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Tanoak Tree; Environmental History of a Pacific Coast Hardwood


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The tanoak, Notholithocarpus densiflorus, is a Pacific Coast hardwood native to California and southwest Oregon. It is a tree with a complex environmental history, attracting radically different perceptions -- from treasured food plant of indigenous peoples to cash crop to trash tree. Having studied the patterns of tanoak use and threats for nearly twenty years, botanist, Frederica Bowcutt, uncovers the tangled history of cultural, sociopolitical, and economic factors affecting the tree's fate and discusses hopeful changes; including reintroduction of low-intensity burning to reduce conifer competition for tanoaks, emerging disease resistance in some trees, and new partnerships among tanoak defenders, including botanists, foresters, Native Americans, and plant pathologists.

Frederica Bowcutt has been teaching botany at The Evergreen State College since 1996. She specializes in floristics, field plant ecology, and plant-centric environmental history. Dr. Bowcutt earned her bachelor of science at the University of California, Berkeley, and her master degree at U.C. Davis, both degrees in botany. She continued at U.C. Davis to earn her Ph.D. in ecology. Between her masters and Ph.D., she worked for five years as an ecologist for California State Parks and Recreation. Her work has been published in a variety of journals. She recently co-edited a second book, Vascular Plants of the South Sound Prairies.

Copies of The Tanoak Tree will be available for sale at the meeting ($25.00, cash only). Of the book, John Tappenier, retired Oregon State University Forester, says, “This book will be helpful for someone wanting a general overview of tanoak-conifer forest of southwestern Oregon and northern California. It could serve as a basis for, or as part of, a seminar or class on broadening the scope of forest management to include native American cultural values in contemporary western U.S. forests.”

Thursday, May 3, 2018, 7:00pm,
Mountaineers Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle, 98115, The Cascade Room

Doors open at 6:00 P.M. for the native plant identification workshop. Program begins at 7:00 P.M.

Refreshments, Public Invited, Admission is free.
Donations are appreciated!