Island Dispatch | July 2017


Small-scale conservation can add up to something big


Super-sized conservation opportunities like Turtleback Mountain Preserve— 1,578 acres in one fell swoop!—come around once a decade, if that. Most rural land in the San Juan Islands is divided into parcels that average less than eight acres each.

Collecting many small, isolated “postage stamps” does not always add up to a large public benefit, in terms of protecting significant wildlife and plant habitat, wide-open views, farmland, and public access to trails. So, how can we get around the “postage stamp” conundrum?

Sunset over Crescent Beach | ORCASART.COM


You may recall that, back in 2016, we asked you, our members, what you thought about how we communicate with you. We heard that you liked our publications very much (thank you!), and some of you expressed concern that perhaps six annual issues of the Island Dispatch was too costly. We listened and decided to heed your wise counsel. To save paper and mailing expenses, we are trimming back distribution of the Dispatch from six to four times a year, but we are adding an email newsletter in all eight intervening months. The net result will be more news about SJPT’s work to preserve the natural beauty of the San Juan Islands.

Our email newsletter, Postcard from the Islands, made its debut last month. If you did not receive the June issue, you can see it on our website here. Regrettably, the email version may have landed in your spam folder, a technical hiccup that we are hoping to remedy for the August edition.

It’s also possible that we don’t have a current email address for you. Now’s your chance to fix that! To sign up for our e-newsletter, please fill out and (snail-)mail us the enclosed postcard—or save a stamp and do it online here. It’s the best way to keep up with what’s happening at the Preservation Trust, including upcoming events, conservation updates, and links to great photos and videos of preserved island landscapes.

We look forward to staying in touch with you. If you have comments, questions, or story ideas, drop us a line! Email


At the Preservation Trust, we are incredibly lucky in that we get to work with our heroes—from visionary landowners and generous philanthropists to our dedicated volunteers, partners, and consultants. The success of every project depends on an intricate network of heroic and extraordinary individuals, each contributing his or her own unique superpower to the effort.

Among these many remarkable people, no one has contributed more to the Preservation Trust’s conservation success over the past 15 years than has Konrad Liegel, our legal counsel. Konrad has stood at the center of every transaction we’ve completed in that time, providing us with advice and a steady hand as we’ve navigated literally hundreds of conservation projects from negotiation to completion.

Despite his Ivy League law degree and long tenure at one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms, Konrad is not the bellicose, fee-hungry lawyer of the old stereotype. Soft-spoken, insightful, and ethical beyond reproach, Konrad now practices law under his own shingle, advising families, individuals, and nonprofit organizations on conservation, land use, environmental, real estate and charitable matters.

We have many people to thank for our success, including most of you. But behind the scenes, during times of stress and uncertainty, Konrad Liegel is our superhero. We are all grateful for his friendship, and we simply couldn’t imagine doing this work without him.

(And yes, our attorney’s last name is really pronounced “legal”!)

Konrad Liegel| Staff Archive