Protecting and Conserving Your Land
The Whidbey Camano Land Trust works with landowners who want to conserve their properties, including wildlife habitat, wetlands and streams, forests, coastal areas, and farmlands. We use two main methods:
Many Island County properties are worthy of protection, far more than we can work on at any one time, so we prioritize our work. Our Strategic Plan focuses on protecting coastal lands, wetlands and streams, wildlife habitat and working farmland and forests. We use our Strategic Plan, Land-Protection Plan, and Land-Protection Priorities map to further assist us in selecting projects. To learn more about our selection process, see Our Land-Protection Priorities page.
If you are interested in conserving your land, download and fill out a self-evaluation questionnaire–a Project Inquiry form. You can e-mail your completed questionnaire to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from the Land Trust will call you back to discuss your property within several weeks.
When a landowner contacts us, or we contact a landowner, we discuss the benefits of conservation as well as the landowner’s goals, concerns and questions, how the property characteristics fit with Land Trust objectives, and whether protection will involve fee-simple acquisition or a conservation easement (see sidebar). The Land Trust respects the privacy of those who work with us, so we always keep these conversations confidential.
If the Land Trust and a landowner agree to pursue a project, the Land Trust will conduct a thorough evaluation of the landowner’s property. This will involve a formal site evaluation visit to the property by the Land Trust’s project evaluation committee. The committee will consider the conservation values of the land, how it fits with the Land Trust’s mission and priorities, the method of acquisition (e.g., donation or purchase), the initial cost, and the long-term management costs. The committee will then make a recommendation to the board of directors. If the board approves, the Land Trust staff will begin working closely with the landowner to develop the project. If it is not a donation, we will simultaneously pursue funding, either through private donations or government grants. Depending on the complexity of the deal, the transaction may take anywhere from nine months to three years or more.