Shaw Island Trust Conservation Easement

Shaw Island

Year(s) protected: 1998, 1999, 2005
Land protected: 251 acres
Shoreline protected: 4,000 feet
Public benefits:  Wetlands, shoreline, old-growth forest

From the northern reaches along Harney Channel, to the southern shoreline with views towards Lopez Island, a large, intact stretch of lovely beachfront has been preserved on Shaw Island. Thanks to the vision of the Shaw Island Trust (a private landowner), 251 acres was preserved through donations of several conservation easements in a series of transactions spanning seven years. Thirty of the acres were sold to the Shaw Island Trust by the San Juan County Land Bank, which had made the conservation easement a condition of the sale. The Land Bank had originally purchased the acreage from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

The 251 acres adjoins other Preservation Trust conserved parcels, creating a 372-acre swath of protected forestland, home to large old-growth Douglas firs, Western red cedar, mature big-leaf maples, hemlock, grand fir and alder. Pocket wetlands and the occasional rocky bald dot the property. The conservation easement stipulates that the land be maintained in its natural condition, without any structures, in perpetuity.