Naturalist Night: Reintroducing Fire (watch recording)

Fire is a natural part of the California landscape and plays an integral role in our local ecology. For millennia, Indigenous communities have stewarded the land with fire, but centuries of fire suppression, periods of extreme drought, and an expanding populace into the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) have led to increasingly intense fires that threaten communities. The burning question in recent years has been: how do we protect our communities from fire while also supporting “good fire” on the landscape?

Join a panel of experts from Amah Mutsun Land Trust, Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, and Sempervirens Fund at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History for a series of talks exploring this question and the many ways that local groups are managing the landscape both for and with fire.

Below is a recording of the presentation, recorded at the Museum on August 10, 2023.


8/5 CZU and You: Henry Cowell

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has implemented a new prescribed burn program that allows community members to actively participate in forest management practices that support the health and resiliency of the park. Join us for this two part program where we’ll:

1. Learn about fire ecology in the redwoods and current forest management practices underway in the Redwood Grove of Henry Cowell Redwoods, including burn piles that are being created by community volunteers.

2. Practice building burn piles alongside State Parks staff and volunteers for future burn days. This is a unique opportunity to actively support land management both for and with fire in Santa Cruz County.

Saturday, August 5, 2023
10 a.m. to noon

Location: Henry Cowell (meeting details will be shared upon registration).
Accessibility notes below.

$20 Suggested Donation

About the CZU and YOU Series

Explore the role of fire on our landscape through a series of walks that invite our community to reflect on the CZU Lightning Complex fires of August 2020, while learning about proactive steps being taken throughout the County to manage the landscape both for and with fire. Explore fire resources from past events here.

In Partnership With

CZU and You Events

Accessibility and What to Expect

  • Participants should be prepared to walk 1-2 miles on mostly paved and flat trails.
  • Restrooms are available near the parking lot.
  • Wear layers, comfortable shoes, and bring any snacks/water you might need.
  • The first hour of the program will be a guided tour, and we will end with an opportunity to help build brush piles for those who are interested. NOTE: We will be building the piles, not burning them. Please wear boots, bring work gloves, and be prepared to work in varying terrain/conditions should you like to participate in this portion of the program. Please watch this video before attending.
  • Please leave your pets at home. Trained service animals are permitted.
  • Youth under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.