Because of your generous support last year, we were able to conserve 10 new properties totaling 1,286 acres and more than four miles of riparian habitat. We completed six new conservation easements that include 54 acres of farmland and 216 acres of forestland. We were also successful in acquiring four new fee-title properties totaling 1,015 acres. THANK YOU!
As I look ahead to this new year, I have outlined two major themes that I will focus on personally and in my work at the Land Trust- climate change and connectivity.
It is not enough for the Land Trust to prepare a “to do” list of projects for the coming years. Our work must serve a larger purpose. We expect to make our first purchase of 500 acres on Stewart Mountain to help create a fledgling community forest in the South Fork/Acme area. Of course, this will be a great “notch on our belt” of accomplishments, but more importantly, we will revisit our relationship to working forests and redefine how they are managed in order to positively impact the lives of Whatcom County residents. Working forests must be managed in a way that maximizes carbon sequestration and mitigates the impacts of climate change; community forestry offers a model to balance these goals.
The Land Trust will also be focusing on connectivity this year- both ecological and social. We have all been suffering from a lack of community cohesion over the last two years of the pandemic. This hurts us emotionally and negatively affects our environment, as the two are inextricably entwined. We will focus much of our stewardship efforts on work parties with local businesses and community partners, emphasizing the healing of the land and our human wounds. We will continue to work with you all to make Whatcom County a better place to live, work and play.
Happy New Year!
Gabe Epperson, Executive Director