Local Conservation Partnership Protects Salmon Habitat

Preservation Trust, Land Bank Acquire 20-acre Parcel on Orcas Island

With the support of private donors and a Washington State Salmon Recovery Fund grant, the San Juan Preservation Trust and the San Juan County Land Bank have purchased an important 20-acre shoreline parcel along the rugged western coastline of Orcas Island.

With 2,500 feet of shoreline, an historic lime kiln, priority salmon habitat and proximity to other protected lands, this property has long been identified as an acquisition priority for both organizations. After the Land Bank succeeded in obtaining a $250,000 grant from the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) to purchase this property, the Preservation Trust raised an additional $400,000 in anonymous private donations to complete this transaction.

“We have been trying to acquire this property for years, but sometimes things just happen at their own pace,” said Tim Seifert, executive director of the Preservation Trust. “It wasn’t more than a day or two after the salmon recovery grant was approved that a small group of generous donors provided us with the additional funds we needed.”

Lincoln Bormann, director of the Land Bank, added “While this is an important acquisition from an ecological and open space standpoint, no Land Bank funds were allocated due to the Land Bank’s diminished revenues and existing debt.”

The Land Bank now owns the property, while the Preservation Trust holds a conservation easement that permanently prohibits development and the SRFB holds a “Deed of Right” that ensures it will be managed for salmon habitat. There is no overland access available at this time, but kayaks and canoes will be able to access the preserve from the water.