When the San Juan Preservation Trust launched a campaign with the Skagit Land Trust in 2007 to save the 70-acre summit of Guemes Mountain, no one knew that the economy would collapse around us in the fall of 2008. But thanks to a tremendous community effort that included more than 550 donations from individuals, families, foundations, and businesses, SJPT successfully purchased (for $2.2 million) and forever preserved this amazing summit, which affords spectacular views of Mt. Baker and surrounding islands and waterways. In addition to monetary donations, an incredible outpouring of volunteer effort made it possible.
There were many ups and downs to the campaign, but the successful negotiation of a price reduction in early 2009 and the generosity and determination of islanders to preserve a favorite hiking spot allowed SJPT and the Skagit Land Trust to prevail.
Skagit Land Trust will now own and manage Guemes Mountain while the San Juan Preservation Trust holds a conservation easement on it—a typical arrangement for exceptional properties such as this, affording a “dual layer” of permanent conservation protection.
In 2015 and 2017, Skagit Land Trust acquired additional acreage on Guemes Mountain and in the adjacent valley, bringing the total number of protected acres in this conservation area to 206. The Guemes Mountain and Valley Conservation area connects to more than 500 acres of public and private land designated for conservation on Guemes Island.
For access and hiking information, click here.