Tribal-Led Renewal of Black Oak Traditions for Climate Adaptation

Part of a Spring Webinar Series Hosted by the SW CASC and NPS Tribal Engagement & Climate Change Workgroup


noon to 1 p.m., May 19, 2022

The Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (SW CASC) and the NPS Tribal Engagement & Climate Change workgroup are hosting a webinar series in Spring 2022, on the third Thursday of April, May, and June, 12-1pm PDT. The webinars will highlight climate adaptation projects partially funded by the SW CASC that are taking place in collaboration with local Tribal partners. Below are the descriptions of each webinar along with a registration link. Two of the webinars will be recorded and available at one week after the event.

Since time immemorial, black oaks (Quercus kelloggii) have been celebrated and cared for by American Indians throughout California. Traditionally, acorn served as a main food staple and today is still widely sought and celebrated at acorn festivals and tribal gatherings. For numerous decades, black oak research in Yosemite Valley has shown poor sapling recruitment. Restoring tribal stewardship and cultural burning may help preserve black oaks and the qualities they once were renown for, contributing to a more resilient ecosystem. Dean Tonenna will additionally be discussing how the Mono Lake Kootzaduka’a approach land management and why active participation is necessary to preserve this knowledge.

Irene Vasquez is enrolled with the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation and works as a cultural ecologist for Yosemite National Park.
Dean Tonenna is a botanist with the Bureau of Land Management in Carson City, Nevada, and has been brought up in the traditions of his people, the Kootzatukadu, a Native American Tribe, who live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Mono Lake and Yosemite. 



Sarah LeRoy