A Letter from Angela
On a sunny Saturday morning in January 2018, my phone erupted with a strident emergency alert sound and displayed this message:
BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
At the time, my husband, Adam, our two daughters, and I were wrapping up our last weeks as residents of Kauai. We were in the throes of preparing to move to the San Juan Islands, where I would soon start my dream job as the Preservation Trust’s Executive Director.
The alert sounded just after 8am. After a moment of initial shock, the first thing that popped into my mind was, “What’s our plan?” How could we “seek immediate shelter” from this seemingly inescapable threat?
It’s hard to plan for a threat you’ve never faced before. We had prepared for hurricanes, but what do you do about a nuclear missile? We loaded the girls and a box of canned food into the car and went to the storm shelter at the local high school. After 40 panicked minutes, the word came that it was a false alarm.
Climate change feels as scary as an incoming missile, except we know relief isn’t going to come in the form of a false alarm. We’re seeing its effects already, with hotter, drier summers; increasing pressure from invasive species; heightened risk of wildfire; and more extreme weather events, such as increased winter rainfall and flooding. How can we protect your investment, as SJPT donors, volunteers, and partners, from these unprecedented threats to the island land that we are committed to steward, forever? What’s our plan?
The good news is, we’re working on one. In October, we launched a new planning effort that will set SJPT’s conservation priorities for the next ten years. This new, fully climate-informed Strategic Conservation Plan will direct our approach to permanent land protection and stewardship to strengthen the resilience of our lands for plants, animals, and people as climate impacts increase.
We will share key findings and strategies with other Salish Sea land trusts and conservation partners (such as the San Juan County Land Bank and Coast Salish Tribes) as we work together on achieving a shared vision of island conservation not for a limited few, but for all.
This past year, with your support, we’ve pursued the “Three Cs” of our mission—Conserve, Care, and Connect—in many ways. We’ve highlighted a few of them in the following pages. Above all, we want to thank you, our donors, volunteers, and partners, without whom none of this work would be possible.
Angela Anderson, Executive Director