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Factors Contributing to the Cultural and Spatial Variability of Landscape Burning by Native Peoples of Interior Alaska

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dc.contributor.author Natcher, David C. en_US
dc.contributor.author Calef, Monika en_US
dc.contributor.author Huntington, Orville H. en_US
dc.contributor.author Trainor, Sarah en_US
dc.contributor.author Huntington, Henry P. en_US
dc.contributor.author DeWilde, Laona en_US
dc.contributor.author Rupp, Scott en_US
dc.contributor.author Chapin, F. Stuart en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T14:54:06Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T14:54:06Z
dc.date.issued 2007 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-02-10 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-02-10 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2818
dc.description.abstract "Although wildfire has been central to the ecological dynamics of Interior Alaska for 5000 yr, the role of humans in this dynamic is not well known. As a multidisciplinary research team, together with native community partners, we analyzed patterns of human-fire interaction in two contiguous areas of Interior Alaska occupied by different Athabaskan groups. The Koyukon in the western Interior considered fire a destructive force and had no recollection or oral history of using fire for landscape management. Low lightning-strike density and moist climate constrained the effects of lightning fires, and a subsistence dependence on salmon, a relatively predictable resource, resulted in a trilocal residency pattern. In this environment the occurrence of wildfire would have negatively impacted territorial use and the exploitation of wildlife resources. In contrast, the Gwichin of the eastern Interior actively used fires to manage the landscape. The Gwichin territory experienced a higher lightning-strike density and a corresponding increase in wildfire activity. The Gwichin showed greater mobility in hunting moose and caribou, their less spatially predictable subsistence resources, which enabled them to avoid andor target a range of habitats affected by wildfires. The contrasts between these two neighboring Athabaskan groups indicate different uses and views of wildfire that are derived from their cultural adaptation to local biophysical and ecological settings. These findings call into question the commonly held view that native peoples of North America pervasively and near universally modified landscapes through the use of fire." en_US
dc.subject fire ecology en_US
dc.subject indigenous institutions en_US
dc.subject land tenure and use en_US
dc.subject resource management en_US
dc.title Factors Contributing to the Cultural and Spatial Variability of Landscape Burning by Native Peoples of Interior Alaska en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.coverage.region North America en_US
dc.coverage.country United States en_US
dc.subject.sector Social Organization en_US
dc.subject.sector Land Tenure & Use en_US
dc.identifier.citationjournal Ecology and Society en_US
dc.identifier.citationvolume 12 en_US
dc.identifier.citationnumber 1 en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth January en_US

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