Tarboo Forest protection gains ground and stores carbon


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -May 31, 2019

Contact: Peter Bahls, Executive Director -Northwest Watershed Institute

Office: 360-385-6786 Cell: 360-821-9566

peter@nwwatershed.org

 

Tarboo Forest protection gains ground and stores carbon

 

With climate change raising increasing alarm worldwide, Northwest Watershed Institute is offering people a local, on-the ground way to offset their carbon emissions and protect valuable wildlife habitat at the same time. The non-profit conservation and restoration organization has started a fundraising campaign to conserve a 21-acre forest in the Tarboo Creek watershed as an addition to the Tarboo Wildlife Preserve near Quilcene.

 

According to Peter Bahls, the Institute’s executive director, the forest is a beautiful example of native older forest with excellent wildlife habitat that is also storing tons of carbon in the trees and soil.  “Every acre of this mature forest is storing the rough equivalent of 7 years of carbon emissions by an average American. In general, forests of the Pacific Northwest can store more carbon per acre than most other types of forests in the world and can play a key role in fighting climate change”.

 

NWI purchased the forest parcel in November of 2018 with loans to prevent it from being clear-cut and developed. “We were able  to buy the property thanks to loans from conservation investors”, said Bahls. “Generous individuals stepped forward in the nick of time with low interest loans for the $225,000 purchase. These people wanted to invest in a healthier planet.”

NWI is now seeking the last portion of funding needed to to pay back the loans and allow for permanent protection of the property as part of the organization’s 400 acre Tarboo Wildllife Preserve in the Tarboo Creek valley. “With grant funding in the works from several sources, we still need to raise $40,000 in donations” said Bahls. “The purchase has bought us some time, but if we can’t raise the remaining funding by August, we will be forced to put the property back on the market to pay off the loans”.

 

According to Bahls, a $2,000 donation will protect about one acre of forest. “At whatever level people can contribute, we know that along with making every effort to reducing our carbon pollution as individuals and as a community, conserving this forest will store carbon and offset emissions as we attempt to wean ourselves from fossil fuels”.

tarboo-big-trees.jpg

Once the funding is secured, Northwest Watershed Institute plans to permanently conserve the parcel under a conservation easement with the Jefferson Land Trust to protect wildlife habitat, store carbon, and sustain selective harvest of forest products. “The easement will protect the timber volume that is on the property now and will allow selective harvest of some of the additional growth that will occurs in the decades ahead” said Bahls.

 

The forest acquisition is part of a nearly 20 year effort by Northwest Watershed Institute and partnering organizations and landowners to preserve and restore the Tarboo-Dabob Bay watershed, from the headwaters of Tarboo Creek to Dabob Bay. To date, more than 600 acres along Tarboo Creek, and over 4,000 acres within the Dabob Bay Natural Area land have been protected.

 

Northwest Watershed Institute is hosting short walking tours of the property for potential donors in June and July from 10 am to noon, including June 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, and July 9. Those interested in joining a field tour or donating to the project are invited to contact Bahls at Northwest Watershed Institute at www.nwwatershed.org

 

 

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