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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

Land Stewards

Volunteer Land Stewards adopt one of Skagit Land Trust's properties and provide stewardship over a long period of time. As eyes and ears for the Trust, Land Stewards:

  • visit 'their' property at least quarterly to see what has been happening in their absence;
  • periodically take photographs at designated points to document changes;
  • perform minor maintenance on the property, remove invasive plants, talk to neighbors, initiate investigations of encroachments;
  • report findings to the Trust staff.
  • Land Steward Position Description
  • Land Steward Aide Position Description

Bengt Miller

Day Creek Kosbab · Bellingham

Many of you know Bengt already as a vital partner at Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and his brief stint as a Land Steward Aide. Bengt became the Steward for Day Creek Kosbab in late 2017. If not working to protect salmon, or stewarding DCK you can probably find him wherever there is an Ultimate Frisbee game.

Bob Boudinot

Cascade River · Mount Vernon

Bob and Nina Boudinot made Skagit County their home in 1973.  Bob is a civil engineering graduate of the University of Iowa.  For 32 years he was a co-owner of a local engineering and surveying company.  In the later part of his career the focus of his engineering was environmental restoration projects.  Bob served on the Land Trust Board for 10 years.  He now stewards two properties on the Cascade River near Marblemount; South Cascade River Conservation Area and Cascade River TNC Preserve.

Brenda Cunningham and Tim Manns

Barney Lake · Mount Vernon

In 1998, Brenda and Tim became stewards of Barney Lake. Brenda is originally from Illinois and Tim from Massachusetts, but they are ingrained in the Skagit now. Both are active in various environmental programs. Tim worked as Head of Interpretation at North Cascades National Park before retiring in 2006, and Brenda was our stewardship director until 2007. Brenda now serves on the Trust's board.

Ed and Carolyn Gastellum

Guemes Mountain · Anacortes

Ed and Carolyn have lived in the Skagit for 20 years. Carolyn’s career as an elementary school teacher and Ed’s as a Park Manager for the National Park Service, and then as Assistant Superintendent of North Cascades National Park, has allowed them to root here. They took on one of our newest, biggest public access properties with Guemes. Carolyn joined SLT's board in 2011.

Hal Lee

Day Creek Slough & Minkler Lake · Mount Vernon

Hal became the Day Creek Slough land steward in 2008. He courageously took on a second property, Minkler Lake, in 2010. At both properties, Hal wears himself out waging war on blackberries, canary grass and knotweed. Hal worked in electronics and hydraulics at Team Corporation, and in Oceanography at the University of Washington.

Heidi and Matt Hixson

Big Lake Wetlands · Big Lake

Heidi and Matt have lived in Skagit County for over 15 years. Matt has volunteered with the Mount Vernon Trail Builders and has a true passion for protecting sustainable land. Heidi works for the Mount Vernon School District and hopes to help impart the caring of Skagit onto the next generation. Skagit County is certainly one of the most beautiful places. Preserving, maintaining and enjoying it are the main goals for them becoming Land Stewards.

Heidi Nichols

Green Road Marsh · Mount Vernon

Heidi’s passion for the environment and witnessing its cyclical changes motivated her to become a Steward in 2011 for Green Road Marsh, a place where she enjoys the solitude and fabulous views. On her first visit to the site, Heidi saw sign of recent beaver activity. She enjoys bird watching, hiking, and bike riding in the diverse areas of the Skagit Valley. Heidi completed a two-year degree program at Skagit Valley College in environmental conservation (aquatic/terrestrial emphasis).

Ian Woofenden

Guemes Mountain · Guemes Island

Ian believes that land preservation is the most direct and effective way to improve the physical environment, so Ian became an SLT Land Steward in 2014 after living on Guemes for 35 years. Ian maintains trails on Guemes while enjoying the forests and views of magical sunrises and sunsets. He has a varied background in renewable energy writing, editing, consulting, sales, and teaching. When not enjoying Guemes Mountain with other happy hikers, Ian gardens, makes music, and walks on the beach.

