Businger/Kooiman Conservation Easements

Joost and Marianne on Guemes Mountain

Marianne and Joost on Guemes Mountain with Michael Kirshenbaum of the Skagit Land Trust (photo by Phil Fenner)

Guemes Island
Year(s) Protected: 1992 & 1997
Land Protected:  61.5 acres
Shoreline Protected: 2,200 feet
Public Benefits:  Shoreline, forestland, agricultural land

Joost Businger and Marianne Kooiman have been long renowned among fellow Guemes Islanders for their conservation leadership. In 1992 they demonstrated this commitment by permanently protecting 14 acres and 2,200 feet of rugged coastline along Guemes Island’s eastern shore, permanently protecting prime bald eagle habitat. In 1997 they followed up by donating another 39 acres of agricultural land on the island.

Twenty years later, in 2017, they amended one of their existing easements to protect an additional 8.5 acres—thereby guaranteeing that a >500-acre section of the island, including Guemes Mountain, will remain wild and virtually undeveloped.

Joost and Marrianne also served as co-chairs of the successful Campaign to Save Guemes Mountain, and in 2006 the couple donated yet another conservation easement on a 20-acre forest on Sinclair Island. The residents and visitors (human and otherwise) of Guemes and Sinclair Islands owe a debt of gratitude to this dynamic duo.