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Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources Paperback – February 22, 2006


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Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources + California Indians and Their Environment: An Introduction (California Natural History Guides)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 555 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (February 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520248511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520248519
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This fascinating book is rich with information and beautifully written for a broad audience of both laypeople and professionals." - Sue Rosenthal, Bay Nature "Tending the Wild is an enormously rich and highly readable text on the remarkably diverse land management techniques practiced by California Indians over millennia. This book serves as an invaluable resource as we strive to conserve California's enormous cultural and biotic heritage in the new century. A triumph!" - Michael H. Horn, California State University Fullerton "Tending the Wild supports the little know fact that Indian groups in California historically practiced a kind of "environmental bonsai" through their centuries long management activities. Kat Anderson's work is timely and will make an important contribution toward a better understanding of the historic ecologies of North America." - Greg Cajete, University of New Mexico"

From the Inside Flap

"This is a highly significant—one might argue revolutionary—book. It, and the author's previous research, has the potential to completely change the way western land managers relate to the land and the resources they are trying to regulate. Even more, it has the power to influence the way that all of us approach Nature and will reinforce the importance of Native Americans and the sophistication of their knowledge."—Nancy J. Turner, University of Victoria

"Tending the Wild is an enormously rich and highly readable text on the remarkably diverse land management techniques practiced by California Indians over millennia. This book serves as an invaluable resource as we strive to conserve California's enormous cultural and biotic heritage in the new century. A triumph!"—Michael H. Horn, California State University Fullerton

"Tending the Wild supports the little know fact that Indian groups in California historically practiced a kind of "environmental bonsai" through their centuries long management activities. Kat Anderson's work is timely and will make an important contribution toward a better understanding of the historic ecologies of North America."—Greg Cajete, University of New Mexico

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Customer Reviews

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Buy this book, read it and understand.
Helen Highwater
Highly recommended for those whose interests lie in Californian Indians management, practice, and use of specific vegetal resources.
Jonathan
Besides this, the book is very interesting.
Yosemite Native Americans

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Saltzman on October 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This excellent book written about the management of California land by the native people in the past, is also a textbook of what we will need to do in the future to survive. M. Kit Anderson has written a revolutionary book. The wealth of information on how Native peoples managed the California landscape in a sustainable way finally does justice to these people and their way of life - a people who were so cruelly treated by the Spanish and American invaders. The author explores the ecological management skills of California native peoples without romanticizing them or ignoring mistakes that they made.

The modern environmental movement created the myth of the unspoiled wilderness untouched by human hands. Tending the Wild debunks that myth and levels some well earned criticism towards those environmentalists who failed to appreciate how the California native peoples were successfully and actively managing the California landscape, as were other indigenous people around the world.

But the wealth of detail the book provides on how the Native Americans successfully managed the California landscape is also a model of sustainable living that has much to teach all of us. We learn an alternative to the destructive environmental, agricultural and development practices of our time. Practices that are destroying our ability to not only preserve the beauty of the landscape but to use the landscape wisely to provide for our needs in a sustainable way.

Anybody who is interested in sustainable living should also explore books on Permaculture by authors like Bill Mollison, David Holmgren and Toby Hemenway. Permaculture is a modern attempt at designing for sustainable living.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Fire Ecologist on December 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Kat Andersons well researched book can be used by conservationists, land managers, ecologists, scientists, historians, and others to better understand historical Native American land use in California. This book helps dispell the myth of passive Native American resource management and provides examples of how Native Americans influenced much of the landscape prior to European contact and how removal of their influence continues to effect the environment today. Anyone who considers themselves and expert or has an interest in California vegetation and issues surrounding its ecology and use should read this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peter Bauer on October 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
In her book Tending the Wild, M. Kat Anderson has painted a very different picture of indigenous peoples than most civilized people could even begin to fathom. She begins by taking us through the history of California and its Native peoples. Using accounts of explorers, missionaries, pioneers and anthropologists she shows how those of our culture came to California with no understanding or lens with which to understand native land management. Rather, like everywhere else, civilization saw resources to extract, came and conquered California and her people. With California's wildlife & Native cultures now decimated, newer research has shown that Native land management actually contributed to enhancing the biological diversity and abundance of life. Anderson argues that if we wish to restore our mutual relationship with nature, we must learn these ancient management techniques and implement them immediately. Although she uses only California Natives to back her thesis, we can witness these same principles among indigenous cultures the world over. This book works not only as a history of indigenous horticulture in California, but mostly as a beginners manual for those who seek to understand more about sustainable, indigenous land management. This book rocked my world. Don't miss out, buy it now!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Helen Highwater on May 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the last three years, I have watched 500,000 acres of San Diego county burn. I came to M. Kat Anderson's book after we nearly lost our home, which is neatly tucked between two pieces of reservation land; I got infinitely more understanding than I thought possible. She has given us a timely, well researched work, that gives homage to the people who came long before us.

This book will sit on my shelf, next to "1491" (another must read, Americas before Columbus). The land nourishes all of us, regardless of race, color or creed. We need to learn from the past practices, to better care for the land. Many environmentalists use "pristine" when describing wilderness, and it is a misnomer. Without fire, there are no sprouting redwoods. Controlled burns are necessary. But try and tell your local political leaders that.
Buy this book, read it and understand.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ana Kritis on August 30, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is covering ground not found elsewhere about the way of Native Americans in California interacted with nature to actually improve the health of forests and wild life. I am thrilled to find it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bob Zybach on December 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should become required reading for all High School and University students, teachers, and researchers with an interest in North American anthropology, ethnobotany, botany, biology, historical ecology, fire history, forest management, and history. It will be of particular value to readers with an interest in cultural and natural resources management, agricultural sustainability, and federal Wilderness policy, among other topics.

The book is excellently written, organized, and indexed, for both general reading and specific reference uses. It is a wonderful addition to Anderson's other major contribution to science, Forgotten Fires.
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