angeles Service Academy students (Colin, Scarlett, Maaso, and Maya) will be taking up research fellowships this summer, each working on a discrete project tied broadly to the West on Fire initiative.

ICW’s new podcast – Western Edition – will launch fairly soon. The entire first season of the podcast is devoted to the West on Fire work – look for our discussions with expert interviewees on such topics as Smokey Bear, post-fire debris flow events, wildfire smoke inhalation dangers and research, race and firefighting in Southern California, and Indigenous fire practice and knowledge.