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Land Bank News

Posted on: October 2, 2023

Conservation Land Bank Announces Special Meeting to Discuss Watmought Bay Preserve Addition

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SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. October 2, 2023 - The San Juan County Conservation Land Bank Commission will hold a special meeting on Friday, October 6, from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM to discuss and determine retaining the Watmough Bay addition (formerly Higgins property) or recommending its resale to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The meeting will be held in person at the San Juan County Parks and Fair conference room and available to join online via Zoom.

The Conservation Land Bank acquired the 11.5-acre Watmough Addition in February of 2022 for the purchase price of $2.55 million. The Land Bank has sought opportunities to offset the cost of acquisition with possible options of grant funding or transfer to the BLM.

The Land Bank Commission held a special meeting on Lopez on September 8 to provide background on the property and hear from the community. The Commission also dedicated a substantial part of their regular monthly meeting to this topic on September 15. In addition, both the Land Bank and the Bureau of Land Management have sought input from Tribes around the Salish Sea.

The $1.5M in state grants available to the Land Bank if it should retain the property require entering into grant agreements by the middle of October 2023 at the latest. With this in mind, the Land Bank Commission is holding another special meeting to decide on the appropriate course of action.

To find the meeting agenda and the Zoom meeting link, visit the Land Bank website: www.sjclandbank.org/agendas-minutes

Media Contact: Tanja Williamson, Outreach / Volunteer Coordinator, tanjaw@sjclandbank.org, (360) 378-4402. 

About San Juan County's Conservation Land Bank: San Juan County’s Conservation Land Bank, funded by a 1% real estate excise tax paid by purchasers of property at closing, acquires and protects special places in the Islands including coastlines, farmland, forests and wetlands. The department offices are located at 328 Caines Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Land Bank, visit www.sjclandbank.org

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