Young Orcas Island native Will Fisher has set his sights on a career as a professional photographer and videographer, so his 2012 internship with the San Juan Preservation Trust was a perfect fit. Fisher, 19, graduated last spring from the photography program at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. He has spent the past several months roaming the San Juan Islands with his camera, capturing the natural beauty of the Preservation Trust’s conserved lands. His internship took him to several outer islands and remote properties, but his final assignment brought him back home to Orcas to promote the protection of a place that is near to his heart: Turtleback Mountain.
In late 2012, the Preservation Trust launched an effort to purchase a 111-acre property that separates the Turtleback Mountain Preserve from the Trust’s lesser-known Turtlehead Preserve and create a new public trail that connects these three properties. Until now, the Turtlehead Preserve – with its spectacular wildflowers, native grasslands, windswept forests and 360 views of surrounding islands – has been surrounded by private land and inaccessible to the public. With almost $1.2 million of this $1.3 million project already raised, the Preservation Trust, with Will’s help, hopes its “Campaign to Complete Turtleback Mountain” can identify the remaining $105,000 needed to complete this effort.
To provide a glimpse of what few have ever seen, Fisher made several trips up Turtlehead over a four month period, bushwhacking his way across the planned trail route. “I’ve been exploring Turtlehead since I was a kid, so this was a great opportunity to share this amazing place with others,” said Will. “I hope that my video will inspire other islanders to help the Preservation Trust make this place accessible for everyone. We must help preserve the single most beautiful living thing – Nature — if not for ourselves, then for the generations to come. If we don’t, it will simply vanish.”
The result is a fast-paced, 2-minute video that transports viewers from the Turtleback Mountain Preserve to Turtlehead. View Will’s virtual tour below. You may also see several of Will’s still photos of Turtleback Mountain and Turtlehead Preserve at www.willafisher.com.