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Native Forestry Aids Government Agencies

Over thousands of years, Native people developed ways to keep the forest's trees, creatures and plants in harmony. Oregon's recent, unprecedented fires provide tribes a chance to share some deep knowledge.

Tim Vredenburg has worked in tribal forestry for 18 years. He says today's public land management tends to be handled by one interest group at a time, pitting timber interests against, say, conservationists. He says the Native approach is integrated. The tribal council hears all the views and makes a plan:


Credit cowcreek.com

Vredenburg: “Then the whole team, you know, our wildlife biologists our foresters, our fisheries folks, water quality ... everybody has the same vision.”

Vredenburg says federal and state foresters have begun to partner with tribes to manage land and help protect from catastrophic fire. 

Vredenburg: “I think it's giving us a lot of opportunities to be creative, as we blend science and new modern techniques with traditional knowledge.” 


He points out native cultures are sensitive to each site, treating forests differently if they're on a north or south slope, or near a stream. 

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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