Whidbey Camano Land TrustBarnum Point Whidbey Camano Land TrustBarnum Point

Barnum Point

 

SAVED! Barnum Point At-Risk Property 

YOU MADE IT HAPPEN! We’re thrilled to announce the fundraising goal to purchase the 37-acre at-risk property at Barnum Point was reached thanks to donations from more than 600 supporters, countless hours from dedicated volunteers, and a Washington state salmon recovery grant. Soon, the county park will be 2½ times larger (64 acres) with more than ½ mile of public beach and 44 acres of lush forest. And there’s still more to come!

What’s next? We’re now focused on the ultimate goal of doubling the park again to establish a 129-acre county park with one mile of walkable beach. We’re working to secure grant funding to acquire the remaining five properties and we won’t give-up until it’s done!

Project Materials

          Special thanks to Jack Penland, and Whidbey and Camano Island Tourism!

Project Importance

Camano Island’s last available, significant stretch of low-bank waterfront is part of the Barnum Point Park project. Securing the six properties will provide public access to more than a mile of new, publicly accessible beach. Project success also means allowing people to walk on a 2.5 mile trail system that meanders through a mature forest to an open meadow that showcases spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains and Port Susan Bay.

Barnum Point’s critical feeder bluff and vital fish and wildlife habitat make this rare and wild place an ecological gem from a protection and conservation perspective. It’s not unusual to see dozens of Bald Eagles feeding in the tidelands, and others perching on the tall trees and soaring in the skies.

Ecological Highlights of Barnum Point:

  • Barnum Point lies within an exceptional marine habitat area that is nationally-recognized for the key migratory role it plays for more than 20,000 shorebirds every year. It also provides crucial habitat for more than 90 percent of western Washington’s wintering waterfowl.
  • The abundance of shorebirds and ducks around Barnum Point attracts an exciting variety and large number of hawks and falcons that regularly visit the Point and the marine waters around it.
  • The Barnum Point nearshore provides critical resources for our declining salmon species. It guards the entrance of Triangle Cove—one of the County’s only natural estuaries—providing an important refuge and feeding area for the juvenile salmon that migrate into the Cove from the nearby Stillaguamish River.
  • The mature, marine and riparian forest and extensive feeder bluffs on Barnum Point provide essential inputs to the marine ecosystem, including woody debris, shade, and “insect rain” that comprise the bulk of the food that salmon depend on in this nearshore habitat.

Barnum Point Protection Plan – Total Project Cost: $6 M

Step 1: Temporarily protect 35-acre property in danger of sale. (Complete)

Requirement: The Land Trust needed to quickly figure out a way to prevent this property, adjacent to the existing county park, from being sold in bankruptcy sale to private party.

Action Taken: In December 2015, the Land Trust secured an $850,000 bridge loan from The Conservation Fund and acquired the 35 acres. However, this property is only temporarily protected because the bridge loan has to be repaid by December 2017.

Step 2: Permanently protect 37-acre property held by Bankruptcy Receiver. (Funds Raised)

The funds necessary to purchase the 37-acre at-risk property at Barnum Point have been secured thanks to donations from more than 600 supporters, countless hours from dedicated volunteers, and a Washington State salmon recovery grant. But there’s still more to come!

Step 3: Permanently protect remaining five properties.

Requirement: Raise the funds necessary to repay the bridge loan on the 35-acre property (temporarily protected in December 2015) and buy four low-bank properties totaling 30 acres (with private tidelands).

Actions Taken: Federal and state grant applications have been written and submitted. All landowners are willing sellers.

Step 4: Raise necessary stewardship funds.

Requirement: Raise stewardship funds required for public access improvements, including trail development and management, signs, fencing, etc., as well as maintenance and operation funds to ensure appropriate long-term management of the park.

Actions Planned for 2017: Raise remaining funds needed. Land Trust and Island County, with community involvement, develop park management plan and prepare the site for public access.

Step 5: Open the permanently protected, 129-acre Barnum Point County Park to the public.

Timing to be determined.