Camping, policy, field work; Bark does it all.

Last Friday, I got to see first-hand how well this team pulls together, especially under pressure. After 12 years volunteering with Bark, my new role of Interim Executive Director gives me a whole new perspective on the scale of our work.

Here’s a snap-shot of what I saw last Friday:

It was day one of our summer Base Camp and Jenny, our development director, and I were preparing to give a tour of our work in the forest. Camp coordinator Audie and volunteers already in the forest were guiding groundtruthers into the Crystal Clear Timber Sale, the biggest timber sale Bark has ever seen on Mt. Hood National Forest.
At 9 am, the Forest Service released a 355-page Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed Crystal Clear Timber Sale, initiating a 30-day comment period. By 10 am, Brenna, our staff attorney was on the phone with other environmental lawyers discussing legal strategies and Courtney, our community organizer, was coordinating our Forest Watch Committee to review the EA. By the afternoon Enoch, our canvass director, was briefing the outreach team with up-to-date messaging about the project.

I know that you were there with us, too!  Here are some ways you can support our staff and volunteers working to protect the forest:

•    Give generously to support Bark’s Forest Watch work.
•    Come to Base Camp! We’re in the forest now, until September 7th.
•    Submit your comment to the Forest Service about the Crystal Clear Timber Sale.

Back to last Friday – We first toured unit #473 of the Crystal Clear Timber Sale, which holds irreplaceable habitat for the threatened Oregon Spotted Frog. As we ate lunch near Clear Creek: Michael, Bark’s Forest Watch coordinator, and two volunteer groundtruthers emerged from the forest. We had all ended up at the same spot! Amazing considering Barkers were spread out over the 12,725 acres of the sale. That’s the size of the city of Gresham, and we’re working to groundtruth every unit.

We then visited an area of active logging activity. Units of the Bear Springs Timber Sale scattered throughout and within the Crystal Clear project are currently being logged. These two projects overlap each other multiplying the adverse cumulative impacts in the area. Destruction of soils by heavy logging equipment and giant slash piles left behind challenge the Forest Service’s claim that logging this area will promote forest health.

When we arrived at Base Camp we were greeted by Bark’s office manager, Justice, our restoration coordinator, Russ, and over a dozen volunteers. This was a wonderful and spirit affirming reception after witnessing the devastated units of Bear Springs.

It was truly all hands on deck for Bark that day, but it will take the whole community to change the course of the Forest Service’s destructive forest management practices!

Show your support now with a generous donation and visit us in the forest this week!

Thank you for all you do to keep us working for the forest!


Joy Keen, Bark Interim Executive Director

P.S. Get up to speed with the Free Mt. Hood Campaign to set new guidelines for the management of Mt. Hood: Protect native forest & drinking water, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and improve quiet recreation opportunities.