Janet Cray

Barney Lake · Mount Vernon

Janet grew up in a military family and moving around the country, but for the past 23 years has established deep roots within the community around her home near Barney Lake in Mount Vernon. She has been a professional wetland scientist for over 10 years and has always wanted to get to know more about Barney Lake, especially since her favorite part of her job is slogging through wetlands looking for amphibian egg masses. In 2015, she volunteered at Skagit Land Trust to help with amphibian surveys at Barney Lake, and then in 2016 she applied to become one of the land stewards for Barney Lake and the newly acquired Bell properties.

Jim and Ranae Watson

Pressentin · Concrete

Jim and Ranae have lived adjacent to Pressentin Conservation Area for 20 years and enjoy watching and studying wildlife in the area. Jim has been the statewide Raptor Research Scientist for WDFW for most of his career. For many years, Ranae, a dental office assistant, assisted him on research projects. The Watson's have spent a lot of their married lives bird watching, camping, and hiking in between raising two sons. They appreciate the opportunity to steward the property and to educate their neighbors about the Pressentin Conservation Area’s uniqueness.

Jim Fukuyama

Muddy Creek · Mount Vernon

Jim is an organic chemist and patent lawyer from British Columbia who spent most of his life in the Northeastern U.S., but Jim’s interest in conservation and environmental initiatives motivated him to become an SLT Steward in 2013. Jim understands that our Valley is a very critical watershed. One favorite part of being a steward was experiencing the wildlife at Day Creek Kosbab, on the Skagit River and adjacent properties. In late 2017 Jim began to steward the new Muddy Creek property in Hamilton.

Jim Johnson

Cumberland Creek · Sedro-Woolley

Jim became a steward of Cumberland Creek in 2006, having stewarded at Day Creek Slough since 2004. A native of Marysville, WA, Jim went east to New York for graduate studies and then spent several years teaching in Oregon before coming home. After operating a small farm, he returned to teaching English for Sedro-Woolley in 1984.

Jim Owens

Butler Creek · Big Lake

Jim made his way west from Kentucky and Indiana. He is president of our Wood Duck Box Club, putting up wood duck boxes and servicing them each year. Retired from a 35-year job in the aerospace industry, Jim stewards his own property and is part of the local Tree Farmer’s group.

John Day

Tope Ryan · Sedro-Woolley

John Day has been a land steward at Tope Ryan for three years, and a long-time volunteer for the Trust. He lives in a solar-paneled house in Sedro-Woolley with his wife Martha, our former Conservation Director, and currently works as Weatherization Coordinator for the Housing Authority of Skagit County.

Kinsey Shilling

Utopia · Mount Vernon

Originally from Maryland, Kinsey has lived in the Skagit Valley for the past eight years and has become attached to the Valley. Since retiring from the National Park Service, Kinsey became interested in volunteer opportunities and after spending a day planting trees at Utopia last April, decided to become a land steward there. He is looking forward to spending time at the site.

Kirsten and Tim Colton

Grandy Creek · Birdsview

Tim and Kirsten moved to the Birdsview neighborhood in spring 2015; Kirsten operates a freelance editing business and Tim works locally in the agricultural field. They love being outdoors and believe that land conservation is a great way to serve and enhance the health of the local community. They have enjoyed volunteering at and exploring various land trust properties, and it seemed a very fitting step to become stewards of the Grandy Creek property, just down the road.

Kit Harma

Guemes Mountain · Guemes Island

Originally from Eugene, Kit has been a Trail Monitor on Guemes Mountain since it became an SLT property and has been the property’s Steward since 2013 (motivated by what he saw on a Skagit Bike Club tour of SLT properties). He even had an unforgettable experience being lost on top of the mountain one New Year’s Eve! Though thistles are a problem at Guemes, Kit’s work there is motivated by the enthusiasm of other folks who visit the site.

