We’re rebranding—and expanding— our mission.
This is Chas Hundley—editor of this site—and I’ve got a quick announcement to make about the direction we’ll be taking this year.
Contrary to popular belief, we are not the official website of the nonprofit or government arms of the Salmonberry Trail project; we’re an independent journalistic site that just built a website first. Want official news and trail info? Head over to www.salmonberrytrail.org.
I launched this site back in 2014 to follow along with the Salmonberry Trail project; since then, my writing here has mostly been a hobby, and I’ve largely used the website to post meeting notices, share neat pictures from the region, and keep people updated on the development of the trail. I’ve been attending Salmonberry meetings since they launched, (and way before they were cool) and have been covering them as part of my job as a journalist for the Gales Creek Journal and the Banks Post, and occasionally for the Tillamook County Pioneer, since 2014.
Starting in March, we’re going to cover more of the forest the Salmonberry runs through. We aim to be a loudspeaker for the opportunities, struggles, and future of the Tillamook State Forest.
We’re going to write more about the forests and region the trail runs through. With a focus on the Tillamook State Forest and the communities the rails run through, SalmonberryTrail.com will henceforth be called “The Salmonberry Magazine” (but we’re still going to be at this website!) and will cover recreation and environmental news in the Tillamook State Forest, news from the Oregon Department of Forestry, and recreation news in towns and communities alongside the trail.
What to expect
In general, we’ll be posting two – three articles weekly as we get started. Should there be demand for more, we will do our best to fill that need.
Our main focus will still be the Salmonberry Trail. That hasn’t changed, so if you’re here for just Salmonberry news, don’t go anywhere!
How to support our mission
You can find our Patreon page here. Interested in advertising with us? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you anyway? Can we trust your writing?
This site will follow the same standards as our existing news publications, the Gales Creek Journal and the Banks Post. Read on for those principles below.
Like many in the area, the Tillamook Forest has been an integral part of the Hundley family. Growing up just a few minutes from its eastern edge in Gales Creek, the Tillamook Forest resides deeply in my family history. My great-grandfather, Charles Hundley (My namesake), and my great-uncles were there when the Tillamook Burn ignited on that fateful August day in 1933, throwing everything they had at the inferno that would change the region forever.
For many seasons, my grandfather was stationed on lookout towers throughout the Tillamook Forest, straining his eyes for any sign of smoke. His family survived off the bounty of the Tillamook Forest through the Great Depression and beyond, working in the timber industry, hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering enough food to make it through the tough years for their large extended family.
Today, I like to think I continue the tradition of working in the forest, in a way. In my work at the Gales Creek Journal and Banks Post, two news publications that cover the far western portion of Washington County, including large swaths of the Tillamook State Forest and the surrounding private forestland, I often find myself treading the same paths as those that came before me. My family, while no longer as reliant on the timber industry, maintain a small private sawmill and some private forestland in Gales Creek, and are members of the Washington County Small Woodlands Association.
When I’m not writing at my day job, I can be found hiking, kayaking, and foraging in the Tillamook Forest.
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
We want to be open and clear with you, our reader, about the standards that guide our work every day. We strive to meet every one of these. We never intentionally disregard these principles. When we fail, bad information, speed, or inadequate experience is to blame.
We strive to be certain that every fact – every number, every date, every name, every quote – is true. We will never knowingly publish false or inaccurate information. We will honestly and quickly correct any factual error.
We want our reporting to be understandable, free of jargon and vagueness. You can expect us to gather the necessary information and develop sufficient expertise to produce stories clear about issues, agencies, and people.
Our stories will honestly represent views and issues, never mischaracterizing or distorting facts and developments. We want those we write about to feel they were fairly treated.
We follow our own customized fact-checking protocol to guard against error. That includes a requirement to reach out to subjects of stories as possible to verify the accuracy of our intended reporting.
We know full well that readers now come to news reports suspicious that they might encounter a deliberate tilt by the news organization. Our intent is that you never detect a political, economic or social bent in the stories we serve to you.
Facts Over Fancy
Our primary job is to gather the news. We devote every dollar we can to reporting. That means we don’t divert time and money into making our stories glitzy or stunning in design. We are certain you would prefer accurate news over flashy presentations.
We can get better, and we will. We will always – always – work to sharpen our journalistic skills. We will become better interviewers, data analysts and writers. Our professionals are intent on getting as good as they can, not for awards but to better serve your needs.
We don’t consider ourselves distant observers. We take pride in the community – its people, institutions, and traditions. We engage in issues that matter. We identify problems, but we will always seek solutions as well. Like you, we want our community to improve, to be welcoming and safe, to be economically vibrant.
Our reporting can and will put us at odds with people who hold power or those who can and do abuse the public in some fashion. We will pursue difficult stories because they are important stories. We will not be scared off of or intimidated from doing any necessary story – ever.
We owe allegiance only to you, our reader. Our work is not done in service to any special interest. We are beholden to no party, no business, no individual, and seek no special treatment from any. We are beholden only to the truth.
The most valuable possession of our team is your trust. We know we can’t exist without it, that we will not otherwise succeed as a news organization. We are relentless in earning and keeping that trust.
That’s all for now! Feel free to ask any questions at email@example.com.
-Chas Hundley, editor.