Back to All Events

The Cultural Modification of Trees & Forests by California's Native Peoples

  • REI 400 El Paseo de Saratoga San Jose, CA, 95130 United States (map)

For thousands of years the native people of California were known to employ fire in tending the trees and forests. Besides using fire, recent evidence indicates that the native people also pruned and pollarded oaks and pines, stockpiled minerals for fertilizing soils, and structured the forest to create open conditions and less competition among mature trees. Furthermore, there are indications that certain ancient trees were tended for ceremonial purposes. Fortunately, this evidence is still visible in our forests today. Join renowned scientist Dr. Lee Klinger as he gives participants the observational tools of what to look for in identifying trees and forests that have been culturally modified by the native people of California.

About the Speaker: Dr. Lee Klinger is an independent scientist living in Big Sur, California. Since 2005 he has served as director of Sudden Oak Life, a movement aimed at using ecologically-based techniques to address the problem of oak mortality in California and elsewhere. He has over 30 years of academic experience in the environmental sciences and has held scholarly appointments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Colorado, the University of Oxford, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Geological Society of London.