Keeping the Promise of Permanency

Author: Whidbey Camano Land Trust | 06/27/19
       

Glendale Beach

A child is fascinated by pebbles she finds at Glendale Beach, a preserve near Clinton permanently protected by the Land Trust in 2014.

Ensuring an Island Land Legacy for Future Generations

Thanks to you, the Whidbey Camano Land Trust continues to be incredibly successful protecting and caring for our islands’ open spaces and wild places. With every success, we increase our obligations to permanently care for the lands you’ve helped protect.

You may wonder how the Land Trust will meet its ever-increasing stewardship responsibilities. The answer, in short, is that we are well positioned to ensure the permanence of our shared conservation work. Here are a few highlights of our ongoing commitment to safeguard our enduring island land legacy:

National Accreditation

The Land Trust was one of the nation’s first to be accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The accreditation seal is a mark of high distinction in land conservation. Our recent re-accreditation is testimony that your Land Trust continues to meet national standards for excellence, upholding public trust, and ensuring our conservation work is permanent and sustainable.

Conservation Stewardship

Land stewardship is, and will continue to be, a major part of our work. We own many conservation lands, like the Trillium Community Forest and Crockett Lake Preserve, where we have ongoing responsibilities to keep the properties healthy and protected. We are restoring many of these lands to improve wildlife habitat, water quality and drainage, and public safety. Where appropriate, we also create outdoor recreational opportunities, like trails and access to beaches.

We also hold conservation easements on private properties. A conservation easement is a legal agreement that runs with the land, in perpetuity. It’s our job to uphold the terms of the easement and ensure the conservation values of each property remain protected. We stay in contact with the owners and monitor each property at least once a year.

The Land Trust also has established several special funds that allow us to continue restoration, stewardship, and management of our properties long into the future. One account, the Stewardship Reserve Fund, covers the cost of three to five years of basic stewardship to protect properties in the unlikely event we have insufficient operating funds. As a safety measure, this fund is reviewed and increased on a regular basis. Other special funds include ones for property restoration and stewardship enhancement.

Silliman Preserve restoration

A volunteer participates in restoration work at Silliman Preserve on south Whidbey Island in 2019. Hundreds of young trees are replacing a former blanket of non-native blackberry bushes that were removed.

Conservation Defense

If a violation occurs on a Land Trust protected property, we’re responsible for resolving the problem. Examples of violations include someone cutting down trees on our preserves, or building a structure outside a building envelope.

We always work first to secure a voluntary resolution of any violation. However, we must also be prepared to take legal action if necessary, to defend our conservation easements and the lands we own and steward.

That’s why we carry legal defense insurance from Terrafirma, a company established in 2011 specifically to help land trusts defend their conserved lands. If we ever have a lawsuit, we will work with Terrafirma’s national team of legal experts who will litigate on our behalf.

We also maintain a Legal Defense Fund to supplement our legal defense insurance.

Your Financial Support Works

We can’t continue to protect, care for, and restore the best places on our beloved islands without you. Your continued financial support ensures we keep an island legacy today and for generations to come. Thank you!