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Aboriginal Hunters’ Fires Help Restore an Australian Desert (nytimes.com)
11 points by pseudolus 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments





Indigenous folks using fire beneficially isn't unique to Australia; it's also used by folks native to California. I've helped with burns used to knock back plants like hazelnut so they'll produce long thin branches ideal for basketry. Here's an article that discusses the same idea in a north american context: https://www.hcn.org/articles/tribal-affairs-california-wildf...

Restore is a relative word. It seems that all the ecosystem not tolerant to fire or acumulating water was wiped long time ago, thousands of plants, animals and fungi went extinct and is not possible to restore it anymore, so we stick with the second best forever

When all was turned into a frypan, adding oil and burning it regularly helps, but this does not mean that other ways weren't possible.


A lot of native Australian flora requires fire conditions to germinate: the Banksia and Wattle for example which are often among the first plants to reappear after a bushfire.

If you want to know more, there are two related books you can read:

The Greatest Estate On Earth, Bill Gammage, on how Australian indigenous land management was much more extensive than commonly thought

Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe - this one cites the above substantially and is much more polemic, but it looks at more aspects of Australian indigenous life, hunting, trade etc.


Great books, I recommend them too.



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