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Parks completes Westcott Bay acquisition
The acquisition of the former Webb property in Westcott Bay by the San Juan Island National Historical Park was completed Dec. 20 when The Conservation Fund transferred the remaining 34 acres to the park, according to Parks Superintendent Lee Taylor.
The National Park Service acquired the first portion of the 70-acre property in March from The Conservation Fund with support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal land protection program that receives a portion of offshore oil and gas royalties.
Congress appropriated the funding in 2010 with the support of U.S. senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Congressman Rick Larsen.
The newly protected land, primarily woodlands located along a half-mile of pristine Westcott Bay shoreline, will enable the NPS to enhance educational and recreational offerings at English Camp.
The park is drafting a Development concept plan for the Westcott Bay and Mitchell Hill additions. The plan will provide a blueprint for future facilities and recreational activities for each area.
The next step is a public workshop to gather input on trail system design and use. The workshop will take place Jan. 22, from 5-7 p.m., at the Mullis Community Senior Center in Friday Harbor.
“Conserving the island ecosystem, while allowing for public enjoyment, is integral to the purpose of San Juan Island National Historical Park,” Superintendent Taylor said. “I invite individuals and organizations to come and provide input on the future management and use of the property.”