Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Electronic Theses and Dissertations bannerUC Davis

Ecocultural Restoration Collaboration: Directing Scatter-Hoarding Dispersal of California Black Oak Acorns for Indigenous Futurity


Ecosystems dominated by California black oak (Quercus kelloggii Newberry) have been disappearing since euromerican colonization of what is now called California. These systems have historically been perpetuated by Indigenous ecological stewardship and are critical for Indigenous food ways and sovereignty. They also have considerable conservation value for non-humans and for landscape-scale climate change resilience. This research aims to contribute to the limited literature on effective mechanisms for establishing California black oak dominant systems where they have been lost. The Maidu Summit Consortium (MSC) and community members partnered in this study to trial a novel restoration method. Feeding platforms were constructed to facilitate and direct Steller’s jays’ (Cyanocitta stelleri) scatter-hoarding in order to overcome black oak seed dispersal limitations in Tásmam Koyóm (Humbug Valley) in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. While results are limited due to the 2021 Dixie fire’s catastrophic destruction of field sites, camera traps at the platforms collected ample evidence that Steller’s jays could be successfully recruited to scatter-hoard black oak acorn on sites with no parent trees. All 1,694 acorns supplied to platforms were collected by scatter-hoarders, and photos suggest the majority were collected by Steller’s jays. Finally, this research acts as a case study of ecological restoration research in collaboration with Indigenous land-stewards and aims to illustrate the importance and complexities of this multidisciplinary attempt at supporting Indigenous sovereignty.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View