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Whatcom Land Trust Partnerships

The Land Trust believes lasting land conservation and stewardship starts at the local level. Working with nonprofit, tribal, business, public and private landowner partnerships, the Land Trust protects special places, increases the understanding of the value of land conservation and stewardship, and provides broad community education.  We accomplish this by providing a direct connection with the land, and, through planning and partnerships, providing the permanence needed to assure the availability and appreciation of land for both current and future generations. Land makes Whatcom County special and we invite you to partner with the Land Trust in establishing a new level of protection and stewardship for our home, our community, and the land!

Land Trust goals for partnership efforts include:

  • Openly and intentionally including the Whatcom County community in our work; 
  • Elevating the importance of private land conservation in Whatcom County;
  • Linking the environmental, recreational, spiritual, and economic values of land conservation;
  • Identifying new potential solutions to local issues;
  • Finding innovative ways to adapt and respond to changing local ecosystems and climate;
  • Increasing inclusion of diverse communities;
  • Becoming a more visible community leader, and;
  • Creating a strong community ethic for land in Whatcom County.

Nonprofits – Tribal – Business — Public — Private Landowners

Nonprofit Partnerships

Backcountry Horsemen of Washington– Whatcom Chapter
Conservation Fund (California Creek)
Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve (What’s the Point Event)
Fourth Corner Fly Fishers
Land Trust Alliance
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
North Cascades Audubon Society
RE Sources for Sustainable Communities (What’s the Point Event)
Trout Unlimited (Harrison Reserve)
Washington Association of Land Trusts
Washington Native Plant Society
Whatcom Million Trees Project
Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition

Tribal Partnerships
Lummi Nation
Nooksack Tribe
Swinnomish Tribe
Tulalip Tribe

Business Partnerships
Adventures Northwest
Bellingham Rotary Club of Bellingham (Stimpson Family Nature Reserve)
Carmichael Clark PS
Ciao Thyme Commons
Ecotech Solar (Land Trust Office)
Land Advisors
Metcalf Hodges
Moceri Construction
Natural Systems Design
Ram Construction
Wilson Engineering

See a complete list of our business partners

Public Partnerships
Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District
City of Bellingham
Washington Department of Natural Resources
Washington Recreation and Conservation Office
Western Washington University
Whatcom County
Whatcom County Conservation District
40th and 42nd District Representatives (?)

Private Landowner Partnerships
Alluvial Farms
Coldstream Farms
Conservation Forestry
Galbraith Tree Farm
95 Private Conservation Easement Owners
Weyerhaeuser (Skookum Creek)

Partnership Examples

Harrison Reserve

Located in Kendall, Washington is Whatcom Land Trust’s Harrison Reserve, 5.5 acres along Kendall Creek of exceptional habitat for native fish, birds and other wildlife species. While this may not be a large piece of property, the positive impact it is having on both native species and the community has been huge. The Harrison Reserve idyllically represents the impact of strong partnerships in conservation, stewardship and education. More than ten organizations have come together to protect the Harrison Reserve for future generations through funding, restoration, stewardship, and educational efforts.

Partners:  Kendall Elementary School, North Cascades Audubon Society, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Superfeet, Whatcom Conservation District, Whatcom Community Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Audubon Society through the Burke Grant.

Lookout Mountain and Lake Whatcom Parks

State law allows counties to reclaim state managed Forest Board lands. These are lands originally received by counties through tax foreclosure during the Great Depression and now managed by the state Department of Natural Resources. If a county requests reconveyance of such land, by law it may only be used for park purposes. In October 2008, the County Council authorized the Executive to enter into an agreement with the DNR to begin the reconveyance process. In mid 2011, the County Council was asked to approve the reconveyance of the lands. 

Drinking Water and Recreation. 

While recreation was the intended use of the reconveyed land, the driving motivation for reclaiming the land is protection of Lake Whatcom water quality; Lake Whatcom is the source of drinking water for half of the county’s population. For this reason, park use has been limited to low-impact hiking, biking, horseback riding, and hike-in camping – all on Bellingham’s door-step.

With the adoption of the Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve & Lake Whatcom Park Recreational Trail Plan by the Whatcom County Council in the fall of 2016, trail planning in the “Lake Whatcom Reconveyance” is now complete. The plan outlines 90 new miles of multi-use and single-use non-motorized recreational trail to be built in the few years.

Since the completion of the plan, Whatcom County Parks & Recreation had transitioned to the trail development phase of this project.  In 2017, approximately 2 miles of the new foot and bike trail was constructed at Lake Whatcom Park.  In 2018, approximately 6 miles of new trail was constructed at Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve. 

Partners:  Conservation Northwest, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Whatcom County, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition.  In January 2013, more than a hundred local businesses and corporations signed a letter of support of the best economic interests of our Community, why a park is the right use for the land, and how it would improve protection for our community’s critical drinking water supply.