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Land Bank News

Posted on: February 5, 2024

Land Bank and Orcas Island Fire & Rescue Partner for Structure Fire Training on North Shore Property

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SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. February 1, 2024 – San Juan County’s Conservation Land Bank is continuing preparations to open a new preserve on the former Glenwood Inn property on Orcas Island in late 2024. In support of this effort, Orcas Island Fire & Rescue (OIF&R) is planning to conduct live fire training in the former residence with approval from state and local agencies.

The training exercise is planned for Saturday, February 24, 2024. No toxic fire suppression products will be used, and wind conditions will be monitored closely to ensure public safety.

The decision to remove the dilapidated building follows extensive study and documentation of the cultural and architectural history of the property. Building demolition in the islands is especially costly due to the need to haul debris to mainland landfills; burning the structure is expected to reduce complexity and cost. In preparation, the Land Bank removed usable materials such as doors, windows, siding, and lumber and hired certified professionals to inspect and remove a small amount of asbestos. As with the removal of other buildings from the property last summer, eliminating the house will enable habitat restoration in the core of a future natural area with trails and beach access.

In addition to providing local emergency responders with a valuable training opportunity, burning the structure this winter will support an effort by the Land Bank to transition a barn swallow colony to a new nesting structure upon their return to the island this spring.   

Media Contact: Tanja Williamson, Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator, tanjaw@sjclandbank.org, 360-378-4402

About San Juan County’s Conservation Land Bank

San Juan County’s Conservation Land Bank, funded by a 1% real estate excise tax paid by purchasers of property at closing, acquires and protects special places in the Islands including coastlines, farmland, forests and wetlands. The department offices are located at 328 Caines Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Land Bank, visit www.sjclandbank.org.

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