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San Juan County Land Bank

San Juan County, 1990: Land development and tourism were on the rise, and the county’s population was rapidly growing. Facing the loss of places they loved, a diverse group of locals sought a way to save treasured lands and maintain quality of life.

Their vision led to the creation of the San Juan County Land Bank. The Land Bank was charged with conserving exceptional places in the islands, guided by local input. A one-time 1% real estate excise tax paid by purchasers of property at closing was created to fund the program. In this way the community could protect those special places that brought them here.

This community investment has paid off in spades. Islanders and visitors alike enjoy the benefits of protected farms, forests, shores, and scenic vistas, and access to a remarkable array of public lands.

Land Bank Preserves

Preserves are lands that the Land Bank has purchased outright to care for in perpetuity. Preserves often provide public access in the form of rustic trails, shoreline access, or wildlife viewing areas. Preserves also help protect the wonderful array of plants, animals, and habitats that make the islands unique.

The Land bank has two types of preserves. We have lands that are open for the public to enjoy and we also have preserves that are closed to the public to maintain their natural and historical qualities.

Check out our interactive maps

San Juan County
San Juan Island
Orcas Island
Lopez Island

Field Notes: Snapshots in Conservation

Every day there are incredible things happening in Conservation and on your Preserves. Be sure to check in often to see what’s happening in the field – and beyond!

View Field Notes

News & Updates

VOLUNTEERS

A COMMUNITY THAT COMES TOGETHER

Volunteers are an engaging group of friends and neighbors who assist staff by monitoring properties, participating in work parties and special events, and sometimes organizing and leading educational field trips.

Volunteers monitor preserves by visiting a Land Bank preserve on a regular basis. They have the opportunity to become intimately familiar with a particular preserve. Work party volunteers help projects such as pulling noxious weeds and reforestation. Office volunteers provide administrative and outreach support, ie. helping with mailings or database updates.

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