Protecting habitat for the Trumpeter Swan, the largest waterfowl in our region, became the driving force behind Bill and Robert Percich and Larry and Dallas George’s decision to donate a conservation easement in the aptly-named Swan Valley on San Juan Island. The agreement sets aside 17 acres (out of a 40-acre parcel slated for residential development) of wetlands and uplands to be protected as habitat for waterfowl. The seasonal wetlands along San Juan Valley Road are wintering grounds for the lovely Trumpeters as well as a variety of migratory ducks. The conservation easement allows no disturbance or structures of any kind in the wetlands.
“We are pleased that developer Bill Percich recognized the importance of trying to protect the wetlands in the development project,” explained Bob Myhr, the Preservation Trust’s Executive Director at the time of the donation. “If the habitat can be preserved and disturbance kept to a minimum during the winter months, the swans may continue to use the wetlands near the developed land as they do near development elsewhere in San Juan Valley and at Panorama Marsh. It is a worthwhile effort and the conservation easement can make a difference.”