GREAT PROGRESS IS BEING MADE! At the San Juan County Land Bank meeting on Lopez on April 15, Lincoln Bormann, Director, discussed the progress that SJC Land Bank is making in discussions with the WA Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase Lopez Hill and Odlin South. The county currently has a 50 year lease for both Lopez Hill (400 acres leased in 2008) and Odlin South (about 100 acres leased in 2010). Friends of Lopez Hill and other residents and interested groups, especially the Lopez Community Trails Network (LCTN) have been lobbying the Land Bank to get them to put the purchase of these two properties at the top of their priority list. These properties are not permanently protected unless the county has ownership.
Late last year, the Land Bank asked LCTN to conduct a survey to see how many people on Lopez were interested in pursuing this. LCTN conducted an email campaign and survey, and demonstrated that 632 people supported the purchase. Jamie Stephens, San Juan County Councilman, also came out in strong support of the purchase on behalf of the SJCO Council. At today’s meeting, Lincoln and several of the Land Bank Commissioners expressed their strong support for the purchase of the two properties and their commitment to making it happen.
The Land Bank has initiated discussions with DNR and is preparing to make an offer to the DNR based on recent review and assessment by the Land Bank. The next step is for the DNR to make their own assessment of the properties, and then they will come back to the county with the purchase price. Lincoln said he hoped we could reach that stage by September of this year. At that point, we will know what the purchase price is and can work on determining the funding sources. This convoluted process has been a stumbling block to any serious fund raising because it’s difficult to ask for funding when you don’t know how much you need! It is really heartwarming to see this progress and the great support from the community to purchase these two large, undeveloped properties on Lopez. Stay tuned for updates!
The Lopez Community Trail Network‘s guided hike schedule is out! Join experienced leaders for great hikes in the San Juans and beyond.
Download the brochure for details and contact info.
- March 12: Beach hike & cleanup, Lopez Island
- April 30: Birding ID, Lopez Island
- May 21: Turtleback Mountain, Orcas Island
- June 18: Mt. Grant, San Juan Island
- July 23: Hidden Lake lookout, North Cascades
- August 13: Skyline Divide, Mt. Baker
- September 24: Oyster Dome, Larrabee State Park (near Bellingham)
Tim Fry’s wonderful blog about Lopez Island’s people and places takes a hike with FOLH’s co-founder Ann Palmer & Land Bank Steward Tim Clark. They talk about the history of the Hill, and the plans for rallying community support for purchasing the Hill and Odlin South. Take a look!
Taking the Hill
Sorry for the late notice… from Nick Teague, this info on two opportunities to help shape public use at Iceberg, today, tomorrow, and Friday:
– Today, Wednesday October 21st at the Lopez Library 1-4 pm for a review of all the input we received including at our last meeting, Sept 9th. We will look at the Iceberg maps and ensure we have not missed any social trails
– Tomorrow, October 22nd Thursday, 1-4 pm we will take a nice walk out to Iceberg Point and “Ground Truth” our maps. Meet at Agate Beach.
– October 23rd, Friday, 1-4 pm, Lopez Library we will gather again, review our examination of walking Iceberg Point, update the maps and chat it up on how best to prioritize, mark, sign and restore those social trails
Please join us if ya can and thanks a million for all the excellent participation. What a special place!!!! See ya there!!
Here is the link to Lopezrocks.org and where ya can find the latest SJINM newletters:
When: Tuesday, September 14, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Where: Lopez Library meeting room
Greetings Lopezians! What’s your vision for the Land Bank’s next 25 years? Join us in the Library Meeting Room tomorrow evening to meet your newest commissioners, Christa Campbell and Amanda Wedow, and help shape future Land Bank projects on Lopez.
For more information contact Tim Clark at 468-2010. Light refreshments provided—hope to see you there!
There has been hunting on Lopez Hill for many generations. Ever since wolves (the major predators of deer) were removed from the islands, the deer population has grown large enough to have a serious impact on plant communities. Hunting is the currently the best strategy for keeping the deer population down. The hunting season on Lopez Hill extends for half of the time for the rest of the state, in a compromise between safety and deer population control.
The hunting seasons for Lopez Hill are:
Archery: August 31 to September 30
Muzzleloader: October 3 to 11
Modern Firearms: October 17 to 31
- It is a good idea to wear ‘hunter orange’ during hunting season: a lightweight vest can be worn over your regular hiking or biking clothes. Be visible!
- Weekends tend to be busier than weekdays.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times, for their own safety and for the protection of wildlife.
Firearms restrictions are in effect in all of San Juan County. From the Washington State Big Game Hunting Pamphlet:
It is unlawful to hunt wildlife in the following firearm restriction areas with centerfire or rimfire rifles, or to fail to comply with additional firearm restrictions, except as established below.
In firearm restriction areas, hunters may hunt only during the season allowed by their tag.
- Archery tag holders may only hunt during archery seasons with archery equipment.
- Muzzleloader tag holders may only hunt during muzzleloader seasons with muzzleloader equipment as defined by department rule.
- Modern firearm tag holders may hunt during established modern firearm seasons with bows and arrows; crossbows; muzzleloaders; revolver-type handguns; or shotguns, so long as the equipment and ammunition complies with department rules.
Guided hike on Lopez Hill
Sunday, August 23rd, 1pm
Yes, it’s time again for the summer Keep Your Cool hike on Lopez Hill. Beat the heat while enjoying the cool greenery of Lopez Hill. This guided hike will meet at the parking area off Lopez Sound Road: directions to the trailhead. It’s guaranteed to be cooler than Lopez Village! We’ll probably break into two groups, one for fast walkers and one for ramblers. Please dress for the weather, wear appropriate shoes for hiking, and bring water. See you there!