Inside the Source: Indian Timber Symposium
August 14, 2019
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500 Years of Change: The 43rd Indian Timber Symposium
by Andrea Watts
The Intertribal Timber Council [ITC] and Seminole Tribe of Florida hosted its 43rd Annual National Indian Timber Symposium in June, and it was the first time the symposium was held in Florida. The location provided a valuable perspective on the roles of wildland and hydrology in the Southeast. The Seminole Tribe of Florida manages 92,000 acres across six reservations that are a mixture of agricultural and grazing lands and forestland that includes cypress, pine, and oak. Over the course of the four-day conference, attendees saw examples of how the Seminoles manage the Big Cypress Reservation and heard presentations on the indigenous use of fire, changes in fire management, and how hydrology has changed over time.
To learn more about the inspiration for the symposium’s “500 Years of Change” theme and interesting takeaways from the workshops, I chatted with Grant Steelman, a member of the 2019 symposium committee and a forester/fire management officer with the Seminole Tribe of Florida; Don Motanic, (Umatilla/Coeur d’Alene) a technical specialist with ITC and an SAF member; and Serra Hoagland, (Laguna Pueblo) a liaison officer and biologist with the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station based at the Salish Kootenai College and an SAF member.