Doin’ Good for Mt. Hood – From the Forest to the Courthouse

 
Four years ago, the Barlow Ranger District of Mt. Hood National Forest began planning the Crystal Clear Restoration Project—the largest timber sale Bark has ever seen on Mt. Hood. Spanning over 12,000 acres, including logging over 3,000 acres of mature and old growth forest, the Forest Service told the public this project is for “forest health” and “fuels reduction”. They did not tell the public they had a side agreement with the Regional Office of the Forest Service to ensure the sale produced 60 million board feet of timber—twice the annual volume cut within the entire forest. 
 

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Today, I’m in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals around 11 am this morning, arguing that not only did the Forest Service violate several laws in planning this sale, they violated the public’s trust. If not for Bark doing the field work on the ground, participating in every step of our public process, and persisting through to litigation, much of this special forest would already be logged.

 

two volunteers measuring the circumference of a large tree trunk in a field survey

Did I mention the entire project is designated as “critical habitat” for northern spotted owls?  It is. Meaning, logging shouldn’t be allowed there in the first place. 

Will the critical habitat designation hold its weight in the eyes of the court? Let’s hope the three judges in the Ninth Circuit panel believe so, that they dig down into the substance of the case—below the Forest Service’s assertions that all this logging will benefit the forest—and look for the truth of things. The truth that Bark staff and volunteers have ensured is there for them to find. 

It takes a lot of things to get this far in court. It takes lots of good information (check!), awesome public involvement (check!), a stubborn and eloquent attorney (check! check!) and financial support. This is where you come in.  

Support me in court TODAY, both energetically and financially!

Watch the court arguments by clicking this link

Thanks so much for all you do for the forest; it makes possible all that I do.

Note that all donations through December 31st will be entered to win Bark's amazing Give!Guide business partner incentives! Keep your eyes out for the next Big Give Day Thursday, December 12th and Thursday, December 19th for extra chances to win big. 

For the critical habitat forest,

Brenna Bell, Policy Coordinator/Staff Attorney