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Doing Work on the Land of Our Ancestors: Reserved Treaty Rights Lands Collaborations in the American Southwest

1
Department of Journalism and Media Communication, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2
Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
3
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Pueblo of Tesuque, NM 87506, USA
4
Department of Natural Resources, Pueblo of Santa Ana, NM 87004, USA
5
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Supervisor’s Office, Springerville, AZ 85938, USA
6
Department of Natural Resources, Jemez Pueblo, NM 87024, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alistair M. S. Smith
Received: 2 December 2020 / Revised: 4 February 2021 / Accepted: 4 February 2021 / Published: 13 February 2021
The intent of this article is to raise awareness about an underutilized funding mechanism that possesses the capacity to help tribal and federal land management agencies meet their goal of restoring fire-adapted ecosystems to historic conditions in the American Southwest. We attempt to achieve this through an exploration of the Reserved Treaty Rights Lands (RTRL) program and how it has been used to implement collaborative fuel management projects on National Forest lands. RTRL is a funding program administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) that is designed to protect natural and cultural resources important to tribes on non-tribal lands that are at high risk from wildfire. Over the last year, our research team has studied the RTRL program in the Southwest by conducting in-depth, face-to-face interviews with tribal land managers as well as U.S. Forest Service tribal liaisons and other personnel who work with tribes. Our interviews revealed enthusiasm and support for RTRL but also concern about the fairness of the program as well as insufficient outreach efforts by the U.S. Forest Service. In response, we propose a policy alteration that (we contend) would incentivize the BIA to increase funding allocations to the RTRL program without losing the support of partnering agencies. The aim is to strengthen and expand shared stewardship efforts between tribes and federal land management agencies. We situate these implications against the backdrop of the Pacheco Canyon Prescribed Burn, an RTRL funded project that was instrumental in containing the Medio Fire that broke out in the Santa Fe National Forest in the summer of 2020. View Full-Text
Keywords: fuel treatment; prescribed burning; tribal collaboration; fire management fuel treatment; prescribed burning; tribal collaboration; fire management
MDPI and ACS Style

Russell, G.; Champ, J.G.; Flores, D.; Martinez, M.; Hatch, A.M.; Morgan, E.; Clarke, P. Doing Work on the Land of Our Ancestors: Reserved Treaty Rights Lands Collaborations in the American Southwest. Fire 2021, 4, 7. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4010007

AMA Style

Russell G, Champ JG, Flores D, Martinez M, Hatch AM, Morgan E, Clarke P. Doing Work on the Land of Our Ancestors: Reserved Treaty Rights Lands Collaborations in the American Southwest. Fire. 2021; 4(1):7. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4010007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Russell, Gregory, Joseph G. Champ, David Flores, Michael Martinez, Alan M. Hatch, Esther Morgan, and Paul Clarke. 2021. "Doing Work on the Land of Our Ancestors: Reserved Treaty Rights Lands Collaborations in the American Southwest" Fire 4, no. 1: 7. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4010007

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