Georgina Preston, BSc (she/her)
Wildfire Risk in Stswecem'c Xget'tem Territory: Barriers and Opportunities to Addressing it Despite Colonial Land Management Systems
I am a white settler working in partnership with Stswecem'c Xget'tem First Nation (SXFN) to answer research questions about the unceded colonially-managed forest lands (specifically, Old Growth Management Areas and Mule Deer Winter Range) that surround their two communities:
- What is the likelihood of crown fire (community threatening wildfire) during varying weather scenarios: an average summer day from the past 15 years vs. hotter, drier conditions becoming more frequent with climate change?
- How is crown fire likelihood impacted by fuel reduction simulations that follow current colonial forest policy during hot, dry conditions? How do those simulated treatments differ from one that removes fuel until crown fire likelihood drops <50%?
Check out Mike Stefanuk's (PhD student) website which features our November, 2022 research progress.
I worked for SXFN's Stewardship Department from 2018-2020 and am grateful to continue our work together as a master's student. UBC and SXFN have signed a legally binding Indigenous Collaborative Research Protocol Agreement that seeks to uphold principles of free, prior, and informed consent as well as First Nations Principles on Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession. The agreement also dictates fair compensation and credit for all contributions SXFN citizens, staff, and Leadership have made to the research. It is incredibly important to me that this research benefits SXFN first and foremost. I have spent time both on the land and in the office with SXFN citizens and representatives to codevelop research questions, methodologies, and interpret results.
This research advocates for SXFN sovereignty and #LandBack to achieve SXFN goals for eco-cultural land restoration, climate change adaptation, and the reduction of community-threatening wildfire risk for present and future generations.