GICCA Archive

Guemes Community Day Summary by Regina Wandler, Skagit Land Trust Stewardship Manager

Guemes Community Day Summary by Regina Wandler, Skagit Land Trust Stewardship Manager

Thank you to all who participated in Skagit Land Trust’s Guemes Community Day on Saturday, 10/12!

 

We are happy to talk to community members interested in supporting Trust activities on Guemes. Please let us know if you are interested in helping with stewardship of our conservation areas, or in serving on a Guemes Community Group to help organize events and facilitate Skagit Land Trust’s continuing work on Guemes Island. If you are interested in helping out, please email us at info@skagitlandtrust.org – we’d love to hear from you!

 

I had a lot of fun at our work party (focused on pulling invasive Etruscan honeysuckle) and heard that folks enjoyed the walks along the shoreline at Kelly’s Point and up to the top of Guemes Mountain.

 

At the community meeting, we gave a quick overview of the new Kelly’s Point Management Plan and of the updated Guemes Mountain and Valley Management Plan. The Trust prioritizes the protection of important conservation values on those properties. We protect a wide array of ecosystems across both properties, including maturing forest, freshwater wetlands, and marine shoreline, as well as the beautiful and diverse balds on top of Guemes Mountain. We noted the importance of preserving vital ecological processes like aquifer recharge and feeder bluff functioning. We will continue to develop public access in ways that protect the conservation values present on both properties. We also look forward to supporting sustainable agricultural use of Guemes Valley into the future.

 

We also discussed some issues of concern to the larger Guemes community. We know that community access up Muriel Lane was a hot topic earlier this year. After the issue was flagged for us, we looked through legal surveys and access records for the area and did not find any information that guaranteed public access up Square Harbor or Muriel Lanes, which are both private roads. While this is disappointing for some community members, the Trust is very happy that the trail ensures that the mountaintop remains accessible. The flooding on Edens Road also caused a hubbub. Flooding may have been caused by beaver dams that are located on several private properties. As far as we know, none of the dams are on Trust owned property. Skagit County has been working on identifying a long term solution for this issue, and we are supporting them as opportunities arise.

 

At Kelly’s Point, we are working through the County permitting process to fill the potholes, expand parking, and install signage and a bike rack. We have heard concerns from several community members about the risk associated with hiking along the bottom of Yellow Bluff. To warn visitors, we have currently posted a simple sign at the stairway to the beach informing visitors of the potential for bluff slumping, and we plan on including more information about risks posed by the bluff on permanent signage that will be installed near the parking area.

 

Last but not least, we let those at the meeting know that we still need your help! We are happy to talk to community members interested in supporting Trust activities on Guemes. Please let us know if you are interested in helping with stewardship of our conservation areas, or in serving on a Guemes Community Group to help organize events and facilitate Skagit Land Trust’s continuing work on Guemes Island. If you are interested in helping out, please email us at info@skagitlandtrust.org – we’d love to hear from you!

Read summary