Prescribed Burns at TomKat Ranch – Interview with Local Radio Host (KPDO) About What She Learned

Catherine Perry at KPDO

By: Annie Fresquez

Annie FresquezAt TomKat, we work to implement regenerative land management practices and share what we are learning. As part of this work, this month we had a chance to sit down with Cathrine Perry, manager of our local community radio station KPDO. As part of an ongoing radio series, she recently completed three interviews with some of the people involved with our prescribed burn program. Now it’s our chance to get her perspective on what she’s learned about prescribed burns as a result. 

Q: Tell us about you and KPDO?

A: I’m station manager for KPDO 89.3 FM, aka Pescadero Public Radio Service, a nonprofit educational community radio station. I’ve been working on rebooting KPDO since 2011 when the former station manager absconded with our funds, and a lot of our equipment, and left the country. At that point, I was a mere DJ, with a show called Pescadero Pesos about Pescadero businesses and nonprofits.

Q: What was your inspiration for the series?

A: My inspiration for the series was the catastrophic fires we experienced in Pescadero last year, the heroic measures our community members and volunteer firefighters took to get the fire under control, and the hope for mitigation measures, which controlled burns provide.

Q: What are your takeaways from the series? 

A: In the course of the interviews, I learned a lot about how the world is changing in terms of managing land, and how TomKat Ranch, as well as many others, are turning to the knowledge of native tribes to understand how to do that, while at the same time adding science to the mix. That combination of science and native knowledge compounds to provide a really powerful understanding of how to not just prevent fires, but enrich the forests and our lives with a return to a more open and flourishing landscape through frequent low-intensity burning. It’s a serendipitous result, and I’m kind of awed that we have found such a good result from what was such a bad experience, at least for me personally and many people I know.

In the next segment of the series, Catherine plans to interview a local indigenous tribal member to learn more about their age-old wisdom on using fire as a landscape management tool.

Use the audio players below to listen to Catherine’s conversations
with her three guests:

Interview with Sarah Collamer - Cal Fire Forester

by Catherine Perry | Prescribed Burn at TomKat Ranch

Interview with Chelsea Carry - Soil Ecologist, Point Blue Conservation Science

by Catherine Perry | Prescribed Burn at TomKat Ranch

Wendy Millet - TomKat Ranch, Director

by Catherine Perry | Prescribed Burn at TomKat Ranch