Whose Forest?

What do we mean by public lands?

We believe in the power of persistent outcry for the protection of Mt. Hood. We also believe that our work must be informed by social justice principles, and we are committed to this change.

Mt. Hood National Forest is “federal land”, managed by the US Forest Service, an agency within the Department of Agriculture. This management is the result of a complicated history of land theft, disregarded treaties, government authorized settlement and forced removal of native people.  

Two hundred years of law and policy have established these lands as “public lands”. This a point of deep pride (and deeper privilege) for many Barkers and public lands advocates across this country. At the same time, it is an immense loss to native peoples. It is crucial that we address the many social and ecological effects of this history on Bark’s work.  

Your support helps Bark responsibly address this history and work to bring Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion into our programming. 

Donate today!

We invite our supporters and allies to recognize that the story of “public lands” is almost always told from the perspective of white, settler-colonial history. Actions taken from this continue the legacy of injustice and exclusion. According to one U.S Forest Service study, many IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, and People of Color), low-income communities, and those facing barriers to access do not experience the benefits of “public lands” the same way that white recreation and conservation communities do. Even before this research, these communities spoke up about their experiences for decades and were largely ignored. 

We need your support to better connect with and listen to those who have been kept out of the conversation. 

Your contributions have helped us train hundreds of people on the basics of forest law, as well as how to read and understand agency documents and maps. Together, we can increase access to decision-making for IBPOC communities surrounding Mt. Hood, and put the strength of our community toward social justice in our region. We hope you will support us in our commitment to this transformative work. 

Your contribution helps us continue to improve access, educate our movement, and strengthen our ability to serve communities who are affected by the management of Mt. Hood.

We value your commitment to this work. 

With gratitude, 

Briana Villalobos, Bark Development Director

P.S. Join us for the next Virtual Bark About, June 14th from 11 am to 3 pm where our volunteer speakers will explore the edible and medicinal plants found right in your backyard!