Murphy-Harrison Conservation Easement

San Juan Island

Year Protected: 2006

Land Protected: 25 acres

Public Benefits:  Agricultural lands, forests, scenic value

In a generous and thoughtful gesture in memory of her parents – William and Lavinia Murphy – Sharon Harrison donated a conservation easement on the family’s San Juan Valley farm that permanently protects more than 25 acres of farm fields and forest along the east side of San Juan Valley.

“Sharon’s loving gift will ensure that the woodlands and pasture protected by her parents’ many years of devoted care will remain in a natural and rural state for the enjoyment of current and future islanders,” said Debra Clausen, the Preservation Trust’s director of conservation.  “We thank her for her commitment to conservation.”

The Murphy farm, located along Douglas Road, forms part of the rural border of the scenic San Juan Valley Heritage Area (established in 2000 by San Juan County to protect working farmland in the valley).  Sloping to the west, the farm affords expansive views of the valley.  A mature Douglas fir and western red cedar forest stands along the ridgeline, delineating the crest of the False Bay watershed.  The conservation easement will protect this working farm’s natural, forest, agricultural, and scenic values of woods and pasture by allowing only one additional residence, and by limiting structures to a four-acre portion of the property.