Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family's Quest to Heal the Land

Written by Scott Freeman and illustrated by his wife, Susan Leopold Freeman--granddaughter of the land conservationist Aldo Leopold--Saving Tarboo Creek is the eloquent story of one family's desire to restore a section of waterway on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Working with the Northwest Watershed Institute and many others, the Freemans first had to rebuild the waterway itself, restoring it to a more natural meander, before replanting trees to shade the stream as it returned to being a perfect habitat for spawning salmon.

Freeman sketches the struggles and triumphs of a female salmon as she builds her redd (or nest), as well as the complexities of having beaver move into the area. He also describes the mating croaks of tree frogs and the pleasures of watching the gradual evolution of the 18-acre parcel the Freemans call home. Rich in ecological data, finely tuned observations and a love of the environment, Freeman's thinking extends far beyond the perimeters of this little salmon stream. He addresses climate change, world population levels and the five previous mass extinctions. Then he ponders the possibility of a sixth, in no small part due to humans. 

Throughout, Freeman references Aldo Leopold's land ethics as discussed in A Sand County Almanac. This lends a historical continuity to the powerful ecological discussion here. Saving Tarboo Creek is a call to action that deserves shelf space beside environmental writing from the likes of of Bernd Heinrich, Bill McKibben and Edward Abbey. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit