Joining Bark at an Exciting Time

 

Dear Friends of the Forest,

In my first thirty days as Bark's Executive Director, I've received a warm welcome from my colleagues—who already inspire me daily—one of the most committed boards I have ever worked with, dozens of Bark's volunteers and supporters, attentive staff at grant foundations, and many of our partners. Thank you! Like a fire in the forest, flux is an important element in natural cycles. Change creates space to rebuild community and revisit our ecological knowledge.  

Like the forest ecosystem we strive to protect, Bark has experienced a transformational year of both challenge and opportunity for growth. In stride with change, our staff, board, and volunteers collectively continue to dedicate thousands of hours toward our mission to transform Mt. Hood National Forest into a place where natural processes prevail, where wildlife thrives and where local communities have a social, cultural, and economic investment in its restoration and preservation.  

 

I am excited to work with this talented and experienced team to organize and build coalitions; examine and act upon our responsibility to dismantle racism and oppression; groundtruth and monitor destructive logging proposals, and to encourage and challenge the United States Forest Service and logging industry to permanently protect and restore mature, native forests, drinking watersheds, and sensitive ecosystems facing climate change.  

Have you read my introductory interview? In it you'll learn that I have a deep love of flora, fauna and their habitat. At the start of my career, my goal was to protect what I love for the intrinsic value of nature. Over the past decade I've focused on restoring human relationships with ecosystems, the relationships of systems that impact our homes, wherever they may be. Developing and protecting our relationships with one another are equally important. Humans and the quality of our relationships with each are integral to ecosystem health. 

Destructive logging practices negatively impact communities that rely on the forest. Our drinking water, cultural resources and subsistence, tourism, farming, recreation, spiritual practice and the integrity of ecosystems that we all are part of and rely upon are threatened by industrial forest practices. Commercial extraction of timber cannot provide long-term support for workers and their families, or for future generations that will inherit the devastating impacts of climate change.  

We have a responsibility to engage and cultivate cross-cultural relationships with members of communities connected to, surrounding, and deeply impacted by Mt. Hood. We learn by listening more. We create sound policies when we collaborateTo our friends on the east side of Mt. Hood: Rhododendron, Zigzag, Sandy, and Estacada; to our friends south of the mountain: members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; to those immediately east of the forest: including farming communities like Dufur, Parkdale, and The Dalles, Bark is here for you. Bark is committed to supporting your investment in Mt. Hood National Forest. 

For the Forest,

Nakisha Nathan, Executive Director