Tom Swetnam To Speak On ‘Forests, Fire And People In The Jemez Mountains During May 8 Zoom Event


Friends of the Jemez Springs Public Library are hosting a Zoom presentation called ” Forests, Fire, and People in the Jemez Mountains: The Long View from Tree-Rings and Archaeology” by Tom Swetnam at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 8.

The suggested donation of $20 can be paid online at:

The Jemez Mountains have a very rich natural and cultural history. That history is written in the landscape. Some of the stories can be read in the annual rings of old trees and the ruins of ancient pueblos. The tree rings tell us about wet and dry years, and forest fires that swept across the valleys and mountain slopes for hundreds of years. The tree rings in old roof timbers also tell us when people built the great pueblos on the mesas of the Jemez. The age of the oldest trees growing within the old ruins today tell us about when people left their ancestral homes. All of these stories come together to teach us that people can live sustainably within fire prone forests, so long as they use wood and fire in careful ways.

In this talk Swetnam will tell some of the stories of forests, fire, and people that we have learned from our tree-ring and archaeology studies in the Jemez Mountains over the past decade. We were fortunate to learn from both the trees and our Jemez Pueblo collaborators. There are lessons for learning to live within forests of the Jemez Mountains today.

Anyone giving a donation to the Friends of the Library in the amount of $20 or more between now and Friday, May 7 will receive the Zoom link via email. Payment may be made by either Paypal or credit card or by mailing a check to Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 16, Jemez Springs, NM 87025. If paying by check, allow time for processing and note your email address.