Roulac Conservation Easement

Orcas Island

Year Protected: 1996

Land Protected: 14.5 acres

Public Benefits: Wetlands, scenic views, forestland, meadows

The land around a widely-known and well-loved landmark on Orcas was preserved in 1996 by the Roulac family. The scenic and beloved Victorian Valley chapel will remain as scenic and peaceful in perpetuity as it is today.

“It’s the heart of the whole valley, a focal point; some people even feel it’s a magic place,” said Libby Roulac. “We wanted to keep it unspoiled.”

Built in the 1960’s by the Bangs family, the Victorian Valley chapel was constructed with windows, pews, and other materials saved from an old Anacortes church. Over the years, it has been the site of countless Christmas concerts, numerous weddings, scores of other community events and thousands of fond memories.

The chapel is currently the only building on the conserved land; two more residential structures will be allowed (though will be sited in areas where they will be screened from the meadow and the chapel). The protected land also includes two ponds which provide habitat for waterfowl and open meadows.

“For 30 years, we’ve heard people talking about ‘pulling up the drawbridge’ to keep the islands the way they are,” noted Roulac. “While we all know we can’t pull up the drawbridge, donating conservation easements are one way for people to help preserve lands for the enjoyment of future generations.”