Bark Alert: Make forest defense your New Year's resolution

Dear Barker,

Last month’s front-page Oregonian story on Bark stopping the 2,000-acre Jazz Timber Sale was titled “A Fight With No Clear-Cut Solution.” Yet as Bark learns more about the Forest Service’s newest proposed Horseshoe Timber Sale, which would log the recreation destinations of Zigzag and Lolo Pass, we think there is an obvious solution – prioritize recreation and watershed restoration over more logging. Read on to learn how you can help the Forest Service get it right in 2013.

Happy New Year!
Alex P Brown, Executive Director

PS- Save the date: February 8th day of action in Salem to protest the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife helping Nestlé take our water in the Columbia River Gorge.

Bark-Out: How to stop a timber sale
Bark-About:  Tracking the rare red fox
Giving Tree: Forest fashion
Bark Tales: The man behind the Bark website
Bark Bites: Introducing Hood Hydrology

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New Year’s resolution: Organize!

In November we sent out a special action alert about the Horseshoe Timber Sale, a new Forest Service proposal that would log some of the most vital ecological and recreation areas in all of Mt. Hood National Forest -- including on top of popular trails and in threatened salmon habitat. The response from Barkers was huge, with hundreds taking action to help stop this insidious logging proposal. But this was just step one. Now it’s time to educate and organize our communities to make sure folks know what’s happening on the slopes of Mt. Hood, and to demand that the Forest Service prioritize recreation and restoration, not the timber shop.

Now's your chance to get involved! Find a list of volunteer needs below and click here to sign up:

-Are you part of a community organization that should be in the know about the Horseshoe Timber Sale? Contact us and we’ll coordinate with you to talk to your organization about Horseshoe, arrange for a hike, or help you get out to the forest and see it for yourself. We’re happy to talk with your neighborhood association, hiking club, student group, faith based organization, or even at a house party of your friends!

-Spread the word by fliering. We’ll get printed informational fliers into your hands (or a .pdf if you’d like to print your own) and you can post them up in your neighborhood and favorite haunts around town!

-Groundtruth this sale with us! We are looking for groundtruthers and hike-leaders to help gather information and share stories from the beautiful forest threatened by the Horseshoe Timber Sale. Come to our next Groundtruth Training to join our team of boots on the ground in Horseshoe.

-Join us January 27th for an all day field training on how to stop a timber sale using data from post-logging monitoring.

Contact if you want to get plugged in, or click here to sign up.

The art of tracking and the rare red fox

Last June Cascadia Wild discovered the rare Sierra Nevada red fox on the North Side of Mt. Hood. Previously unknown in the Mt. Hood National Forest, the red fox is under consideration as an endangered species. Nonetheless, the fox’s habitat is threatened by a swath of four newly proposed timber sales, Red Hill, Polallie-Cooper II, Horseshoe and Lava, which collectively span the entire north side of the mountain. Species like the red fox, wolverine and lynx require large areas of mountain habitat just like what is found in the area of these timber sales. Yet suitable habitat is becoming increasingly difficult for these critters to find.

This month Bark is teaming up with Cascadia Wild for an introduction to the art of animal tracking in the heart of the red fox territory, the snowy forests on the north side of Hood. Snowshoes are recommended on this hike. Email for hike questions and to inquire about obtaining snowshoes, or call the Bark office at 503-331-0374.
Please bring food, water, hat, rain/snow gear, sturdy hiking boots, and be prepared to hike off trail. 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
Modified Style Portland chooses Bark

Modified Style Portland’s fourth annual runway show will benefit Bark, The Pixie Project, and Sisters of the Road later this year. In addition to supporting local non-profits, this fundraising fashion show supports sustainable practices through reused and recycled materials. Details have not yet been released on this year's show, but in the meantime you can support Modified Style and modify your own style at their upcoming clothing swap.

Modified Style Portland Clothing Swap
DATE/TIME: February 10th, 4pm
LOCATION: BridgePort Brewery 1318 NW Northrup Street
$5 with a bag of clothes, $10 without

Support Bark by emptying out your closet for the February 10th Modified Style Portland Clothing Swap and then check out the runway show later this year! It’s not often that getting rid of the old and bringing in new-to-you fashions can be a part of protecting Mt. Hood National Forest.

Bark Tales
Gabriel Watson brings Bark to your computer screen

Bark volunteers do many amazing things. They groundtruth, organize, protest, rally, hike, monitor, research, comment, and win. But what would all that powerful activism mean if it remained in the isolation of our office or the wilderness of Mt. Hood? Thankfully, one amazing volunteer has ensured that news of Bark’s work can spread beyond our community of volunteers and into the public eye. That volunteer is our webmaster, Gabriel Watson.

Gabriel is not only responsible for keeping our webpage live and glitch-free, he is also the mastermind behind the design of the site, and the go-to person for our most frantic requests for urgent web updates. He’s been doing this awesome behind the scenes work for ten years! Here’s a great big howl for Gabriel, who has given Bark our digital existence for a decade. HHHHAAAAAOOOOOO!

Bark Bites
Do you know where your water comes from?

If you live in the city of Portland, you are one of the million people who get their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed, located just west of Mt. Hood in Mt. Hood National Forest. While it is common knowledge that this watershed has been off limits to public entry for more than a century to maintain water quality, you might not know that less than 20 years ago timber companies were still clear cutting in this vital watershed.

Big changes to Bull Run management came in the winter of 1996, when heavy rains on logging roads caused ‘untold quantities of eroded soil’ to enter water storage reservoirs. This road run-off into Portland’s drinking water supply left Portlanders just short of a water emergency, forcing use of a limited backup reserve. Read more about the ‘Battle of Bull Run’ in this fascinating article from American Scientist.

It took this dramatic event to trigger a logging prohibition in Bull Run, yet the effects of decades of logging are felt to this day. Hundreds of miles of defunct logging roads scar the watershed and continue to cause erosion and water turbidity that still shut down the Bull Run supply nearly every year during heavy rains.

Bull Run is not the only Mt. Hood watershed that quenches Oregonians’ thirst. In fact, ninety eight percent of Mt. Hood National Forest is someone's municipal watershed. Keep your eye out for more water highlights each month. We will explore the watersheds of Mt. Hood National Forest, the benefits they provide, and threats they face in our new Bark Alert section ‘Hood Hydrology.’