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

by Scott Freeman

Other authorsSusan Leopold Freeman (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2018

Call number

NWC 333.720979 FRE


Timber Press (2018), 224 pages


"When the Freeman family decided to restore a damaged creek in Washington's Olympic Peninsula--to transform it from a drainage ditch into a stream that could again nurture salmon-- they knew the task would be formidable and the rewards plentiful. In Saving Tarboo Creek, Scott Freeman artfully blends his family's story with powerful universal lessons about how we can all live more constructive, fulfilling, and natural lives by engaging with the land rather than exploiting it. Equal parts heartfelt and empowering, this book explores how we can all make a difference one choice at a time. In the proud tradition of Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, Saving Tarboo Creek is both a timely tribute to our land and a bold challenge to protect it." --… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member dhelmen
I adored this book, with brought me deep into an ecosystem with which I am not familiar. Being a Midwesterner from flyoverlandia, the descriptions of the depleted streams, deforested pastures, and the remnants of the great old growth forests plopped me directly into a place so different from mine
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that it seems almost imaginary. I highly recommend this book to those who want an inside picture of what it really takes to restore degraded ecosystems.
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LibraryThing member ShawnMarie
I received my copy of Saving Tarboo Creek at the best time, one where I had a lot of doctor's waiting rooms to wait in and time on my hands.

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time - sciencey enough to teach me something new and personal enough for me to make a connection to the
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place the book is about - Tarboo Creek.

I myself live on a cold water stream in the east with Native Brook Trout and we are also trying to maintain the health of the stream with plantings but unfortunately I have no beavers. :-( Maybe someday.

I would recommend this book to anyone who cares about the environment, who has children who will grow up in an uncertain environmental future, who fishes and who eats fish. There is a lot to learn here - especially that one family can make a difference.

It's time we all took responsibility for a little part of the earth to make sure it lives on into the future.
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LibraryThing member loraineo
Scott Freeman and family take on the enormous task of restoring a damaged creek. This is just part of the story. It is obvious through out the book Mr. Freeman's love of nature and family. Well written and thought provoking. " If you are present, you will notice things- about the world and about
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yourself. " Really good book!
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LibraryThing member Cheryl-L-B
In addition to detailing the efforts of one family to restore a small stream running through their land, the author presents a wealth of information about the life cycle of salmon. Many topics are discussed, from global warming to Neanderthals. My copy was an advance copy and had many blank gray
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squares where future art [drawn by the author's wife] will appear, the back of the book had many blank pages where an index will probably appear. One suggestion, some of the drawings would benefit from a caption identifying the subject [such as type of plant shown]. An informative little book!
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LibraryThing member jamesgwld
Tarboo Creek is not only an important story, but a positive readable romp through what it takes to restore land. The Freeman’s kept the story short enough for the attention span of most Americans with a soft message laced throughout. It should not be compared to Leopold’s classic, Sand County
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Almanac, simply because it is the granddaughter that co-wrote the book. The positives of the book are that it was entertaining, educational, and very approachable to all levels of readership. There is nothing new written here, but simply ideas that we should be reminded of ever so often.
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LibraryThing member timtom
Intertwined with anecdotes about the author's family efforts to restore a stream on their property in the Pacific Northwest are reflections about ecology, humanity's impact on the land, global warming and those that try to take care of nature. It is not an overly optimistic book, the author
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stresses that new generations (starting with that of his own children) will live a dramatically different life unless the population as a whole undergoes drastic lifestyle changes. However, Freeman also highlights possible actions to mitigate ecological impact, by his own example (one that is in turn inspired by a relative who was a pioneer of the American conservation movement) and ending the book with advice on how readers can help prepare a better future for their children. Not only is this an excellent book for whoever cares about the environment and wants to learn more about practical actions to take better care of it, but it might even speak to those who don't feel that concerned, as Freeman does an excellent job explaining why a healthy salmon, or beaver, or frog is important to the whole community.
The copy I reviewed was an advance reading copy and therefore was missing some of the final illustrations, but I often wished the book included a map of the revitalized area, which would have helped visualize the narrative better.
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LibraryThing member benruth
This is a book I am interested in reading, but I haven't quite gotten to it yet because it didn't immediately grab me when I received it. I definitely do plan to read it and will put a real review in here once I manage to do so.
LibraryThing member Sean191
Saving Tarboo Creek offers a pleasantly readable story that also provides some entry-level information on the environment and challenges we face going forward with climate change. There were a few nuggets of information I didn't know from other reading - much of it having to do with salmon, but it
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was interesting and I appreciated learning about it. Highly recommended for people just starting to get an education in environmental issues and more moderately recommended for those well-versed.

There were some typos here and there, but with the release date being next year, the finished product will likely have those issues solved.
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LibraryThing member annahesser
It took me a little while to get into this book, but I really enjoyed it once I did. It's inspiring to read a personal conservation story (and as another midwesterner transplanted to the Pacific NW, the author was very relatable). The book finishes with a call to a more sustainable and
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down-to-earth way of living. I will be recommending this to others.
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LibraryThing member muddyboy
A preachy book about families quest to restore a section of a creek to provide a salmon habitat. Their actions and deeds are honorable and I totally support the intent of what he and his family are doing and trying to inspire others to do. However, I sense an air of superiority over us (people
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without the will or means to do this) What really turned me off was the final chapter when he makes sweeping historical generalizations about the "Greatest Generation" and the "Baby Boomers" (I teach history at a junior college) and numerous other topics. He should stick to Ecology. The illustrations are generally worthless.
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LibraryThing member msf59
“Planting a tree is a way to apply hope. In restoration is the preservation of the world.”

“An ecosystem is a tapestry; climate change pulls at the threads.”

“In just the past thousand years, our increased population and ability to alter habitats around the globe has hit the earth like an
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Tarboo Creek, in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, was once a thriving salmon run but over time, due to erosion, development and neglect, it became a damaged trickle. The Freeman family, authors of this book, decided to purchase a large plot of land that the Tarboo traversed and then to restore this creek to it's former glory, making it habitable for the spawning salmon. It was a huge under-taking but one filled with many rewards, for all involved.
The author packs a lot into these 200 pages and your level of interest in nature, biology and ecology, will determine what you will take out of this. It gets very detailed, (my eyes came close to glossing over a time or two) but I learned a whole lot about trees and tree restoration, the hardy lives of salmon and the impact of deforestation and climate change on our planet. I feel it is a timely and important read.
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LibraryThing member bemislibrary
Author Freeman not only provides the steps they took in the restoration of the Tarboo Creek habitat, he delves into the environmental, community and political cause and effect. The lovely black and white drawings throughout the book support the text. Extensive references cover difference aspects of
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the restoration. He provides an index. One shortcoming is the lack of footnotes for statistics used.

I received this book through a publisher giveaway. Although encouraged, I was under no obligation to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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LibraryThing member 2wonderY
It’s about the restoration of wetlands, including the process of re-meandering a salmon spawn creek. Isn’t that a lovely concept? Beavers moving in complicated the process of re-forestration, but they were accommodated and of course made the ecology that much richer.




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