Anthony Barela Nystrom

Anthony Barela Nystrom


Anthony Barela Nystrom is an enrolled member of the Piro-Manso-Tiwa Tribe of Guadalupe Pueblo and also has ancestry in the Yaqui and Ojibwe Nations. Anthony is a Masters student at Humboldt State University studying Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences. His current research is being conducted in partnership with the Yurok Tribe and focuses on both the ecological importance of prescribed fire management and the political process for bringing prescribed fire back to the Yurok Reservation. To help tell this story, he is using the pepperwood tree (Umbellularia californica) – a culturally important medicinal and food species, to show that ecological conditions have declined since federal and state regulations halted the Yurok Tribe’s fire management practices nearly a century ago. Oral history and preliminary research findings show that this species no longer produces peppernuts in historic quantities, perhaps due to fire suppression efforts over the past 150 years. With this research, the Yurok Tribe may adapt their cultural fire management practices to increase peppernut production and improve the ability of Yurok Tribal members to reclaim traditional gathering activities.

Anthony received a B.S. in Environmental Management and Protection from Humboldt State University in 2014 and has held various positions over the years, including experiences with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Park Service, and the University of Minnesota. Although his work experiences have led him to work on projects ranging from hydrology and policy to botany and geology, Anthony’s career goals are most heavily focused on restoring Indigenous land management practices in an effort to increase Tribal sovereignty over resources and allow for better management collaborations between Tribal and non-Tribal entities. Anthony believes this resurgence of Indigenous practices will help address many of today’s environmental issues.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Humboldt State University, MS
Current Position:
M.S. Candidate / Program Advisor at Indian Natural Resource, Science, and Engineering Program at Humboldt State University
Natural Resource Management
Currently Working On:
Fire ecology and prescribed fire policy research with the Yurok Tribe
600 F St., Suite 3 PMB 918
Arcata, CA 95521
(805) 588-0732

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