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48 Baxter Street, Athens, GA 30602

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This presentation by Dr. Kirsten Vinyeta of Utah State University synthesizes the findings from two separate but related research efforts examining the tactics employed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in the 20th century to inculcate settlers in the United States with pyrophobic values. By examining USFS fire suppression rhetoric from 1905-present, as well as carrying out a systematic analysis of Smokey Bear campaign materials, these combined research efforts reveal how settler colonial logics permeated the agency's outward-facing dialogue and marketing to conceal the lack of science informing the agency's strict fire suppression. These logics served to erase Indigenous peoples, women, and more-than-human species as active and capable agents in the forest, a fact that has eco-cultural consequences that reverberate to this day.

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