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FEATURING ALI MEDERS-KNIGHT – Massive and devastating wildfires in California have become a summer-time norm and this summer’s out-of-control complex of fires in the northern part of the state came at the same time as a viral pandemic that strikes the lungs and was largely sparked by lightning not humans. Between the fire-devastation, smoke inhalation, soaring temperatures, and fear of infection, Californians are suffering with so solutions in sight.

Except that there are potential solutions to the wildfires and some of them are being offered by indigenous groups whose ancestors have lived on these lands for generations and know intimately how fire can be a necessary part of ecological change.

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Ali Meders-Knight is a Mechoopda tribal member based in Chico, CA and a Tribal liaison helping form partnerships for federal forest stewardship contracting and tribal forestry programs authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. She has been a Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) practitioner for over 20 years, collaborating on environmental education and land restoration projects with Chico State University and the City of Chico.

*This interview was originally broadcast on August 26, 2020.

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