The Mission of the Whatcom Land Trust is to preserve and protect wildlife habitat, scenic, agricultural and open space lands in Whatcom County for … [Continue Reading]

Ways to Give

Your ongoing financial support allows Whatcom Land Trust to connect our community to the forests, parks, agricultural lands, rivers, and marine … [Continue Reading]

Twin Sisters and Whatcom County Farmland


Q: What is Whatcom Land Trust? A: Whatcom Land Trust is a nonprofit organization. We work with local landowners to help protect the natural values … [Continue Reading]


Whatcom Land Trust is dependent on community support to carry out our mission. Many of our volunteer opportunities involve restoration work and … [Continue Reading]

About Us

Whatcom County enjoys a wondrous, bountiful and varied landscape, matched by few in America. Rich soils, deep forests and abundant water underlie the … [Continue Reading]


Mark A. Anderson, age 74, a long time Whatcom County Realtor and a past President of the Washington Association of Realtor’s passed away in Bellingham Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 following complications of a stroke in 2013. Mark was also a valued board member with the Whatcom Land Trust from May 1999 to January 2009. We want to thank Mark for his dedication to helping protect those special places in Whatcom County.

A private family Burial was held and a memorial service will be announced at a later date. Please share your thoughts and memories online at www.sigsfunealservices.com


Dear Friends, 

It’s a new year to love the land! Thank you for ensuring a very successful 2017, and here is a quick look back at the organizational and mission highlights we achieved with your support in terms of investment, expertise, new partnerships, volunteering, gifts of land and easements – all focused on the Land Trust making Whatcom County an even more wonderful place to work, live and visit.

Protecting & Stewarding Land

  • In 2009, a friend and landowner approached us on selling 11.5 acres in the California Creek Estuary in Drayton Harbor, but the timing did not work out.  Recently, we renewed our efforts, built new partnerships, and solidified innovative financial solutions with Blaine-Birch Bay Parks and Recreation District 2 and the Conservation Fund to expedite the purchase. In July, we purchased the property which will assure protection and public access to shorelines and coastal areas. The plan is for this land to become a park and part of the Birch Bay to Blaine trail.
  • In 2016, the Land Trust opened discussions with landowners on seven parcels (approximately 20 acres) located along Canyon Creek and the Middle Fork of the Nooksack.  Each property was in prime salmon rearing and spawning areas and each had been severely flooded. During the past year, the Trust built relationships with each landowner, raised funds for the purchase, and completed the acquisitions in November. We were also successful in removing existing structures from the riparian area, successfully restoring important salmon habitat.
  • In late November, the Land Trust received a ‘Terms of Offer’ letter from Weyerhaeuser to purchase approximately 1,400 acres of Skookum Creek (headwater tributary and cold warm depository for the South Fork Nooksack River) and the Duck Pond property (adjacent to Nesset Farm, Overby Property, and Skookum Creek).  We expect to close on this purchase in late 2018 and are gearing up now to raise the necessary funds.  Look for more information on this after the New Year.

Strengthening the Organization

  • Whatcom Land Trust received its initial voluntary accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2012, and this summer and fall board, staff and volunteers spent more than 1100 hours to meet our five-year renewal deadline in December.  Accreditation is extremely important in the work we do in the Whatcom Community, as it confirms our compliance with national quality standards and assures sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance and lasting stewardship of the lands we protect. Perhaps most importantly, this mark of distinction allows the Land Trust to approach landowners and supporters like you with confidence, assuring that we are a good investment, and that we will be able to carry out our conservation mission.  Nationally, 389 accredited land trusts now steward nearly 20 million acres of conserved land.
  • This past year we completed our Conservation Plan Update, including a public survey that identified conservation priorities and that identified seven focal areas in Whatcom County.  This update was assisted by grants from the Land Trust Alliance and the Whatcom Community Foundation. We reached almost 300 county residents and gained valuable insight into conservation priorities and target areas for future acquisition. Information from this survey will be used to guide our work and connect with additional community members in 2018.
  • 2017 was also a good year for the Land Trust as we built new and stronger relationships with business partners, foundations, timber interests, community members, and others.  Not only did this result in additional lands protected and stewarded, but we were able to greatly leverage these relationships to set additional projects in motion. Examples include working with Conservation Forestry, the Conservation Fund, and others to broker a potential future deal to protect land, salmon habitat and forestry on Stewart Mountain, and working with the City of Bellingham, Galbraith Tree Farm and recreation users on a conservation and recreation easement for Galbraith Mountain.  More on these as they move forward.

These organizational, land protection or stewardship projects would not have been possible without you.  Thank you so much for your trust, confidence and involvement in our mission.

A Look Ahead

As we enter 2018 I am extremely excited to work with you on new possibilities and a greatly increased awareness of the value of land here at home.  The Land Trust is poised to make significant increases in protecting special places here in Whatcom County; and today, when it seems so hopeless to make lasting change at the national level, we can work together locally to build our own story on the permanence of land and what that means to us.

“Love this Land” is a recurrent theme in all our work.   People tell me that as they engage with the Trust, by volunteering, writing a check, walking the land or attending a program, they become more passionate than ever about where we live.  Have you visited any Land Trust properties or come by the office lately?  I would enjoy nothing better than taking a stroll on the land with you, your family and your friends.

I wish you all the best for the new year, and I look forward to additional successes, with your help, for the Whatcom community in 2018.


Rich Bowers

Executive Director


For more information visit our events page.



Double the Fun

Join Whatcom Land Trust at the Small Farm Expo and at the Recreation Northwest Expo  

Saturday, February 24th

Small Farm Expo from 9am to 2pm

Recreation Northwest Expo from noon to 5pm

For more information visit our events page.

Registration for the 2018 Amphibian Identification and Survey Training Has Begun!

For more information visit our events page.

Business Conservation Leaders Breakfast

Thanks to all who joined us to celebrate and say thank you to Whatcom Land Trust’s business champions for land conservation at our Nov 9 Business Conservation Leaders Breakfast. And thank you to our event sponsors, Boundary Bay Brewery, Moceri Construction, Harmony Motorworks and Adventures NW.

Read more and view more photos from the event here.



For immediate release July 11, 2017

On June 30th, 2017 the Whatcom Land Trust, working with a number of partners, announced the purchase of 11.5 acres of the California Creek Estuary, located in the Drayton Harbor Watershed. According to Whatcom Land Trust Conservation Director Gabe Epperson, “The California Creek Estuary property is a critical link in protection of bird and salmon species in northern Washington. This property includes the mouth of the estuary and thus is a vital link to Drayton Harbor and the protection of its tidelands and vulnerable wetlands ecosystems.” Read More

Northern Light Press Article

Read Bellingham Herald Article

Find Out More About Estuaries.

Whatcom Land Trust conserves the special places of Whatcom County: our Lake Whatcom watershed, park and farmlands, fish & wildlife habitat, shorelines and so much more .  




E-newsletter: Want to stay up to date on our latest conservation projects and events? Sign up for our events e-newsletter.

Events page: Information about upcoming events, from family-friendly outings at county parks to our seasonal art walks.

Stewardship page: Sign up for a work party! Help us enhance and restore fish and wildlife habitat throughout Whatcom County.

Volunteer page: There are lots of ways to get involved, from wildlife surveys to event support and administrative tasks around the office.