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Fire Friday: Discussion about burning issues

Friday, March 24, 2023 4:00pm-6:00pm 

This was an opportunity to learn about ecological stewardship and intentional fire from team members of the California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA) and the founders of Torchbearr. Participants improved their understanding of how to bring more people together to learn how to increase the use of intentional fire. 
Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley Carolyn Smith and Chairperson of the California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA) Alice Lincoln-Cook explained the roots of activism that shaped the formation of CIBA, the legacy of fire suppression, the obstacles to gathering basketweaving plants, and the relationship between basketweaving and tending to the land. The Operations Director at Torchbearr Scot Steinbring discussed the roles of partnerships in getting to scale of prescribed fire. The Planning Director at Torchbearr Erica Terence summarized the origin and purpose of the non-profit organization Torchbearr. Torchbearr's mission is to promote prescribed fire for a brighter fire future for all. 
Webinar Agenda
Time Item
4:00pm Webinar begins, presenter introductions
  Alice Lincoln-Cook and Carolyn Smith: California Indian Basketweavers Association: Rekindling Culture and Fire 

Audience Q & A

4:40pm Break
4:50pm Scot Steinbring: Getting to Scale with Prescribed Fire
  Erica Terence: Who We Are, What We Do, and Why We Do It

Audience Q&A

6:00pm Webinar close


Scot Steinbring, Operations Director at Torchbearr

Scot Steinbring has spent over thirty years working in fire-related fields. His career has spanned both fire suppression and prescribed burning in that time completing many acres of thinning, project layout, planning and implementation . He started on a Forest Service fire engine at age 18 and from there pursued every training opportunity he could get, becoming qualified as a firefighter, squad boss, crew rep, engine boss, fire instructor, type 2 burn boss, and division group supervisor. He also opened a task book for packing fire resources into remote areas, and loves working with horses. Scot spent 25 years working at the Forest Service, and his time at that agency culminated in a job at Sequoia National Forest where he managed a program of 480 call-when-needed crew-members and took responsibility for their training, mobilization and safety. Scot then took his considerable fire experience and skills to Cal Fire, where he worked for three years as a prevention officer in the Tulare unit, learning valuable lessons in fire inspections and public outreach. Scot also serves as a qualified Division Group Supervisor and Operations Section Chief trainee on a California Type 2 Incident Management Team that responded nationally.  Subsequently, Scot went to work for two California Tribes as a Fire Management officer, Consulted for private fire contracting company, and currently a CWN Type 2 burn boss for the Nature Conservancy. He also recently co-founded the non-profit organization Torchbearr, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on promoting prescribed fire for a brighter fire future for all. Torchbearr uses training, hands on burning, and education to accomplish this mission. Scot enjoys training future generations, and logs over 600 hours of training per year. Those hours include everything from basic 100 series fire classes to more advanced 300 series fire classes. Scot provides fire instruction and burn boss services to partner organizations including prescribed burn associations throughout California.  

His motto is “Learn from the past, Train the present or fail the future.”  

Erica Terence, Planning Director at Torchbearr

Erica grew up near the Oregon-California border in the rural Middle Klamath region, where fire is a fact of life and fire readiness is a year-round endeavor. Her background in journalism, watershed health, non-profit operations, and fire management inform everything she does. Erica has been performing various roles at non-profits from volunteer to leader for the past 17 years. She has been trained as a fundraiser for good causes and a public information officer serving communities and incident management teams during incidents like wildfires. Erica has worked in many aspects of fire, from promoting and practicing fire readiness and use of intentional fire as a method of fuels reduction to response during wildfires and helping communities to recover after devastating fire impacts. Most recently, Erica and her career fire fighter significant other Scot Steinbring have co-founded two separate but affiliated non-profit organizations focused on overcoming barriers to use of prescribed burning as a strategy to reduce wildfire risk. Travel, swimming, camping, food, gardening, homesteading, her dog, her friends, and her family keep her sane while fire keeps her motivated.  

Carolyn Smith, PhD and Executive Director of the California Indian Bsketweavers Association (CIBA)

Carolyn Smith (Karuk) holds a PhD in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, and is a traditional basketweaver and artist. Most recently, she was a Postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley, working in the repatriation unit. In her academic work, Carolyn uses indigenous methodologies to understand how Karuk basketry is profoundly interwoven with ways of knowing and being in the world. Additionally, she has experience working in the nonprofit sector as the Executive Director for the California Indian Basketweavers Association and the Da’luk Youth Program Coordinator for the Northern California Indian Development Council.

Alice Lincoln-Cook, Chairperson of the California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA)

Alice Lincoln-Cook (Karuk) has proudly served on the CIBA Board of Directors for two terms. She is a member of the Karuk Tribe and worked over 20 years as an independent artist, making traditional jewelry and weaving Karuk style baskets. She teaches basketweaving to local tribal members at her store, the Klamath Book Nook in the town of Klamath, California. In addition, she works with local schools and other institutions and at events throughout the Pacific Northwest region. Alice was instrumental in reviving CIBA’s Following the Smoke II program, building valuable partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies.

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