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fire history of the San Francisco East Bay region

Keeley on Native Americians clearing the East Bay hills

doc-titleFire history of the San Francisco East Bay region and implications for landscape patterns
quoteA more likely factor in the origin and maintenance of these grasslands was the frequent use of fire by the high density of Native Americans in the East Bay. There are many reasons for believing that these Native Americans managed their environment with fire in order to expand grasslands and other herbaceous associations over woody vegetation (Bean and Lawton 1973; Lewis 1973; Keeley 2002). ... The limited role of natural fires in the East Bay, coupled with the disturbance-dependent character of grasslands in the region, suggest that before human entry into the region the landscape mosaic heavily favored shrublands and woodlands with coniferous forests and smaller pockets of grasslands.
sourceJon E. Keeley, International Journal of Wildland Fire