Forgotten Fires: Native Americans and the Transient Wilderness

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University of Oklahoma Press, 2002 - History - 364 pages
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A common stereotype about American Indians is that for centuries they lived in static harmony with nature, in a pristine wilderness that remained unchanged until European colonization. Omer C. Stewart was one of the first anthropologists to recognize that Native Americans made significant impact across a wide range of environments. Most important, they regularly used fire to manage plant communities and associated animal species through varied and localized habitat burning. In Forgotten Fires, editors Henry T. Lewis and M. Kat Anderson present Stewart's original research and insights, written in the 1950s yet still provocative today.

Significant portions of Stewart's text have not been available until now, and Lewis and Anderson set Stewart's findings in the context of current knowledge about Native hunter-gatherers and their uses of fire.


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List of Illustrations
An Anthropological Critique Henry T Lewis
An Ecological Critique M Kat Anderson
Blackfeet Indians starting a prairie fire 1903 frontispiece 1 Yosemite Valley 1866 and 1961
The full spectrum of humannature interactions
Trajectories of ecosystem changes
Indigenous resource management at different levels of biological organization
Beating seeds into a collection basket
Digging bulbs and tubers with a hardwood digging stick
A basketmaker from Massett British Columbia
Collecting long straight branches for basketry
The Effects of Burning of Grasslands and Forests
References Cited Henry T Lewis and M Kat Anderson

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About the author (2002)

Stewart Omer was one of the first anthropologists to recognize that indigenous fire managment had significant ecological consequences for the diversity of plants worldwide.

M. Kat Anderson is a Lecturer in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis; Associate Ecologist at the Agricultural Experimental Station at the University of California, Davis; and a faculty member in the Graduate Group in Ecology at the University of California, Davis. She is coeditor, with T. C. Blackburn, of "Before the Wilderness: Native Californians as Environmental Managers (1993) and coeditor, with Henry T. Lewis, of "Forgotten Fires: Native Americans and the Transient Wilderness by Omer C. Stewart (2002).

Henry Lewis is a recent high school graduate from Charlottesville, Virginia. His previous books include an edition of Two Little Savages by Ernest Thompson Seton, which he co-edited in 2010; and A Traveler s Guide to the Georgian Language (American Friends of Georgia, 2013).

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