Letters to the Editor

Help preserve Mar Vista Resort property

As you may know, the Mar Vista Resort property adjacent to False Bay has recently been put on the market due to the death of the estate owner.

This property is commercially licensed, making it a hot commodity as a potential site for resort development.

I ask you to please join me in encouraging a conservation-minded future for the Mar Vista property. If acquired by the San Juan County Land Bank, this land could be well-managed and open to low-impact public access.

Regardless of who buys the property, the Land Bank can encourage it to be managed in an environmentally respectful manner. The voice of the public community can be powerful in influencing the sale and development of land, as we learned so recently with Turtleback Mountain. Land Bank needs our show of support in this matter.

This 60-acre property is unique in many respects. It is still relatively undeveloped, making it a habitat that supports a wide variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife including otters, deer, eagles, foxes, harbor seals and more. The prairie fields support one of the few remaining sites of a threatened species of wildflower.

Additionally, Mar Vista provides stunning views of Haro Strait, the Olympic Mountains and west side sunsets, and could potentially provide a public access point to the westside shoreline in the “gap” area between Land Bank’s Westside Scenic Preserve and American Camp. It provides excellent shore-based whale-watching, and would make a great additional site for land-based research.

You can help by signing this petition to San Juan County Land Bank that I have created, which encourages an environmentally-friendly future for the land. You can also help by leaving your own comments on the petition site; forwarding this petition to your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers; and by promoting it on your own Web site or blog. Additionally, you can write a letter to the San Juan County Land Bank or local newspaper.

As I outlined this petition, I sat at the point of Mar Vista overlooking the water. A Steller sea lion swam by. A harbor seal poked its head up in a nearby kelp bed. A deer browsed in the brush a few yards away. Murres, gulls, cormorants, herons and harlequin ducks flew by. All this reemphasized for me how beautiful this place is and why I am so inspired to help protect it. This was the first place I saw orcas from shore, and where I truly fell in love with the islands nine years ago.

Margaret Mead said a small group of committed individuals is all it takes to change the world. I hope you will join me in being one of those individuals that helps change San Juan Island for the better.

Please sign this petition, found at

here

Thank you for your support,

Monika Wieland
San Juan Island

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