Just a few weeks ago, Northwest Watershed Institute, Jefferson Land Trust, and other conservation partners joined together with the Radka family to permanently protect 33 acres of farmland, forest, and fish habitat on Tarboo Creek. A passionate, long standing connection to this land made the Radka family delightful partners to work with on this effort. Linda and David Radka have been conscientious stewards of this property for many years, and were eager to see its prime agricultural soils and mature forest permanently protected.
The Radka property includes frontage along Tarboo creek, and this preservation effort has opened the way for Northwest Watershed Institute to conduct important salmon habitat restoration work, expanding the creekside buffer and building a new bridge crossing. The Radka Farm was also the site of NWI’s annual Plant-A-Thon this past February, wherein 200 volunteers from five schools planted the riparian area with 6,500 trees and shrubs! Looking ahead, the Radka family plans to manage the forested portion of the property through selective timber harvest in line with their conservation ethic.
Protection of the Radka property is particularly significant not just in its own right, but also as an important puzzle piece in the larger Tarboo Valley preservation story. Tarboo and Dabob Bay are some of the most pristine water and shores in the Northwest. This area has been the subject of a large-scale protection effort in progress for over 15 years. To date, more than 3500 acres here have been preserved through a collaboration between the Land Trust, Northwest Watershed Institute, the Navy, the WA Department of Natural Resources, and other partner organizations and agencies. The recent publication of Scott and Susan Freeman’s “Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family’s Quest to Heal the Land” has brought even wider attention to this incredible landscape and the people who are working to bring this degraded salmon run back to life.
“The Tarboo valley is one of those places that just takes your breath away and makes you grateful to live here in our remarkable corner of the world. Continuing success in protecting this area reminds us how much we can accomplish when we work together with patience and perseverance. Big thanks to the Radka family – it was a pleasure to work with them to ensure their land is protected forever.”
– Richard Tucker, Jefferson Land Trust Executive Director