NPR—To Manage Wildfire, California Looks To What Tribes Have Known All Along
The arrival of Western settlers dramatically changed the fire regime.
“They came with their concepts of being afraid of fire,” Goode says. “They didn’t understand fire in the sense of the tool that it could be to create and what it did to help generate and rejuvenate the land. So they brought in suppression.”
“We don’t put fire on the ground and not know how it’s going to turn out,” Ron Goode, tribal chairman of the North Fork Mono, tells the group. “That’s what makes it cultural burning, because we cultivate.”

Photos from the Field: Ron Goode, tribal chairman of the North Fork Mono, looks on as sourberry bushes burn. After the bushes are burned in the winter, they sprout again in the spring. Photo credit: Lauren Sommer/NPR