As a member of Bark’s Board of Directors, I am proud of the momentum we are gaining as an organization. I feel huge gratitude for our resilient staff, dedicated volunteers, and generous donors for using their voices to hold the Forest Service accountable. Together we are pushing back on destructive logging of old-growth and sensitive forests, helping restore and study wetlands, educating our communities about the harmful history of settler-colonialism in conservation, and ensuring that environmental justice is guiding our work.
This next chapter for our organization will focus Bark’s programmatic work on improving equitable access to the public lands management process, bridging the gap between the conservation movement and the communities who have lived in reciprocity with the forest for far longer, and supporting cultural and economic investment in the forest’s restoration. As vulnerable communities continue to endure the worst effects of a climate crisis they didn’t cause, it is important that we invest in movements that are dedicated to justice in our future and balance in our ecosystems right now, in this moment.
As we look to the future, it’s important to celebrate the wonderful work we have accomplished together! Bark’s hybrid trainings and adapted fieldwork made forest advocacy accessible to over one hundred and fifty new volunteers, sustaining our presence in the forest through the pandemic. With your help, our collective groundtruthing efforts have protected over 14,000 acres of forest across the North Clackamas, Zigzag, Crystal Clear, Polallie Cooper, and Clackamas Roadside logging projects since 2020. We also continue to provide free educational programming via YouTube and Zoom, reaching over 2,000 people since launching.
As a Portland Public Schools art teacher, I care a lot about my students’ futures. I donate and volunteer my time at Bark because this is an organization that is actively fighting for those futures. Bark’s focus on environmental justice and policy work has always inspired me, and as I have gotten more involved, I have been even more impressed by the dedicated Bark community.
Our world is beautifully alive and my involvement at Bark is just one avenue in my personal work to build a reciprocal relationship with our ecosystem. I encourage you to join me and donate today to help us reach our Spring Fundraising Campaign goal of $8,000! As of this morning, we are only $1,875 away!
Edin Cook, Bark Board Member