Fire in the Southwest Ep. 4: The Shifting Role of the Forest Stewards Guild in an Era of Megafires, with Zander Evans
Life with Fire
by Amanda Monthei
3w ago
Welcome to episode four of our Fire in the Southwest Series, supported by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium as well as the Arizona Wildfire Initiative! Today's guest, Zander Evans, is the executive director of the Forest Stewards Guild, which has a mission of promoting ecologically-, economically-, and socially-responsible forestry as a means of sustaining the integrity of forest ecosystems and the human communities dependent upon them. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Guild's team—including Zander, who has worked there for over 17 years—has seen the first-hand impacts of some of the mos ..read more
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Fire in the Southwest Series, Ep. 3: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into Western Fire Management with Jon Martin
Life with Fire
by Jon Martin, Amanda Monthei
1M ago
Welcome to our third episode of our Fire in the Southwest series! In this episode, we spoke with Jon Martin, who is the Director of Native American Forest and Rangeland Management Programming at the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University. Jon spent three decades working in forestry before retiring, and now uses his extensive interagency background to find pathways that can help tribes achieve their management goals within a Western fire management framework. This topic is especially prescient right now, as the Wildfire Commission Report was explicit in its recommendati ..read more
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Fire in the Southwest Series, Ep.2: The Grassification of the Sonoran Desert with Ecologist Mary Lata
Life with Fire
by Amanda Monthei
1M ago
What is it like to watch vegetation type-conversion in real time? How are invasive grasses changing the ecology of the desert and broader Southwest? What's being done to protect and restore Southwest ponderosa pine forests?  This episode with Tonto National Forest fire ecologist Mary Lata dives into the fire regimes of the Southwest, how they're changing by the year, how invasive grasses are influencing those changes, and particularly how she's beginning to see more fire in the Sonoran Desert, where fire was not historically common. We also spoke about her work within the Four Forest Rest ..read more
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Southwest Series Ep. 1: Southwest Fire Regimes and Post-Fire Community Support with Mary Stuever
Life with Fire
by Mary Stuever, Amanda Monthei
1M ago
Welcome to the first part of our six-episode series all about the Southwest, sponsored by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium! In this episode, which is serving as an introduction to the series, we spoke with Mary Stuever, who is the Chama District Forester for New Mexico State Forestry. Mary has a breadth of experience across disciplines in the fire world, which is well-reflected in our conversation. She's worked in suppression, prevention, fire ecology, community education, post-fire support and public information, among other roles in her long career in fire. As such, we touched on everyt ..read more
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Experiences of Wildfire in Montana, with Young Indigenous Storytellers and the Montana Media Lab
Life with Fire
by Amanda Monthei
4M ago
Today's episode is a special one. We collaborated with the Montana Media Lab—a program of the University of Montana's School of Journalism—to help support their winter "Youth Voices" workshop, which empowers young rural and Indigenous storytellers to learn more about audio storytelling while sharing stories from their communities. This episode features five stories from high school students in Browning and Florence, Montana, all of which are centered around wildfire's presence in their communities. Story one (timestamp: 6:32) centers on the experiences of volunteer wildland firefighters on the ..read more
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The Changing Fire Environment and Shifting Baseline Syndrome with "Fire Weather" Author John Vaillant
Life with Fire
by Amanda Monthei
5M ago
In this episode, we had a chance to sit down with author John Vaillant, who recently published a new book about the 2016 Fort McMurray fires in Northern Alberta. The book, Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World, is an in-depth exploration of the fires, which released in June 2023. We not only spoke about his reporting process in the aftermath of a catastrophic wildfire, but we also touched on some of the book's major themes and how these were, in many cases, paralleled by the 2023 fire season in Canada.  We even did some deep diving into the oil and gas industry's role in increasi ..read more
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Rapid Fire Episode with Mystery Ranch Backbone Scholarship Winner Riston Bullock
Life with Fire
by Riston Bullock, Amanda Monthei
7M ago
In our second Backbone Scholarship episode—sponsored by Mystery Ranch and the American Wildfire Experience—we chatted with Nez Perce wildland firefighter Riston Bullock, who spoke about his experiences working in fire over the last decade, about the challenges that have come up as he has gotten older and become a father, as well as the challenges of the Nez Perce Reservation to have more authority over their own fire management. Riston also spoke about his experience of seeing a fatality on a wildfire last summer, as well as the processing he's had to do in the aftermath of this incident.  ..read more
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Rapid Fire Episode with Mystery Ranch Backbone Scholarship Winner Junior Lazaro
Life with Fire
by Amanda Monthei
7M ago
Life with Fire Podcast, Mystery Ranch Backpacks and the American Wildfire Experience (AWE) have joined forces to bring you this episode with Junior Lazaro—a wildland firefighter who received a Backbone Scholarship from AWE to share his experiences of fire through the Mystery Ranch Backbone Series and Life with Fire Podcast.  Junior is a young wildland firefighter who shared his experiences of working in fire in his third season on a BLM handcrew out of eastern Oregon. In this episode, he spoke to some of his challenges and triumphs in pursuing wildland firefighting, and spoke especially t ..read more
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Fire For the People With the Nature Conservancy's Marek Smith
Life with Fire
by Marek Smith, Amanda Monthei
8M ago
Well we finally got a chance to speak with Marek Smith, who is the North American Fire Director for the Nature Conservancy and the co-director of the Fire Networks, which houses the Fire Adapted Learning Network, the Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX), The Indigenous Peoples Burning Network and the Fire Learning Networks. Before I get too far into this intro, I do want to note that the Fire Network has a new website that is a veritable clearinghouse of good fire resources, knowledge and information on how to get involved—I highly recommend you go check it out! New Fire Networks Webs ..read more
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The Wildfire Commission Report with Kelly Martin
Life with Fire
by Kelly Martin, Amanda Monthei
10M ago
The Wildfire Mitigation and Management Commission, established in 2022 at the behest of Congress following the 2021 Infrastructure Act, recently released a substantial report highlighting recommendations that will shape the future of wildfire policy and action in the US. Fifty commission members were charged with creating the recommendations, one of which was Kelly Martin—who is a founding member of the Grassroots Wildland Firefighter organization and a longtime wildland firefighter. We had the chance to chat with Kelly about the commission, and she was able to provide us a glimpse into the pr ..read more
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