The Whidbey Camano Land Trust works with willing landowners who want to conserve their properties; including farmlands, forests, coastal areas, wildlife habitat, and wetlands.
We use three main methods:
Conservation Easements – A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and the Land Trust that permanently limits uses on a property in order to protect the land’s conservation values.
Fee Land Ownership – Fee ownership is when the Land Trust owns the property outright. We are responsible for all management and restoration that takes place. Many of our fee lands are open to the public.
Facilitated Protection – On facilitated protection projects the Land Trust assists another agency, such as State Parks or Island County Parks, to protect land. The Land Trust has no on-going stewardship role on these projects.
Land Protection Plan
Many places in Island County are worthy of protection — far more than we can work on at any one time — so we prioritize our work. We follow an adopted Land Protection Plan to identify priority areas on Whidbey and Camano Islands so that we can effectively save our most important and irreplaceable lands.
The diagram below summarizes the focus of our protection efforts as well as the primary and secondary features we consider when evaluating a project.
Highest Priority – Lands that include one or more focus feature.
Additional Priority – Projects with primary and/or secondary features shown in the outer rings.
Preference is given to projects with the following characteristics:
- Significant ecological value, including large tracts of land and corridors linking protected areas
- Strong support by community and members
- Location within protection-priority areas
- High threat of incompatible development
- Minimal stewardship issues
- Available funding, if needed, for acquisition
- High leverage of available resources and partnerships
- Public use for access and educational or scientific benefits
We evaluate all of our proposed projects to be sure that they are consistent with the Land Protection Plan. Evaluations include a field evaluation of the property and a discussion with the landowners about their personal goals. The project is then evaluated using the Land Protection Plan criteria and, if recommended for further action, is submitted to our board of directors for final approval.