Bark Alert: Bush-era threats to the forest

Dear Barker,

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is leading the biggest attack to environmental laws since President Bush’s so-called “healthy forest initiative.” Sen. Wyden is hearing from the timber industry, but not from Oregonians who care about forests. Help us change that today.

Alex P Brown, Executive Director

PS –Spring Campaign update: 5,000+ actions to keep Nestlé from taking our water and $16,038 raised! Less than $4,000 to go; please click here to help us reach our goal.

Bark-Out: Bush-era rollbacks threaten Oregon’s forests
Bark-About: Bird nerds rejoice
Giving Tree: Thanks Red Light Clothing Exchange!
Bark Tales: Dancers pay homage to Mt. Hood Friday!
Bark Bites: Fire safety should begin close to home
Hood Hydrology: Hot weather? Gimme some cool, clear water

Tell Senator Wyden: Environmental law rollbacks and healthy forests do not mix

Senator Ron Wyden made us bristle back in May when he demanded Obama increase logging on National Forests across the country. Our Senator’s environmental track record is far from perfect, however when we heard Wyden had been pushing Bush-era rollbacks to some of our most important environmental laws, we knew he had reached a new low.

Wyden’s latest attack on our forests targets the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, proposing to degrade this keystone law as part of a plan to drastically up the timber cut on nearly 2.4 million acres of public ‘O&C’ (Oregon and California) forest land. We are horrified to see our own Oregon Senator push to degrade this key environmental law, one of the primary tools used by Bark and other advocacy groups to protect the more than 450 million acres of public land across the country.

As Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Wyden can drive the management direction on Oregon’s public lands as well as federal lands across the nation. It is critical that his Oregon base give a resounding ‘no’ to rollbacks of environmental laws and protections both at home in Oregon, and nationally. Furthermore, Oregon’s rural counties need long term solutions that will put them on a path to building sustainable and resilient economies. Band aid fixes will simply subject public forests -- forests that belong to all Americans – and local communities to another boom and bust timber cycle.                   

The timber industry is lobbying to make sure lawmakers are working for them – contact Wyden today and demand public lands work for all of us!

Click here for background on O&C Lands.

Channel your inner bird nerd on our July birding hike!
Sunday, July 14th, 9am-7pm

Join Bark volunteer Jim DeStaebler as we hike through the Lemiti Butte Timber Sale seeking the elusive birds of forested habitat. Jim has spent years doing bird surveys throughout Oregon and we are lucky to have his expertise for our July Hike. We will be looking for our feathered friends by sight and sound to learn who summers in the mountains, and how timber management affects bird habitat.

Please note that we will be traveling a little further afield for this outing and are likely not going to be back in town until around 7pm. Bring lunch, water, sturdy boots, and sunscreen and/or a hat. Weather may be different on the mountain so be prepared for various weather conditions. Bark-Abouts are led on the second Sunday of every month and are free to the public. Click here for more information about this month’s hike.

Giving Tree
Do you know a local business that wants to protect Mt. Hood?

A big thanks to the Red Light Clothing Exchange in SE Portland for supporting Bark last Saturday with its sidewalk sale! If you own a local business, are in a band, or are looking for what to do with the proceeds from your lemonade stand this summer, please support Bark. Call or email Alex at (503) 331-0374 or for help!

Bark Tales
Dance for Mt. Hood forests Friday

Colorful blankets, mellow beats, and a table full of Bark literature welcomed all who were lucky enough to see last year’s 'My Hood is Your Hood' dance performance. This summer, ‘My Hood is Your Hood’ is back by popular demand, thanks to Bark volunteers Carolyn Evans and Corrinne Theodoru. The evening will include original dance performance as an homage to our local forest, and the way drumming and dancing nurture our inner wildness, even in the city.

My Hood is Your Hood Dance
Friday, July 12th, 6:30-8pm
Buckman Elementary School (on the blacktop); on the corner of SE 18th and Pine St, Portland

This event is a part of Bark Summer School. Check out more events at

Bark Bites
Fire safety should begin close to home

The Yarnell Hill tragedy, where 19 firefighters lost their lives fighting a brush fire in Arizona, has us thinking about fire. Bark has long taken a fire-positive position, and in the wake of Yarnell Hill, a fire management approach that allows fire to burn without needlessly endangering human life seems more pertinent now than ever.

Fire is a natural and necessary component of many landscapes, from the shrub chaparral of the southwest, to the moist forests of Western Oregon. Fire is key for maintaining functioning ecosystems, habitat and biodiversity.

Bark’s Fire Policy recommends a Fire Management Plan that encourages wildland fire use, and does not default to full suppression for every ignition outside of designated Wilderness. We believe adoption of such a policy would not only provide an ecological benefit to the landscape, but would encourage fires to burn rather than leading the Forest Service to spend huge sums of money to suppress them.

Additionally, building homes in and adjacent to fire-prone forests can endanger firefighter lives in efforts to save these structures. Some fire-prone communities are pushing developers to use safety measures, an effort that paid off in Colorado’s Black Forest fire last month, where flames mostly spared Cathedral Pines, a recent development designed to be fire-safe.

Read more about Bark’s fire-positive policy here.

Hood Hydrology
Hot weather! Gimme some cool, clear water

Do you know where your drinking water comes from? For many people in the Portland metro area, Estacada, Oregon City, Hood River, The Dalles, and other nearby communities it comes from the Mt. Hood National Forest. The recent heat wave is a reminder of how great it is to have cold, clean drinking water readily available when we turn on the faucet.

More than 1.1 million people already depend on our backyard forest (aka Mt. Hood National Forest) for their water. As the local population continues to grow the demand for reliable supplies of high quality water will continue to increase. Climate change may bring an influx of “climate refugees” from already arid parts of the U.S., further increasing the importance of stewardship of forests around Mt. Hood.

Please remember to share, too! There may be imperiled salmon and trout living in the stream that your water comes from. You can help the salmon by reducing your consumption in town. That will leave more water in-stream for fish and wildlife - two other key priorities of our Mt. Hood forest.

Check out our aquatics White Paper, Protecting Freshwater Resources on Mt. Hood National Forest: Recommendations for Policy Change, to learn more about the importance of watersheds around Mt. Hood, the stresses on them, and recommended actions to protect them for future generations.