The following are just some of the many restoration projects underway on our preserves and other protected lands
Island Marble Butterfly Habitat Expansion (San Juan Island)
In 2015, the San Juan Preservation Trust received a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to monitor the current status of the Island Marble Butterfly (Euchloe ausonides insulanus), create new habitat for this imperiled species on protected lands, and to expand outreach to the local community. The creation and ongoing maintenance of new habitat patches has been a multi-year effort involving SJPT staff and many volunteers.
Island marble | Jeff Brennan
Bluebird pair | Danny Hebert
Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project (San Juan Island)
The Western bluebird (Sialia mexicana) was formerly common in grasslands and savannas of southwestern British Columbia and western Washington, including Vancouver Island and the San Juan Islands. Seasonal populations of the migratory songbird declined over the last 50 years due, in large part, to loss of its Garry oak savanna habitat. Since 2007, the Preservation Trust has been involved in a regional effort to reintroduce self-sustaining populations of Western bluebirds to their northern range.
Turtleback Mountain Preserve (Oracas Island)
This video illustrates how Garry oak habitat is being restored by “releasing” the oaks from competition. With the help of labor from Washington Conservation Corp crew members and professional sawyers, shade competing firs are removed from the overstory while the understory is cleared of invasive blackberries. This structural restoration allows the mature oaks to regain vigor and gives oak seedlings an opportunity to thrive.
Peach Preserve (Guemes Island)
A multi-year effort to eradicate invasive Scotch (Scot’s) broom (Cystius scoparius) on this property is yielding some encouraging results. When the San Juan Preservation Trust acquired these 64 acres of marine shoreline and freshwater marsh along Guemes Island’s southern shoreline in 2000 and 2007, we inherited several acres of Scotch broom that was clogging the beach above the high tide line. This invasion was threatening delicate wetlands and native wildflowers that had thrived in this sensitive zone.
Jack Island Preserve
An island family donated the 18-acre Jack Island to the San Juan Preservation Trust in 2007. While the island is undeveloped and hosts a wide variety of wildlife, it also is home to a very thick undergrowth of invasive plants including English ivy (Hedera helix), English holly (Ilex aquifolium) and English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus).
West Side Conservation Easement (San Juan Island)
Several years ago, the caretaker for a shoreline property along San Juan Island’s west side discovered a beautiful little golden flower. This flower, which was on land protected by a San Juan Preservation Trust conservation easement, appeared after a large patch of snowberry and Nootka rose was cleared from a portion of the property that exhibited remnants of native prairie.
Soon after the San Juan Preservation Trust acquired the Vendovi Island preserve we learned that the prairies on the island – with their remarkably diverse suite of native wildflowers and grasses – would demand priority protection. Throughout the San Juan archipelago, remnant prairies are under threat from trees and shrubs which invade native grasslands and shade out native wildflowers.