Whiteley Conservation Easement

San Juan Island

Year Protected: 1990

Land Protected: 20 acres

Shoreline Protected: 812 feet

Public Benefits: Shoreline, rocky balds, forest

A prominent stretch of rocky shoreline and tidelands on the south side of Pear Point, San Juan Island, was permanently protected by a donated conservation easement from  the late Dr. Arthur Whiteley and wife, Helen.  Undisturbed Douglas fir and lodgepole pine forest, with a few specimens over 100 years old, are interspersed with native hawthorne, alder and bigleaf maple.  Native plants found on the Whiteley property were featured heavily in the renowned local scientist Eugene Kozloff’s book, Plants and Animals of the Pacific Northwest.

Part of the Whiteley’s dreams for this property included making it available for limited scientific research and study by the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs and the Department of Zoology (where both Arthur and Helen were professors for many years).

Several rocky reefs, coves, and pocket beaches comprise the 812 feet of shoreline. The subtidal zone contains an extensive eelgrass bed and marine habitat for a species of sessile jellyfish (of the genus Haliclystus) which has been reported in just one other location in the San Juan Islands.  This shoreline habitat also attracts myriads of seabirds, foraging bald eagles, and harbor seals.