Prior to the Gold Rush, indigenous Tribes tended the Sierra Nevada for more than 7,500 years. Today, descendants of the First Nations have accumulated extensive understanding across millennia about historic vegetation assemblages, plant uses, management practices, and landscape trends. This Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) is invaluable to the restoration of Sierra Nevada ecosystems and is critical to the preservation of the culture and history of the region. The Sierra Fund works with First Nation partners to address Sierra-wide impacts of the California Gold Rush and to identify opportunities for restoring ecosystem resilience and cultural stewardship in tandem.
“The Sierra Fund is dedicated to partnering with local Tribes to foster a paradigm shift in restoration ecology. By incorporating the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of First Nations into our projects we create a new environmental discourse that honors culture and history as part of our natural resources.”Alex Keeble Toll, M.A., M.Sc., Administrative Director