LaVerne and Jim Scheltens

March Point Heronry · Anacortes

LaVerne became a steward of the heronry about five years ago. She and Jim enjoy the Great Blue Heron nest count in rain or even snow! Born and raised in Michigan, LaVerne has found a niche here in the Skagit Valley. She spent her career first as a Medical Technologist, then helping to administer a computer network.

Mike Olson

Mud Lake · Conway

Mike grew up on the Minnesota prairie and moved to Washington to start a career in forestry.  He has worked for various conservation organizations over the years, including Shenandoah National Park, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Boise National Forest.  When Mike isn’t working in the woods he enjoys backpacking, climbing mountains, and volunteering for local conservation projects.  He is excited to steward the diverse wetlands on the Mud Lake property - hopefully without getting wet!

Pete Haase

Samish Ochs · Bow

Pete became Och’s steward in 2011. His involvement was only natural – he already seemed to be photographing every single environmental event in Skagit County! He retired from Boeing and is now happily able to spend his time on environmental stewardship in the Samish watershed, as well as caring for bunnies and a cat.

Phil Kincare

Suiattle · Darrington

Phil recently retired from the US Forest Service after 37 years, the last 16 years were in the Skagit Wild and Scenic River Program. “This program brought me in touch with many of the people and organizations that are protecting and restoring habitat in the Skagit Watershed. Looking after some of the upriver properties in the Volunteer Land Steward Program is a good fit because I live upriver and I am familiar with the properties. I'll be looking after The Nature Conservancy's Wilcox, Rankin and Dupuis properties which are on the Suiattle and Sauk Rivers."

Richard Raisler

Lyman Slough · La Conner

Hailing from Montana, Richard has lived here 42 years and been a steward for over 10 years. He is now retired, but made his living as a dentist. Past president of the Fidalgo Fly Fishers, and long-time steward for the Trust, Richard says he loves the Skagit River for its beauty and power.

Russ Dalton

Barr Creek · Rockport

When I asked Russ how he came to be a steward, he answered, “Michael Kirshenbaum promised me a hat and a t-shirt.” He has spearheaded the construction of the trail at Barr. Russ has extensive experience with the National Park Service. He grew up on the Peninsula, but has spent the last third of his life here.

Stan Zyskowski

Day Creek - Berquist · Sedro-Woolley

Since we recruited him in 2009, Stan has also joined our stewardship committee. Working in Fisheries with the North Cascades National Park brought Stan to the table of the Skagit Watershed Council, where he first worked with Skagit Land Trust after being a longtime member. Now he is a part time fish biologist with Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group while working on large stream improvement projects and monitoring.

Steffany Raynes and Lin Skavdahl

Hurn Field · Bellingham

Steffany and Lin have lived upriver in Marblemount since 2005, but Lin is originally from the Central Valley of California where she lived near the Stanislaus River. Steffany grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. Both were educators in the Seattle area. Now Lin works as a Seasonal Park Ranger for North Cascades National Park and both enjoy the lovely Skagit.

Tamara Thomas and Tom Mayes

Sumner Lake · Mount Vernon

As local (Lake Cavanaugh) kayakers, Tamara and Tom knew about the floating island and were curious about how to access the lake. After walking down and seeing the amazing ecosystem, they couldn’t help but get involved! They’re a great fit – Tamara is an environmental engineer, and Tom works in wastewater treatment.

Tara McGowan & Kevin Crozier

Upper Skagit 1 · Rockport

Tara and Kevin purchased their farm in Rockport in 2008 and became fulltime residents in 2013. They have been occupied with planting trees, raising a few animals and enjoying a rural life. Tara is originally from California and worked in medicine. Kevin is from Massachusetts and worked in K-12 education. Both are happy to be retired and are pleased to be part of the Skagit community. Becoming stewards for Upper Skagit 1 is an opportunity for them to care for a mature forest while their own trees grow.