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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.

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Help ensure their home stays wild forever

***Scroll to the bottom to view a presentation from Executive Director, Molly Doran, and Board Member and Community Science Volunteer, Anne Winkes, on the Trust’s work with Great Blue Herons and this acquisition project at March Point.****

The March Point Heronry is small in acreage, but great in importance. At 700+ nests this heronry may be the biggest colony of Great Blue Herons on the entire west coast of the United States. Skagit Land Trust has an immediate opportunity to purchase and conserve 3.5 acres within the core nesting area of the Heronry.

The Trust will add this property to the 12 acres of the Heronry our supporters have already helped us conserve. Skagit Land Trust has until August 1st to raise $70,000 to purchase this land. If we cannot raise the funds in time, the landowners will put this property on the market.

The herons need your help. We are halfway to our goal, but we must act now to save the critical breeding grounds for these beloved birds and Washington State Fish & Wildlife Priority Species.

Drivers on Hwy 20 pass by this area so quickly, they may not notice the trees stacked with nests that support the largest heron breeding area in the Salish Sea. The Trust currently protects 75% of the land the herons nest on and has an opportunity to increase that protection.

The March Point Heronry is special. Historically, small colonies of Great Blue Herons were found throughout the forested marine shoreline of Puget Sound. With the loss of much of their nesting habitat, small colonies combined in the last best places to become mega-colonies containing over 200 nests.

The herons have chosen this site due to nearby feeding grounds in Padilla, Fidalgo, and Similk Bays. At more than 700 nests, the forested hill of the March Point colony has become almost three times as large as any other colony in Puget Sound. The sheer number of herons breeding, nesting, and rearing their young at March Point provides the genetic diversity necessary to sustain a healthy population of Great Blue Herons in the Salish Sea.

This property is an integral part of the Heronry. Great Blue Herons build their nests in trees 50 feet or more above the ground. The mature coastal forest found on this property provides ideal nesting habitat for herons and room for the March Point colony to expand. The primary threat to the Heronry is tree clearing or development that could lead to its abandonment. We believe that any development of this property could be devastating for the March Point Heronry. This is a risk we cannot take.

We have the great honor and responsibility of stewarding this remarkable, unique, local heronry. As pressures on land use increase, conservation of the core habitat is the best help we can give these remarkable birds.

Purchase of this property has been a decades-long goal for Skagit Land Trust. The opportunity to purchase this land will not come again. Thanks to a generous grant we are halfway to the $70,000 we need to raise. We ask that you consider a gift to the Great Blue Heron Fund to help us purchase and steward this land for all generations of Great Blue Herons.

Gifts can be made online (please mark “Heronry” in the comment box) or by mailing in a check. Please note “Heronry” in the memo of your check or on the envelope.

Executive Director, Molly Doran, and Board Member and Community Science Volunteer, Anne Winkes, led a zoom meeting about the Trust’s work with Great Blue Herons and this acquisition project on June 21st. See below to view the presentation.

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