BARK – What is Groundtruthing?
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BARK – What is Groundtruthing?


I’m Brenna Bell. I’m Bark’s Staff Attorney and Policy Coordinator. My name is Michael Krochta and I’m the Forest Watch Coordinator for Bark. Basecamp is our annual campout. It’s open to the public for a day for the entire two weeks. We bring people out to a proposed timber sale for several reasons one is so that they can meet other people who are interested in the forest and protecting the forest and so we can share skills with each other. We make connections that we bring back to the city and we go out every single day to ground truth units of a timber sale. Ground truthing is going out and seeing what the truth is on the ground. Going out to the forest with maps and Forest Service documents in hand and going and field checking. What is there on the ground compared to what the documents and the maps that the Forest Service has created say. So lots of times there’s a fair amount of inconsistencies between those two things. But then we tell the Forest Service in public comments and we file appeals, objections and litigation to protect the best parts of the sale from being logged. Some of the things that we look for when we’re out ground-truthing are pockets of old-growth forests, large trees sensitive species, wet areas, Illegal trail building — all kinds of things. You get to come to a beautiful forest, live in it and walk the areas that the Forest Service is proposing to log What’s your name? Caroline. How old are you? Eight, it’s really fun in the forest because you get to run around and have fun and get dirty.

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