General · 2006-11-14

Voluntary conservation works

I remarked last month on the effort by the San Juan Preservation Trust to “save Turtleback Mountain” on Orcas Island. Well, it looks like they’ve done it! I think this is a great model for conservation, a lot more agile than a one-size-fits-all government program. In fact, this project was taken over from the Nature Conservancy at one point when the latter decided to focus on what they felt was a more pressing need according to their lights. Local folks had an incentive to get the local effort going…and they succeeded. Well done.

In honor of the property’s being opened up to hikers in about two weeks, I suppose it’s finally time for me to come into compliance with Washington state law and choose an outdoor recreation. Seriously — as soon as I moved here, everyone from friends to colleagues to doctors asked, “So, do you hike? bike? snowboard? what?…” The answer was No to everything.

(We did acquire bicycles, which gave us some protective coloring, but I haven’t ridden a heck of a lot yet. Mine is an Electra Townie that looks like the silver-and-red one here. It’s wicked comfortable — and it looks like it should have an old-fashioned banana seat and handlebar streamers. Don’t worry, I forbore getting the wicker basket with the plastic flowers. If I actually climb on the bike more than twice this winter, I may have to declare it on my state-mandated Metronatural Recreation Attestation Form.)