Juniper Group Field Survey Guide
A How-To-Do-It Guide
Do Some Homework
Before you start, do some homework on the site or situation. If your concern is related to a Federal office action, look at the appropriate Federal Areas page on this web site to see what we already know about the project. If the project is listed, many of them will have a link to a Federal website page that will give you much more information about the project, such as a Scoping Statement and maps of the project. Many of these are quite good and detailed. The project article may also have a link to a Comment or Appeal of the project that has already been filed by the Sierra Club and our collaborative environmental organizations. If the project is not listed on our web pages, do two more things. Look at the appropriate US Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) web page under the appropriate area office, such as Deschutes National Forest or the BLM Prineville District Office, then look for a page called "Projects and Plans", or a similar title. This may lead you to more information about the project. Also look at our Comments and Appeals page to see if the Sierra Club has commented on the project in the past.
Make Detailed Notes
Using project maps obtained above, plan your trip to look at project areas that may pose an environmental risk. Take as notes as detailed as you can with your knowledge of forest and desert life. We have developed a Forest Survey Form to help you conduct the survey. Fill out the form where it applies and to the best of your ability.
Pictures are worth many thousands of words, and this is especially true when it comes to appealing a project, either in or out of court. You need to document when and where you took the pictures. The most effective way to do the documentation is with GPS tags on your photos. If you have a Garmin GPS, you can do this with Garmin's free software called Basecamp, available on the Garmin website. If you don't want to do this and you have a GPS, you should write down the GPS coordinates of each picture. But whether or not you have a GPS, you need to write down in some way the location of the photo (Forest Road number, intersections, nearby landmarks, etc.), a description of what the photo shows, and a statement about why you think it is significant. We have provided another handy form to help you do this: Photo Log.
Remember, You Won't Remember
Detailed written or electronic records are absolutely essential if any further action is to be taken in commenting or appealing a project. You will not remember two years from now, or even two weeks from now possibly, what you were trying show with a scribbled note or photograph. More importantly, the Sierra Club staff member that is writing the comments, or the attorney representing the Club in court, will not be able to decipher what you were attempting to convey. So write it down. You won't remember.
How to Submit Your Survey
Contact Larry Pennington, Oregon Eastside Forest Committee Chair, and arrange a way to submit your documentation. This can be by phone, email, postal mail, or a personal meeting.
What We Will Do
Using your information, a number of things may happen. If the issue is minor, it could result in a call to the Forest Ranger or BLM office to see if the situation can be corrected informally. If more serious, Asante or our other volunteers may visit the site with you to get more information. This could result in our submitting formal comments on the project to the federal office (see our Comments and Appeals page for examples). In very serious situations, when the project proceeds without our concerns being addressed, an appeal and/or request for a judicial review of the project may be filed in Federal Court.