Virginia McDermott Conservation Easement

Lopez Island

Year Protected: 1995

Land Protected: 39 acres

Public Benefits: Agricultural lands, scenic views

One of Lopez Island’s most beloved views takes shape as you arrive into Lopez Village from the Lopez ferry landing. As you look towards the southwest, you will see a large agricultural valley, stretching out between Fisherman Bay Road and Lopez Road, that frames a majestic vista of the distant Olympic Mountains.

Part of this panoramic valley view will forever remain in open space thanks to a 39-acre conservation easement that Virginia McDermott donated to the San Juan Preservation Trust in 1995.

“A photo of this view is featured on the cover of the book, “The Back Roads of Washington,” said McDermott at the time of the donation.  “Seeing it there made me look at the land from a different perspective and I knew I wanted to preserve its beauty and serenity.  After talking it over with my family, we all agreed to go ahead with the easement.  I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to know that this acreage will be preserved forever, just as it is in all its beauty.”

The easement protects the agricultural land and preserves a view corridor between Lopez and Fisherman Bay Roads.  The majority of the acreage conserved will remain available for farming and serve as open habitat for soaring raptors such as bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and turkey vultures. A subsequent conservation easement on an adjacent property expanded the forest edge and created an additional buffer from Lopez Village as it expands to the north.