This fall, Skagit Land Trust has an exceptional opportunity to expand the Barr Creek Conservation Area, a place that is loved by both the public and wildlife that live in the area. In 2008, thanks to generous private donations and grants, Skagit Land Trust purchased 44 acres at the base of Sauk Mountain. But not all of this forested property was for sale at that time. We now have the opportunity to buy the rest of the property. This will extinguish all development potential in this lovely forest.
The Barr Creek Conservation Area hosts the beginning of the legendary east-flank Sauk Mountain trail which climbed 5300 feet ....almost straight up....to the former fire look-out on the mountain. It contains a mature forest including very large old Douglas fir trees, a pristine creek, and the Hegg-Benson Trail constructed by Trust volunteers. The trail wanders through exquisite older forest to a serene waterfall. This is a vital property in the Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area and is surrounded by land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The magical forest is well on its way to providing habitat for the secretive marbled murrelet, which needs old forests with complex canopies for their nests.
This is Skagit Land Trust’s opportunity to complete the protection of the private land of the Barr Creek forest. In 2008, the landowners retained 4-acres of the forest for a future homesite. They are now giving Skagit Land Trust the chance to buy this land. If we cannot buy the property, it will be put on the open market and sold. The property has an existing well and lot certification - it would be developed. This means a house would be sitting smack up against the Barr Creek Conservation Area. The driveway to this house would have the rights to cross right through the Barr Creek Conservation Area! A future landowner could also harvest the trees - some as old as 100 years in age. A portion of Barr Creek runs through this property and could be closed to public use. We are asking Trust members and the public to help us protect this property by making a donation to our Barr Creek Fund this December. If we are able to raise the funds to purchase this property we will expand the Barr Creek Conservation Area preserving the remaining private older forest and the part of Barr Creek that runs through the property.
Donate by December 31 and your gift will be doubled by an anonymous donor who has pledged to match all gifts up to $6,000! Your gift will ensure that this vital habitat for eagles, murrelets, and owls remains undisturbed.
Public support is essential to the success of this project. It is your support - alongside the contributions of others who also care about our community’s natural heritage - that is making a difference by conserving the places we love. Thanks to you, future generations will also experience the natural wonders of our Skagit home.
Thank you for considering a special year end donation that will ensure that we keep safe this special place in our community and pass on a remarkable natural legacy. The board and staff at Skagit Land Trust are extremely grateful for the public’s generosity and belief in our work.
Skagit Land Trust