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Living among Frequent-fire Forests: Human History and Cultural Perspectives

Alexandra Murphy
Jesse Abrams, Ecological Restoration Institute
Terry Daniel, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona
Victoria Yazzie, College of Menominee Nation

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Abstract

Ecological and social factors shaped old-growth forests of the western United States before Euro-American settlement, and will, in large part, determine their future. In this article, we focus on the social factors that affected the forestís ecological structure and function, review the changing cultural influences through law and policy of public land management and use, and discuss the changing public perceptions of fire use. We also provide an overview of the current debates about the conservation of old-growth forests, and the current congressional protection and management of old-growth forests in public land management and use.

Key words

Euro-American land-use practices; fire suppression; indigenous peoplesí forest management; land ethic; post-WWII environmental legislation; preservationist philosophy; utilitarian philosophy
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087