by being blended with Native American burning techniques.
Brad Schultz, Humboldt County extension educator for the University of
Nevada Cooperative Extension, says research shows that Native
Americans were successful at controlling vegetation with their use of fire.
And he adds proper and targeted burning helps to control the
vegetation and other fuels that can make small wildfires become
“We need to understand that active management that Native Americans
used and in many situations bring back that active management,” he
“Or change the type of management, the mechanisms of fire or some
other treatment that manipulates vegetation, when fire’s no longer
Schultz is among the researchers involved in the study that was
published in the journal Rangeland Ecology & Management.
He says Native Americans used fire for many purposes, including
increasing the availability of desired plants, maintaining habitats
for animals used as food and driving game during hunts.
Schultz maintains combining ancient principles with modern science
could be very effective at gaining better control of vegetation in the
But, he concedes many layers of government bureaucracy can make it
take years to do a simple burn, which could yield positive results
“It’s preventing forest fires,” he says. “It’s creating wildlife
habitat, controlling noxious weeds, improving grazing resources for
“It could be any specific management objective you have for some piece of land.”
Schultz adds he hopes the research will lead to less government red
tape involved in managing lands on the Great Basin.