Bark Alert: Summer Events + Updates

Get involved with public lands advocacy this summer on Mt. Hood!

Many of you have asked us how Bark is continuing our work to watchdog activities in the forests of Mt. Hood during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some answers for you and ways to get involved!

Even with some site closures remaining because of COVID-19, the Forest Service has not halted planning new timber sales in Mt. Hood National Forest, so our groundtruthers are gearing up to get out to the forest. Integral to Bark’s forest advocacy, groundtruthers are a network of volunteers who monitor every logging project in Mt. Hood National Forest and surrounding public lands. Their field survey information allows Bark to provide the public with information needed to understand, and engage, decisions affecting federally-managed public forests. Photos and data collected in the field are linked to an online database that contains maps and documents of every project we're monitoring. Bark groundtruthers have found invaluable discrepancies between agency information and what’s on the ground, and documented rare plants and animals, thus protecting thousands of forest acres. Do you want to join in?

Bark volunteer measures the circumference of an enormous old growth tree in the Grasshopper Timber Sale, Unit 192

Bark is offering three trainings in July to empower you with skills in forest ecology and public lands advocacy as part of Rad◦i◦cle, Bark’s free activist training program. All trainings are free and open to the public. 

  • Beaver Wetland Habitat Survey Training on July 1: Bark is conducting wetland habitat surveys in the Clackamas District of Mt. Hood National Forest, with the long-term goal of restoring these ecosystems and increasing their resiliency to climate change. These surveys will identify components of high-quality beaver habitat and locate areas that need beavers the most. RSVP required. 
  • Groundtruthing 101 on July 8 and Groundtruthing 201 on July 12:  Are you interested in becoming actively engaged with this in-the-forest work? This two-part training is for you. Both will happen on Zoom and require registration in advance. No previous experience necessary! 

Volunteers doing beaver habitat surveys on Mt. Hood, site 51.

This summer, Bark will be closely monitoring the controversial Zigzag Timber Sale, a Forest Service proposal that proposes to log very valued forest, including near popular recreation areas Trillium Lake & Old Maid Flat, and in threatened salmon habitat. Any day now, we’ll get the draft Environmental Analysis and a public comment period will begin. We know how important this area is to many of you, so we’ll be offering forest policy and comment writing trainings for folks who’d like to get involved. Stay tuned for more details!

Finally, this week we’re excited to welcome Misha VanEaton as Bark’s new Forest Watch Assistant! Misha will be working with us on many of these summer field work activities and events, and we’re glad she’s joining the Bark team.

Even though the summer lineup looks different this year, we’ll keep working to share our resources, skills and knowledge with you so we can all keep advocating for this special place. Thank you, Barkers for everything you love and fight for! 

       Michael Krochta, Bark's Forest Watch Coodinator