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.