When settlers traveled to Washington, they assumed the forests they found were untouched lands full of vibrant plant and animal life.

But as a recent Crosscut story says, that idea was a myth. Instead, the lands these European settlers saw were carefully shaped by the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest who had many intentional practices long before these people ever arrived. One of these was controlled burns.

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences research associate professor Ernesto Alvarado contributed to the conversation published recently by Crosscut. Read the story here.