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Guemes Valley Conservation Area Expands

Skagit Land Trust Adds Guemes Valley Lands To Its Conservation Areas

Donated land adds 127 acres to conserved land on Guemes Island

By Joan Pringle Anacortes American staff writer

As the result of a generous gift of land, Skagit Land Trust has added 127 acres of land in Guemes Valley to its Guemes Mountain Conservation Area, according to a press release from the Land Trust.

The property, which will retain a conservation easement held by the San Juan Preservation Trust, connects to more than 400 protected acres, including Guemes Mountain.

A public tour of the new property is 11:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. More information and to RSVP to the event is at

“This is a key part of the expansive, green view you see when standing on top of Guemes Mountain looking west,” said Molly Doran, Land Trust executive director. “We are grateful to Sarah Werner who is leaving this beautiful land to all generations of people and wildlife.”

The property holds one of the last remaining active agricultural areas of significance on the island, an expansive area of wetlands, and extensive second growth forest that is well on its way to becoming an older forest ecosystem, according to the Trust.

“Knowing these wetlands will be preserved forever is critical to many types of birds, insects and amphibians and also to Guemes residents,” said Jane Zillig, Trust project manager. “The island is identified by the (Environmental Protection Agency) as having a sole source aquifer.”

The protected lands add so much value to the island’s heritage, said Guemes Mountain land steward Carolyn Gastellum.

“No matter the changes to Guemes Island over the decades, this area will remain rural and natural, and serve as a sanctuary for people and wildlife,” Gastellum said.

Skagit Land Trust is a nonprofit that protects important natural lands for the benefit of the community and for future generations of people and wildlife.

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