Northwest Watershed Institute meets goal to fund Tarboo Forest addition.

From Peter Bahls.

Dear Friends of Tarboo Creek and Dabob Bay,

I am happy to report that thanks to your generous support, Northwest Watershed Institute has raised the remaining funding needed to conserve the Tarboo forest addition. We could not have done it without you! THANK YOU!

As you may recall, Northwest Watershed Institute purchased the beautiful 21-acre forest last fall with private loans to prevent it from being clearcut and developed. Your contributions combined with grant funding from the Jefferson County Conservation Futures fund will allow us to pay off the loans and secure it as a permanent part of NWI’s Tarboo Wildlife Preserve. Thanks to your help, we plan to move ahead with putting a conservation easement on the property in November 2019 to preserve wildlife habitat, store carbon, and sustain selective harvest of forest products.

For more background on the project – please see news article at

Regards, Peter Bahls, Executive Director

Northwest Watershed Institute

3407 Eddy Street

Port Townsend, WA 98368


Tarboo Forest protection gains ground and stores carbon


Contact: Peter Bahls, Executive Director -Northwest Watershed Institute

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


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”.


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



Tarboo forest land gains protection – Port Townsend Leader

News on protection of mature forest in the Tarboo.

Eighty acres of mature forest in the Tarboo Valley was permanently preserved last week through a joint project of Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI) and Jefferson Land Trust (JLT).

Donations Needed for Tarboo Forest Preservation

They need $49k to put them over the top. Good cause!

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to
which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI), a 501(c)3 non-profit conservation group, offers an opportunity
to leave a sustainable legacy – a permanently protected forest that will provide wildlife habitat,
carbon sequestration, jobs, and forest products on the Olympic Peninsula.

NWI is seeking conservation-minded donors to help in a time-limited opportunity to permanently
protect 78 acres of beautiful, mature forestland for addition to the Tarboo Wildlife Preserve; and
leverage conservation of an additional 158 acres of adjoining forest. The project represents a critical
part of NWI’s national awarding-winning efforts to safeguard and restore fish and wildlife habitats of
Tarboo Creek watershed and downstream Tarboo-Dabob Bay, with over 2,500 acres conserved to
date by a broad coalition of conservation organizations, landowners, and agencies.

Located in Tarboo Creek Watershed, most of the total 236 acres of forest was owned by a Danish
corporation that was planning to clear-cut the property and then sell it for development. With loans
from private lenders, NWI recently acquired 78 acres of mature forest, and conservation partners
Scott and Susan Leopold Freeman acquired the adjoining 158 acres. Susan Leopold Freeman is the
granddaughter of Aldo Leopold. The Freeman family purchased the forest in honor of Susan’s father
Carl Leopold and it is owned by Leopold-Freeman LLC, the family company.

More on this issue at

Click to access TFdonation_8_13.pdf

Also an article in the PDN


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