Daniel May recently concluded a six-week research visit to Forest History Society. When asked about his visit to the FHS, he responded:

“I’m here to work on my doctoral thesis on the contemporary and historical politics of indigenous burning in Australia and the United States. Both Aboriginal Australian and Native American societies used (and some continue to use) fire for a wide range of reasons, which shaped our environment today. There are also big similarities in how non-indigenous people in both countries have understood indigenous burning, and how these understandings have influenced political debates over fuel reduction, logging, and grazing. With increasing public interest in restored ‘cultural burning’ and a major fire deficit, it’s critical that contemporary debates be historically informed.”

Daniel May

Daniel May visiting the Forest History Society archives

Daniel discovered many records useful for his research at the FHS archives, reporting:

“Firstly, I’ve been looking at U.S. Forest Service archival collections relating to the 1910 Big Burn, and public debate surrounding the “light burning” dispute of the early 20th century. The papers of Dr. Harold Weaver (a pioneer prescribed burning scientist) have been helpful. And I’ve been taking advantage of the Library’s extensive collection of forestry and fire-related books and journals, which are simply unavailable in Australia.”