Conservation Easement

Orcas Island

Year Protected: 2023

Land Protected: 115 acres

Shoreline Protected: 3,470 feet

Public Benefits: Shoreline with tidelands, rocky balds, open space, mixed woodlands

Dan and Margie Carper, both natives of Spokane, have spent many years living in New York City. There, in the heart of Manhattan, they formed a deep attachment to the natural beauty of Central Park. With an eye toward retirement, in 1996 they purchased waterfront property on East Sound. With its combination of meadows, woodlands, water, and abundant wildlife, the property became the Carpers’ own “Central Park” in the middle of Orcas Island.

In August, the Carpers donated a conservation easement to the Preservation Trust covering 115 acres of their property. The easement permanently protects 3,470 feet of shoreline and 4,340 feet of tidelands, providing important habitat for marine mammals, waterfowl, and forage fish critical for salmon recovery. Mixed forest, meadows, wetlands, and herbaceous bald areas host a Central Park Zoo’s worth of native birds, mammals, amphibians, and insects.

“There aren’t that many places left in this world for animals to call home,” Dan says. “So now there will always be just a little bit more for them.”