Fighting fire with fire

July 1, 2024

Michael Dockry discusses Indigenous forestry knowledge with the New York Botanical Garden. 

Michael Dockry, Associate Professor in the Department of Forest Resources, was a guest on the podcast Plant People, a production of The New York Botanical Garden. In the recent episode, Dockry discusses the threat of wildfires, and the Indigenous practice of controlled burns as a method of rejuvenating fire-dependent forests and reducing the risk of uncontrolled conflagrations.

Dockry is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Potawatomi translates to “the people of the place of the fire” or “the fire keepers.” In his teaching and research, Dockry incorporates Indigenous forestry knowledge. “I'm looking at fire with a lot of guidance from tribal partners; fire as a necessary piece of our relationship to these forests… Trying to understand how we can rekindle our relationship with fire again,” says Dockry.