Groundtruth: Cultural Burns as Tools for Wildfire Prevention and Indigenous Healing

People Places Planet Podcast and The Environmental Law Podcast

In the 11th episode of "Groundtruth," Associates Noa Ervin and Claire McLeod interview Deniss Martinez, PhD Candidate at the University of California Davis, on the practices of prescribed burns. Indigenous people used prescribed burns in forests for thousands of years to manage land, reduce wildfire risk, and support cultural practices. This episode focuses on how colonial governments and land management agencies have suppressed these practices, and highlight the recent progress in restoring Indigenous fire management.

"And so upon the removal of Indigenous people and Indigenous practices, like cultural fire, a lot of these plant and animal communiries are struggling. They're struggling because they're not being stewarded in the same way that they had been. For example, it's very difficult to maintain a meadow or a grassland without fire and so these spaces are being encroached.

— Deniss Martinez

“Groundtruth” is a podcast series, produced in partnership with the Environmental Law Institute’s People Places Planet Podcast, that explores EJ trends and developments. Listen to other “Groundtruth” episodes:

Beveridge & Diamond Associate Hilary Jacobs (Washington, DC) led the content development for this episode. Follow The Environmental Law Podcast on Spotify or your preferred podcast app. To receive B&D’s updates on EJ developments and trends, subscribe to our email list here or follow us on LinkedIn at #bdlawEJ.