Board of Commissioners
The Land Bank Commission is comprised of volunteers, appointed by the County Council, who serve four-year terms. More information about the composition, powers and duties, and organization of the Commission can be found in San Juan Ordinance, Chapter 16.54, Citizens Conservation, Land Bank.
Amanda has served as a Land Bank commissioner since May 1999. She became a resident of the county in 1991, and has lived in some of its most special places, including Orcas Island near Doe Bay, and Cady Mountain on San Juan, with her husband Joe and cat Ari. Now retired, Amanda formerly worked as a Science Director for Herrera Environmental Consultants, an interdisciplinary environmental and engineering consulting firm. Prior to Herrera she was owner of Azous Environmental Sciences and provided environmental services such as land management planning, stewardship plans, ecological restoration, and landscape design services throughout our islands. She also co-founded the San Juan County Noxious Weed Board. Amanda’s love and commitment to land stewardship and preservation has fueled all her work. She satisfies her passion for the outdoors by visiting and hiking the many parks, preserves, and outer islands that define both the San Juan landscape and the people who live here.
Christa brings to the Commission over 25 years of local leadership as the former director of Camp Nor’wester, service to children and young families as a dietitian, child rearing, and experience with estates and trusts. Christa’s education was in business administration and legal assistance. She is active in the Lopez community including the Lions Club, Lopez Solid Waste, and previous volunteerism on the Lopez School Board. Christa likes serving her community, and is particularly invested in working on issues that affect the entire county. She is motivated by efforts to protect the remarkable qualities of the San Juan Islands that make them so attractive to residents and visitors alike.
Sandi and her husband Bob bought property on Orcas in 2003 after a vacation here sparked a long-distance love affair with the island. Born in Florida and having witnessed that state’s onslaught of development and loss of natural areas, Sandi was attracted to San Juan County’s conservation ethic, and moved here full-time in 2006. Sandi has been a strong supporter of the Land Bank and other regional stewardship efforts and, as a Realtor, she stresses the importance of preserving these special islands to all the newcomers she works with. “We’ve already protected many spectacular areas in the San Juans,” says Friel. “But as our resident population and tourism continue to grow, we need to set aside even more land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.”
Sandi’s job experience includes marketing, project management, real estate investment and stormwater management. She served two terms as president of Orcas Island Association of Realtors and is currently a Managing Broker at T Williams Realty. An avid birdwatcher and native plant enthusiast, Sandi is in the process of creating a wildlife sanctuary at her home in Deer Harbor.
Jim moved here with his family in 1994 from another island: Maui, and is an engaged San Juan Islander after two decades of living in this special place. He has served on numerous boards, including nine years on the Board of the San Juan Island Community Foundation, was a co-founder of the Leadership San Juan Islands program, was a founding board member of the SJC Economic Development Council, and still serves on the board of the San Juan Public Schools Foundation. As an estate manager and land steward for private clients on San Juan Island, Jim stewards and manages conservation projects on over 440 acres of pristine forest, prairie, farm, and shoreline lands. He is passionate about what a “healthy community” can and should be, and believes that open space, preservation and conservation efforts are an integral part of that health.
Doug has been providing legal counsel and advice to clients and public agencies in Washington and Alaska since graduating from the University of Washington in 1971. For the last decade, he’s maintained a general practice of law in Friday Harbor, with an emphasis on real estate, while continuing to work with an Alaska Native Corporation on complex land and environmental issues. Prior to moving here in 1992, Doug owned a law firm in Anchorage for thirteen years, where he served as a volunteer attorney for Alaska’s Violent Crime Compensation Board. In addition to this public service, he provided services to a wide variety of nonprofit groups in Washington and Alaska. Doug is committed to the preservation and stewardship of our lands, and recognizes that many of these lands should be open for public use and enjoyment. At heart, Doug is an outdoorsman, fisherman, hiker, beachcomber, and organic gardener.
Brian Wiese, Chair
When Brian and his wife first visited the San Juan Islands in 2003, they realized they had found a new home. They returned and bought property on Orcas the following year and, in 2014, Brian retired and they moved here permanently. Brian’s career has been in planning, open space preservation and public access. Following graduate work in Landscape Architecture and Planning at the University of Arizona, he worked as a planner on the island of Nantucket, which started the first REET-funded land bank in the country. From there, Brian moved to California to work on the San Francisco Bay Trail, then spent 17 years as a parks planner, helping steward 100,000 acres of open space in the Bay Area. Brian learned about the Land Bank when he bought his property on Orcas, and got really excited during the Turtleback acquisition campaign. He says, “I’m really pleased to be able to be part of the effort to steward the best of our natural land while providing opportunities for islanders and visitors to enjoy it.”