Rigby Conservation Easement

Orcas Island

Year Protected: 1995

Land Protected: 30 acres

Public Benefits: Forestland, orchards, ponds

At the foot of Mt. Pickett’s graceful arch, and not so far from the end of the road on Orcas Island, lies Eastlight Farm. There you find a broad sunny meadow with a large pond and carefully tended orchard of apples and pears, surrounded on all sides by lush forest. A house, set apart and blending seamlessly with the setting, faces a panoramic sweep of evergreen, the confluence of Rosario and Georgia Straits, and the dramatic cliffs of Lummi Island.

Sandra Rigby donated a conservation easement on this land to the Preservation Trust in 1995, ensuring that the scenic and natural values would be protected into the future, and significantly limiting further development.

When Butch Reifert and Stephen Guy decided to buy the land from Sandra, they thought carefully about the implications of the easement.  “The preservation status made the property more attractive to us,” explains Butch.  “After we purchased the land and started our stewardship, we knew we were in partnership with the Trust.  We continue to feel that way, and that the partnership is valuable.”

“We do not have the expectation things will always remain the same into time,” Butch reflected.  “Rather we have the assurance that the natural processes of this land will be allowed to unfold because of the enduruing values which are at the heart of the easement.”