Vol 4 No 1 (2013)

Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Practices with Seed Collection Programs for Public Land Management in the Western United States

Carolyn Baker
Zeugen by Morgan Rauscher
Published May 22, 2013


Indigenous communities have affected the landscapes of North America for centuries past and the accumulative knowledge of plant resources and harvesting methods can enhance the seed collection efforts of federal agencies and reduce the risks of using unsourced or non-local seed stocks for direct seeding and/or propagation. Indigenous participants can benefit from economic opportunities through partnerships for greenhouse and seed collection contracts or by volunteering and sharing knowledge by collaborating with land managers to continue traditional harvesting activities through organized events held on public lands. Both federal agencies and indigenous tribes hold a mutual interest in restoring and maintaining the health of the land. The exchange of knowledge and the involvement of indigenous communities in land management efforts can benefit both land managers and indigenous communities by restoring cultural activities and collaborating to improve the integrity of the land. Collaborative efforts should focus on meeting the cultural objectives of the participant indigenous communities.