This paper covers the wild horse overpopulation case study at the Salt River in Arizona, exploring how Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) might help foster solutions to a lengthy and heated controversy about how to manage wild horses and burros on the rangeland. Fikret Berke's Sacred Ecology defines traditional ecological knowledge as, "a cumulative body of knowledge, practice, and belief evolving by adaptive processes and handed down through generations by cultural transmission, about the relationship of living beings (including humans) with one another and with their environment," (Berkes, 3). In contrast to current management strategies, TEK utilizes knowledge that comes from direct experience and intuitive knowing, rather than science-based, techno-rational streams of knowledge. Drawing on three modern sustainability concepts that support and stem from TEK, including: everything is connected, complex solutions can further complicate problems and diversity as a key to resilience, this paper sets forth a number of specific solutions to be considered moving forward, guided by the wisdom of TEK.
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