Zigzag Timber Sale Public Comment Writing Resources

Public comment periods are required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which requires the government disclose information about the environmental impacts of a major federal action, and review the publics' comments, before the it makes a decision. Public comments are an essential part of the decision making process and often lead to much better (or less bad) federal projects. Your participation matters! Comments on the Zigzag Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) are due on August 10th, 2020.

If this is your first time submitting a public comment about the the environmental impacts of major federal actions, this Guide to NEPA Commenting is a good place to start! Then, take a look at this slideshow and this handout from a training created by Bark volunteers.

The first phase of NEPA analysis for this project started in February, 2020. Thousands of people sent in public comments at that time! Here are some examples that represent different topics and organization that you could use in your own comments.

Mia P. Portland, OR
Mitch W. Rhododendron, OR
Tom R. Portland, OR
Mary K. Hood River, OR
Deaclan L. Sandy, OR
Kahlil M. Portland, OR
Llew W. Portland, OR


Click here for a list of prompts to help you frame your comments and recordings of our recent comment writing workshops which break down the different topics covered by the Forest Service's draft/preliminary environmental assessment for this project.


At the bottom of this page you will find downloadable .pdf documents of the slides from our recent workshops, the Forest Service documents and other helpful resources to help you compose your questions, concerns, and points. Throughout this page, find links to the regulations, laws, and policies that are relevant to this proposed timber sale. 

Join this Facebook group to get feedback from the community on your comments! 



About the Zigzag Timber Sale: The proposed area includes approximately 2,000 acres of logging in a combination of young and old forest. This is the first commercial logging project in the Zigzag District of Mt. Hood in over 20 years and indicates a shift in the Forest Service's management priorities away from water and habitat protection and rural, recreation-based economies, while ignoring the role of these naturally carbon-rich forests in maintaining optimal levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  The driver for this project is timber production to meet Mt. Hood's annual timber quota, which was recently increased by the Trump Administration. This project proposes logging in two regions of the district: Horseshoe (near Lolo Pass) and Mud Creek (near Trillium Lake), and would mostly log by "thinning" with 13 acres of proposed "regeneration harvest" (e.g. clearcut). A general description is provided in the Project Information Sheet. The project must be in alignment with the standards and guidelines in the Mt. Hood Forest Management Plan and must meet the requirements of the NW Forest Plan. In these public comments, we scrutinize the project design and reporting of potential negative environmental impact, raising any issues we find.

Click here to explore an Interactive Map of the Project Area.
Contact courtney@bark-out.org for questions about using this map.

See photos collected by Bark's groundtruthing efforts on our Flickr account.

Please take a moment to share these resources with couple of people who you know have visited Mt. Hood and especially the Zigzag District, right now!





Comment Writing Step by Step:

   - Choose a subject (or more than one) that you have concerns about.

   - Read the section(s) of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Specialist Reports (supporting documents) that pertain to your concerns. Note your questions, inconsistent information, missing information, faulty rationale, or lack of common sense!

   - Choose a strategy for raising your concerns (see Prompts above or come up with your own)

   - Write your main points, questions, or arguments out as an outline to define the different sections of your comment.

   - Search for supporting information (research, articles, other people's comments, help from others) on the internet. Additional documents are posted at the bottom of our Zigzag Timber Sale page.

   - Flesh out your main points, questions and arguments.

   - Reach out to Bark staff or volunteers to get a second opinion on your comments.

   - Refer to this guide to NEPA commenting.

   - Finish by August 10th! Save your document as a .pdf and name it ZigzagIntegratedResourceProjectComments_YOURFULLNAME_THEDATE

   - Email to comments-pacificnorthwest-mthood-zigzag@usda.gov and send a copy to michael@bark-out.org as well.

                  the forest thanks you!