On Tuesday, April 10, 2018 San Juan County Council is set to discuss and approve the Land Bank's purchase of the Lester property on San Juan Island. This roughly 160-acre property is immediately adjacent to Cady Mountain Preserve on San Juan Island and would provide an opportunity to protect important ecological features and create public access to the Preserve.
Lester property outlined in red; Cady Mountain Preserve in green.
According to the Land Bank staff report, the LFM LLC (Lester) property is one of the larger remaining tracts of undeveloped land on San Juan Island. Its acquisition will aid in conserving a larger contiguously forested area on northern San Juan totaling over 3,000 acres.
Of this, a little over 1,000 acres are protected as part of English Camp (880 acres) and Cady Mountain Preserve (135 acres). Other large holdings include the area around Briggs Lake which serves as the reservoir for Roche Harbor (1,350 acres), and several other large holdings comprising nearly 400 acres.
The property hosts examples of old growth Douglas-fir and Western red cedar and diverse communities ranging from an extensive wetland/riparian complex to high diversity herbaceous balds to the higher elevation forest abutting a large old growth Douglas-fir stand on Cady Mountain Preserve.
Almost as important, Three Corner Lake Road (a county road) runs through the property allowing the Land Bank to pursue opening Cady Mountain Preserve to public access after nearly 15 years of ownership. In combination the new acquisition and the Preserve would offer nearly 300 acres for potential trails and facilities.