Land Bank acquires 20 acres on President's Channel

By Steve Wehrly, Journal reporter

The San Juan County Land Bank, dubbed a "truly extraordinary" agency last week by interim administrator Bob Jean, received a green-light from the County Council  June 12 on another property acquisition.

The Jolley Property on the west side of Orcas, 20 waterfront acres on President's Channel near Turtlehead and Turtleback Mountain preserves, was officially and unanimously accepted by the county council. The county will receive a statutory warranty deed.

In a written report to the council, Land Bank Director Lincoln Borman said that "while this is an important acquisition from an ecological and open space standpoint, no Land Bank funds were allocated due to the Land Bank's diminished revenues and existing debt."

Asked about access to the property, Borman said that the Land Bank would be working on access for hikers and that the waterfront property offers the potential kayak and canoe access "which is hard to find on that side of Orcas."

The $650,000 transaction is funded by $250,000 from the Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and $400,000 from the San Juan Preservation Trust.

In exchange, the salmon funding board receives a "deed of right" ensuring the property is managed to benefit salmon and the Preservation Trust receives a "forever wild" conservation easement, which precludes development on the property.


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