How a Chumash nursery is preserving culture, and extreme heat is putting expectant moms at risk

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Gray pines, which are harvested for their pine nuts, were once a major food source for many native people, including the Chumash. Photo by Kathryn Barnes/KCRW.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash is cultivating native plant species in its nursery — as a way to preserve its indigenous culture. Extreme heat is causing preterm pregnancies and even infant death in some cases. A new bill would allow farmworkers to cast remote votes in union elections, and it’s awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.