Project overview: In collaboration with Tribal partners, protect sensitive cultural resources threatened by fuel buildup and climate warming in Yosemite’s Wilderness, focusing on Pate Valley and beyond.
How your support helps: Cultural resources in Yosemite’s Wilderness face increasing danger from fire, due to both increases in extreme fire behavior and increased fuel loading associated with declining forest health or changing forest structure. NPS archaeologists have documented hundreds of sites that could be damaged by hazardous fuel loading, but no system is in place to prioritize these sites, implement the recommendations, or seek Tribal partner input regarding other locations that should be protected and what protective treatments should entail.
This project will develop a set of practices that incorporate Tribal partner input on fuel reduction and other protective treatments within sensitive cultural resources. Treatment implementation will provide cross-training opportunities among archaeology, cultural ecology, and Tribal partners to learn mutually preferred practices. Once a set of preferred practices are agreed on, they will serve as the foundation for a minimum requirement analysis for non-emergency fuel treatments in Pate Valley and beyond.
This year: Fieldwork for the 2024 season will focus on completing treatments in Pate Valley and set the stage for a sustainable program going forward.
Project partners: Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, Seven Affiliated Tribes of Yosemite, Yosemite National Park