COVID-19 Safety Protocol

Dealing with COVID-19 is a dynamic process. At any point restrictions may require discontinuation of any and all field projects. Before travel, all staff and volunteers should check current restrictions and guidelines as provided by the CDC, the Governor’s office of Oregon and U.S. Forest Service, and Bark.

Bark relies on its volunteers in the forest to achieve its goals outlined within its Strategic Plan and its commitments to our members. The following protocols are designed to keep participants safe and follow state and federal guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These practices also maximize the safety of our staff and volunteers and ensure that we do not further promote activities which tax the healthcare and emergency response services.  

General Guidelines   

  • Follow instructions issued by local, state and federal governments, and Bark.    
  • Staff and volunteers should be familiar with OHA and CDC Guidelines.  
  • Report any COVID-19 symptoms or contact: 
    • Before field work starts, during or between field days, staff and volunteers must self-report any and all cold/flu-like symptoms or symptoms of COVID-19 (fever/chills, congestion, sore throat, body ache, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell) to the Forest Watch staff.
    • Staff and volunteers must also report contact with another individual who has shown symptoms of COVID-19. Details shared in report are confidential. Anyone exhibiting symptoms or who has been in recent contact with another person exhibiting symptoms is prohibited from participating in any field work activities.   
    • Before undertaking any field work, and during a field day and between field days, staff and volunteers must diligently self-monitor for any sign of emerging symptoms. Bark recommends folks track their temperature daily if possible.    
  • Respect the boundaries and needs of the most cautious person in the group (i.e. if someone in your group isn’t comfortable working without a mask, everyone else in the group must wear a mask).  
  • If you refuse to follow Bark’s COVID-19 safety protocols, Bark staff will excuse you from participating in the event.  

Before Departure 

  • Before departure, each volunteer must review and return the Medical Screening Form (found at the bottom of this page).   
  • Check in before departure with Misha VanEaton, Bark’s Forest Watch Assistant  
  • Provide location of field work, participants, and estimated time of return.

Proof of Vaccination

  • A vaccine card that shows your last vaccination at least two weeks prior is required to carpool with someone outside of your household, but is not required to participate in other field activities at this time.  
  • The first time you carpool to a Bark event, you will be required to show a Bark staff member your vaccination card.  Bark will keep a record of this information on file. If you do not want Bark to store this information, you will be required to bring your proof of vaccination for every Bark carpool.  


Bark allows carpooling using the following guidelines:  

  • Everyone wears masks while carpooling.
  • Everyone participating in the carpool is fully vaccinated.
  • No one participating in a carpool has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 in the last two weeks. 
  • If you have had contact with someone within the last two weeks, you will need to receive a negative COVID test administered at least 5 days after the contact in order to participate in a carpool 

While in the Field

Masking and Gear Sanitization

  •  At field days and trainings, masks are required when in congregated in groups greater than 5 people. 
  • With explicit verbal consent of everyone in their group, participants can choose to not wear a mask when they are in groups of 5 people or fewer. 
  • Participants should keep their masks accessible while at a Bark event (i.e. in your pocket or around your neck rather than in a backpack).  
  • Participant may remove their masks in group settings while they are eating or drinking as long as they are socially distanced from people outside their household. 
  • Bark no longer requires that gear be sanitized between use. If you would like to sanitize your gear, alcohol wipes will be available for use upon request. We encourage participants to sanitize any equipment that they use near their face (i.e. binoculars or a clinometer) before passing to someone else for immediate use.  

Medical Emergencies  

  • If it is a life-threatening emergency and the crew has cell service, they should call 911 immediately (or as soon as within cell-range) and follow the dispatcher’s directions. Life-threatening emergencies related to COVID-19 may include: trouble breathing, pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips.  
  • If it is not a life-threatening emergency, return home to seek medical attention for the affected person. 
  • In all cases contact Michael Krochta or Misha VanEaton as soon as it is safe to do so.    

Upon Returning

  • All shared gear (e.g. binoculars, radios) must be disinfected before handing over to someone else.   
  • Check in upon return with Misha VanEaton, Bark’s Forest Watch Assistant  
  • If you learn that you have COVID-19 within 2 weeks of a Bark event or that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 before attending a Bark event, please notify Bark by contacting Misha at