A Gift to the Future
My office mate Elli attended a talk I gave recently about the work that my family and I are doing to restore a salmon run on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula. Elli had heard a little about the Tarboo Creek project before that — enough so that, long before the presentation, her first question on Monday
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More air waves—human history & choosing tree species
I had a wide-ranging conversation the other day with Barbara Bernstein of KBOO FM community radio out of metro Portland, Oregon. She’s informed and involved in her local area and we talked near everything from man’s history of ditching waters (and how that worked out for agriculture and houses), to the Army Corps of Engineers
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The planet and the public will
This article first appeared in The Seattle Times, March 10, 2018. The most inspiring speech I’ve witnessed was a commencement address at the University of Washington. It was given by an icon of the Pacific Northwest: Bill Gates, Sr. Mr. Gates is an old head; a revered elder; someone who has, as my younger son
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A Natural Life
This essay initially appeared on PowellsBooks.Blog. Used here courtesy of Powell’s City of Books, Portland, Oregon. http://www.powells.com/post/original-essays/a-natural-life My path to writing Saving Tarboo Creek was long and meandering. Some of the first tentative steps occurred in college, when I helped with some prairie restoration projects in Minnesota. I broke into a trot when I met Susan
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Hitting the airwaves
With the book Saving Tarboo Creek hitting the stores late January, it’s been a bit of a crazy several days with radio interviews from all time zones—the interviewers have been smart and informed and these have been fun to do. We talk about the book and about land ethic, planting trees, baby salmon, how to
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Happy trails to you
This winter we have two big projects going at Tarboo Creek: planting and trailing. More on planting later—this year trailing took the lead. Trailing is working on trails. We have a network now, one that started 12 years ago with a walking route along a newly remeandered portion of Tarboo Creek. That trail floods after
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Following Holly’s nose
I was out at Tarboo Creek by myself for a weekend this month while Susan was up in Canada grandmothering, and adopted a new strategy for a nature walk. When we arrive from town, nine times out of 10 the first thing we do is walk the trail along the streambank at our place, to
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Salmon chanted evening
When I checked on November 18th, our rain gauge was almost full—over 5.5” fell in a week. The coho salmon have started to run up Tarboo Creek in response to the rising waters, and in a gathering dusk tonight I stood on a one-lane bridge above the channel, watching a beautiful female coho dig a
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Bear witness
The drought is over, at last. Starting in late June, we had a run of 55 days straight without rain. Then a half inch in mid-August and another half inch when I checked our gauge September 9th, but otherwise nothing much happened in the way of precipitation. For 3 ½ months, we got the same
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On fire
Throughout the Puget Sound basin early this month, a thick layer of smoke blotted out the sun, and ash fell like snow. People had to brush their windshields off before attempting to drive; air quality ranged from unhealthy to hazardous. The flecks and haze were fallout from wildfires burning in central and southern British Columbia
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