Skagit Land Trust logo

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 Trust News

News Item Image

Guemes Mountain & Valley Conservation Area Expands

Skagit Land Trust Adds 77 acres to the Guemes Mountain & Valley Conservation Area

As the result of a generous gift of land, Skagit Land Trust (the Trust) added 77 acres of land to the Guemes Mountain & Valley Conservation Area. The property, which will retain a conservation easement held by the San Juan Preservation Trust, connects to over 400 protected acres, including Guemes Mountain.

This donation not only preserves the heart of Guemes Island but helps protect a local watershed on an island that has a sole source aquifer. This current gift of land will protect 39 acres of mature, conifer-dominated forest, about 21 acres of active agricultural land, as well as 17 acres of wetlands, open space and an iconic Guemes Valley barn. The Guemes Mountain trail, which has become a popular recreation area, winds through the uplands of this property. It ensures the protection of views from the top of Guemes Mountain and will serve as a sanctuary for locals, visitors, and wildlife for generations to come.

In the 1960s the site was proposed as an aluminum smelter site. Many Islanders and groups across the region, state, and country successfully opposed the plan as a threat to clean water, clean air, and the rural nature of Guemes. Since then, Islanders, visitors, Trust members, and partners have continued to work to preserve elements of the Island that are important to the community, visitors, and wildlife. Skagit Land Trust is honored to be part of that work. This generous gift is now being managed as part of the Trust’s 284-acre Guemes Mountain and Valley Conservation Area.

Left: Artist’s rendition of the proposed smelter on Guemes, that appeared in the Anacortes American on September 22, 1966
Right: Site of the proposed smelter, now permanently conserved.

Related Pages