After the Smoke Clears - Eagle Creek fires and forest recovery

The Eagle Creek fires raised many questions - let's look to the forests, and those who know it well, to answer them.

Three things I've learned in the twenty years I've worked on public lands policy in Oregon: 1) forest fires happen every year, 2) if left to recover naturally, forest biodiversity increases after a fire, and 3) politicians and the timber industry will exploit the fires to increase commercial logging in our National Forests.

TEagle Creek Fire Columbia River Gorgehis summer was no different!  What was different is that this year a fire burned close to Portland in an area that many of us know and love dearly.  Our city was filled with smoke, and people were filled with fear: what will happen to our beloved Columbia Gorge?  This year, all of us had to pay attention to wildland fire and start asking the hard questions: Why did this fire happen?  What can we do about it?  What comes next?

Many people are searching for an answer to those questions, from our friends and neighbors in Portland and the Gorge communities, to the very divided House of Representatives in DC who today are voting to pass HR 2936, a giveaway to the timber industry, in the name of "fixing" forest fires.

For our part, Bark is answering these questions by doing what we do best: bringing you out to the forest to see for yourself the impacts of fire on the land, and bringing forest science and policy to you in several exciting upcoming events!

Radicle Activist Training: Intro to Forest Policy -  Forest Fire Edition
Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Bark office

November Bark About: Fire Hike to the 36 Pit fire in the Clackamas River Watershed
Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

And a very special event at Revolution Hall:

After the Smoke Clears: An educational forum on the Eagle Creek fire and how our community can support the recovery of the Columbia River Gorge
Wednesday November 15 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Doors open at 6:00 - visit informational tables from sponsoring organizations!
Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, Portland

Learn more about the impact of the fire on the Gorge and what you can do to help the forests naturally recover and protect cherished public lands into the future.

The forum (hosted by yours truly) will feature a combination of multimedia presentations on what happened in the fire and examinations of key challenges moving forward, featuring insights from noted fire ecologist Dominick DellaSalla, leaders from Cascade Locks business community, and conservation and recreation organizations.  RSVP today!  Co-sponsored by Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Oregon Wild, Crag Law Center, Sierra Club, Bark, the Audubon Society of Portland, and Mazamas.


Brenna Bell for Bark