Melgard Conservation Easement

Henry Island
Year protected: 1995
Land protected: 3 acres
Shoreline protected: 130 feet
Public benefits:  Shoreline, rocky balds, forest

On a clear, cold January morning many years ago, a young Patricia Melgard hiked on “Little Henry”—the eastern lobe of H-shaped Henry Island—with a friend who was looking to buy a remote place for a log cabin. As they left Henry that day, Patricia asked if her friend would consider selling her one square foot of this beautiful island—her very first piece of land—to keep as her own. Later her attorney worked out a serious offer: the southwestern three acres of the property on a high bluff overlooking Open Bay.

In 1995, Patricia, who “never lost the sense of awe and reverence there,” and her husband, Christian, took formal steps to ensure that the land they had loved for 37 years would remain in its natural state by donating a conservation easement to the Preservation Trust. Views of the Melgard parcel, which is located across Open Bay from the Bureau of Land Management’s Kellett Bluff property on “Big Henry,” can be enjoyed by the public from Open Bay and Haro Strait.

The Melgards’ decision to preserve their waterfront parcel means that its natural shoreline, including madrone-inhabited bluffs and interior woodlands, will remain intact and undisturbed.