Stand up in grateful appreciation of our home

Dear Friends,

Governors Point

Our home is spectacular. So are our people. Our community’s amazingly strong local belief in the value of land and stewardship means that today Galbraith Mountain, Skookum Creek, Governors Point, California Creek Estuary, Kendall’s Harrison Reserve, and other special places are permanently protected. Land and places important to you, your family, and to coming generations. Thank you!

These were not singular events. Nor were they partisan efforts but widely supported by tenacious and diverse partnerships of landowners, Tribes, businesses, agencies, recreation and nonprofit organizations, both rural and urban interests, and across all age groups. These wins represent more than building blocks: they are part of a larger strategy to promise a better future for Whatcom County.

You are at the heart of this promising future. A future that will require vision, resolve, action and your financial support.

Based on these and emerging opportunities, momentum is on our side:

  • Weyerhaeuser continues to work with the Land Trust to add an additional 1,000 acres of protected land along Skookum Creek in the Cascades to Chuckanuts Natural Area. When completed, this purchase will link with The Nature Conservancy’s Arlecho Creek Old Growth Preserve and Lummi Nation protected lands. We have the opportunity to protect nearly an entire watershed for salmon, water quality, recreation, and human and wildlife connectivity.
  • Upcoming acquisitions in the Lake Whatcom Watershed will further improve the health and safety of the drinking water source for our community through protection of more than 12,600 acres of land.
  • Partnerships on Stewart Mountain have resulted in an offer to purchase 500 acres of mature forest with steep-sloped streams, and more than 1.5 miles of South Fork Nooksack River riparian areas critical for rebuilding salmon runs and managing the watershed.
  • The Land Trust’s work along Drayton Harbor’s California Creek Estuary has garnered interest from neighboring landowners eager to donate or sell their land to further protect the Creek, Estuary and public tidelands, connect to future trails, and create a new public park for the Blaine-Birch Bay community.
California Creek Estuary at Drayton Harbor

Across more than three decades of your generous support you have animated Whatcom Land Trust’s mission: to grow a future based on the value of land and stewardship. Your gifts are your investment to assure that Whatcom Land Trust will always be here to protect and defend the land you love for this and future generations. Your strong voice and collective action have marshalled resources resulting in thousands of acres of protected Whatcom County land for the ages. And unlike so many other communities across the nation, Whatcom County continues to have the opportunity and the will to protect land.

We know that more than just the land is at stake. It is the stories, history and culture embedded in these special places that are so important to our past, present and future. It is about how the land defines who we are, what we care about, and where we live, work, and play. In her forward to The Future of Conservation in America, Terry Tempest Williams eloquently outlined the threat of inaction, “Without the landscapes that have raised us, shaped us, informed who we are, we become refugees to a world we no longer recognize.”

At the Land Trust’s Business Conservation Leadership Breakfast in October, Washington Director of Public Lands Hilary Franz was equally passionate about the need for land protection today. “I see how special nature is and how fast it can change. Sometimes what we take for granted as always being there, isn’t.” She then doubled down on the urgency to act now saying of our natural world, “If you think about it, we don’t appreciate – truly appreciate – it, truly fight for it, truly stand up for it, until we are losing it. Or, until it’s already too late and it’s gone.”

Our Future Stewards: Kendall Elementary at Harrison

With your help, your strong action, and your belief in the value of protection and stewardship, Whatcom Land Trust will continue to successfully fight for and appreciate the land that makes our home so exceptional. Working with each of you, the Land Trust will continue to meet Hilary’s challenge “for getting people of all ages, outdoors… to not just love the land, but to appreciate it.”

Together, we have accomplished some amazing protections and demonstrated an enduring local stewardship ethic. But there is much more to be done and we must act now. We have set in place not only the solid building blocks, but a larger strategy for a quickly changing environment. Issues such as endangered species, clean air, water health, and habitat connectivity for both humans and other species will become increasingly urgent concerns. The Land Trust is uniquely qualified with proven tools, partnerships, and community support needed to address challenges that will affect our lives for decades.

The future is uncertain but we can do our part for Whatcom County.

Please join me with a generous gift to build on this commitment to land and stewardship, and to the promise of a brighter future for Whatcom County. Then step up, breathe deep, and stand in grateful amazement at the place between those who came before us, and those who will inherit all that we chose to truly appreciate today. Thank you!

Rich Bowers

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