WFL April General Meeting

WFL General Meeting

Monday, April 22, 2024, 7:00 pm (Earth Day!)

United Church of Christ

8758 Main Street

Honeoye, NY 14471

Native Americans, fire, and oak forests: past connections and present implications

Presented by Dr. Stephen J. Tulowiecki, Ph.D

Scholars have long debated the extent of Native American land use upon forests of the eastern United States. Wildland burning was one land management tool that Native Americans wielded in order to clear landscapes to facilitate agriculture, hunting, travel, and resource procurement: some think its impacts were negligible, whereas others believe it drove the regional-extent abundance of fire-tolerant tree species such as oak and hickory. Dr. Tulowiecki’s presentation explores how Native Americans used forests and shaped forest patterns of the eastern US, with a focus on Western New York. Drawing upon the speaker's own research, it also explores the data and methods scholars use for revealing relationships between Native Americans, fire, and forest composition. The talk also makes connections to modern management of oak forests and prescribed fire in the eastern US.

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