Last week, Bark, a watchdog group focused on protecting Mt. Hood forests, received the Proposed Action notice from the Forest Service for upcoming restoration work in the Clackamas District of Mt. Hood National Forest. As a result of Bark's efforts and preliminary recommendations, the Forest Service has announced that they will take action on over a hundred miles of roads. Bark is in the midst of a campaign to change the future of roads in our national forest and much of the focus has been an effort to complete the first citizen inventory of 10% of the 4,000 miles roads around Mt. Hood. This crumbling road system is rapidly becoming the biggest threat to our drinking water supply and forests. Last week's announcement is the first step in a larger vision for the future of Mt. Hood where roads lead to campgrounds, not clearcuts.
Bark will be continuing to survey the roads of Mt. Hood, including a four-day campout this weekend and is looking for more help. Trainings will occur each day and volunteers will be given all tools necessary to take part in this exciting data collection effort. In May, Bark hosted the first Roadtruthing Campout along the scenic Clackamas River. Over 40 people attended and became a part of the campaign.
Join Bark on the eastside of Mt. Hood at the Sherwood Campground off Road 35 for another family-friendly campout, Thursday, July 19th - Monday, July 23rd to continue this important effort towards a goal of covering 10% of the roads by the end of the summer. Each day, Bark will conduct a training on how to survey the roads in our national forest and then team up to walk, bike or drive a selected segment of roads and collect on-site data for future action!
Each morning, Bark will host a training explaining the issues around roads and what to be looking for as you travel the assigned roads each day. Standard survey forms will be handed out to be filled out on each road, capturing your observations. The different parts of this survey form will also be explained. The roadtruthing component of the day will be about 4 hours, with a lunch stop. At the end of the day, your data will be collected and included in with the rest of our roadtruthing data and eventually become a part of a forestwide analysis.
In the evenings supper will be served around the campfire. Please bring lunches, good footwear for walking and camping gear. Bark will provide some tents and shelter available. Carpools will leave from the Daily Grind at 6pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. If you have room in your car or can pick up food donations from this location, stop by on your way out to the forest!
In the coming months, the Forest Service will be revising their Travel Plan. This document guides the agency in their decision-making when it comes to building, maintaining and obliterating roads in Mt. Hood. Many of these roads have been unmaintained and abused by all-terrain vehicles. With each storm a road becomes more and more likely to fall into a crossing stream. After decades of logging and mismanagement, there are over 4,000 miles of roads in Mt. Hood National Forest alone!
Bark has a long history of defending the national forest with site-specific, scientifically backed monitoring data from Forest Service projects. This campaign intends to respond to their Travel Plan revisions with the same rigor and passion. Join Bark's team of groundtruthers come out of the forest and onto the road in an effort to complete the first citizen-led inventory of this crumbling road system.
For many years, Bark has been successful in stopping destructive logging projects by having an on-the-ground knowledge of each proposed action, calling the monitoring work groundtruthing. Their data collection for the roads in Mt. Hood is not so different and has thus, warranted only a slight tweak of lingo; roadtruthing.
For more information, check out the Bark website at www.bark-out.org. Campout information is in the Events section.