The Swan Count Results Are In!

Trumpeter swans on Zylstra Lake | Kurt Thorson

SJPT Stewardship Manager Kathleen Foley, who coordinates the annual swan count for the Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) in San Juan County, writes:

We’ve set a new record for number of wintering trumpeter swans counted on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands—152 total birds (135 adults and 17 juveniles). This is a big jump up from 2017, when 95 birds were counted. Whether this is an actual increase in numbers of birds or due to stepped-up vigilance and wider participation in the count, it is hard to say, but I do know that anecdotally, people have been “feeling” like there were more birds this year—and, turning up in some places they hadn’t occupied in some time.

Many of our volunteer counters expressed dismay when they went out last Friday (January 19), writing things like, “But wait, there was a flock here just a few days ago!” Others got a welcome surprise. The most swans were found on Lopez—the larger flocks being 36 at a marsh near the Center Church Area, and 23 at the Richardson Wetlands. San Juan Island was the runner-up, with 26 in the fields at Red Mill Farm. Orcas was second runner-up, with 10 birds counted. Our intrepid Shaw Island counters came up with a goose egg for the fourth year in a row, but what they lack in locating swans they make up for in good attitude!

Having this info helps WDFW, certainly, but it also helps those of us who are working to conserve habitat  locally in the islands. While I’m happy to see swans using many areas that are already under protection, some of their wintering habitat is still at risk. The swans’ wintering areas are just another important layer we consider when guiding our conservation actions, and having this information is invaluable.

Thanks to all who helped tally the trumpeters this year. This is “citizen science” at its best!

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See Our January E-Newsletter


In this month’s issue:

  • Note from Tim: A Peerless Family Legacy (Ellis Family Preserve)
  • Ellis Family Donates Record-Breaking Shaw Island Preserve
  • Zylstra Lake: A Done Deal!
  • The Henrys: Connected!
  • Upcoming Events
  • Profile in Perpetuity

See it here!

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SJPT Names New Executive Director

Angela Anderson to “Come Home” from Hawaii to the Salish Sea

The board of trustees of the San Juan Preservation Trust announced today that it has hired Angela Anderson as its new executive director, effective February 12, 2018. Ms. Anderson will lead the land trust’s activities in conserving the beauty, character, and diversity of significant lands in the San Juan Island archipelago.

“We couldn’t be happier in welcoming Angela Anderson to the Preservation Trust as its new executive director,” said Thor Hanson, president of the Preservation Trust’s board of trustees. “Tim Seifert set a very high bar during his 15 years as executive director. After an extensive, nationwide search, we’re convinced that Angela is just the right person to succeed Tim in leading the Preservation Trust into a new era of community-minded conservation.”

Ms. Anderson comes to the Preservation Trust with more than 20 years of work and study in the conservation field, most recently as the Kauai Island Director of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT). An attorney, she also maintained her own private law practice, specializing in real estate transactions, estate planning, mediation, and environmental law.

Prior to serving as the Kauai Island Director of HILT, she was an active member of the HILT Kauai Island Council, assisting with fundraising, conservation strategy, and transaction review. She has also served on the Kauai County Planning Commission and as a member of the Marine and Coastal Zone Council for the Hawaii state planning office.

Ms. Anderson grew up in Tacoma, Washington. Her early experiences hiking Pacific Northwest rainforest trails, exploring rocky coastlines, and swimming in cold mountain and coastal waters helped form her lifelong dedication to protecting the natural environment. She received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where she designed a dual concentration in Environmental Science and Economics. After graduation, she interned at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10 Office in Seattle.

Ultimately, her interests in conservation led her to pursue a law degree in Hawaii. In 2004/05, she received her law degree from the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law, with graduate certificates in environmental law and conflict resolution.

In her downtime, she especially enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, and kayaking with her husband and two daughters.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the San Juan Preservation Trust and look forward to getting to know the islands’ communities and the unique and beautiful landscapes of the San Juans,” Anderson said. “It’s an exciting time to be joining this organization. I plan to devote my skills and experience to build on its many accomplishments under Tim Seifert’s leadership. For me, this is both a homecoming and the job of a lifetime.”

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