Biocultural stewardship: Transforming our urban and community forestry practices

December 9, 2020 | 1:00-2:15pm ET

For details and to register (the webinar will also be recorded)

Diverse perspectives and approaches to learning and knowing can strengthen our work in urban and community forestry. Indigenous and local knowledge is embedded in the concept of biocultural stewardship – an approach to working with communities recognizing that the stewardship of place is inseparable from the stewardship of people, and that cultural resources are as important as natural resources.

A shift towards biocultural stewardship can help cultivate sustainability and well-being in communities undergoing rapid environmental, social, and climate changes. In this presentation, we explore the concept of biocultural stewardship and how it can be applied to different geographical contexts and culturally distinct communities, including urban settings.

Dr. Heather McMillen of the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources will give background and context to the practice of biocultural stewardship and will discuss stewardship trainings based in a Native Hawaiian perspective (Hālau ʻŌhiʻa). Drs. Lindsay Campbell and Erika Svendsen of the USDA Forest Service will discuss how these trainings were adapted for New York City stewardship practitioners. Pauline Sato of the Mālama Learning Center will share their approach to integrating science, conservation, and culture with community. Dr. Frank K. Lake of the USDA Forest Service will reflect on his experiences studying wildland fire effects and management techniques using traditional ecological knowledge and methods of ethno-ecology.