The conservation and addition of the former Webb property to San Juan Island National Historical Park was completed December 20 when The Conservation Fund transferred the remaining 34 acres to the park.
The National Park Service (NPS) acquired the first portion of the 70-acre property last March from The Conservation Fund with support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a federal land protection program that receives a percentage of proceeds from offshore oil and gas royalties. The U.S. Congress appropriated the LWCF funding in Fiscal Year 2010 with strong support from U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Representative Rick Larsen.
The newly protected land, primarily woodlands located along 2,500 feet of pristine shoreline on Westcott Bay, will enable the NPS to enhance the park's educational and recreational offerings at English Camp.
The park is in the process of 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 in this process is a public workshop to gather input on trail system design and use. The workshop will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. January 22 at the Mullis Senior Center.
"Conserving the island ecosystem, while allowing for public enjoyment, is integral to the purpose of San Juan Island National Historical Park," said park superintendent Lee Taylor. "I invite individuals and organizations to come and provide input on the future management and use of the property."