Letters to the editor

Letters published in the South
Whidbey Record

Trillium Woods can be saved for the future

Sep 01 2010, 11:32

To the editor:

Contributions large and small continue to build up the Whidbey Camano Land Trust fund to purchase Trillium Woods. Local donors include fourth- and fifth-grade students at South Whidbey Elementary School, riding clubs, 4-H groups and individuals giving in memory of a loved one.

All of these contributors see great value in donating money to preserve more than 600 acres of forest land, the origin of three creeks, one running to Mutiny Bay, another to South Whidbey State Park and the third to the wetlands of the Wilbert Trail.

A total of $4.2 million is needed by Sept. 10. So far, donors have contributed or pledged $2.5 million. With your help, this land can be preserved for our children and grandchildren. Please donate as generously as you are able to savetheforestnow.org; or Whidbey Camano Land Trust, 765 Wonn Road, Barn C-201, Greenbank, WA 98253; or by calling Whidbey Camano Land Trust at 222-3310.

Gloria Koll
Freeland

Trillium Woods needs your help

Aug 24 2010, 3:49 PM

To the editor:

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust has now raised $2.5 million to save the Trillium Woods — with $1.7 million more needed by Sept. 10.

Times are tough, so it’s not always possible to give as generously as we might want. However, the land trust accepts multi-year pledges that let us pay a third of our commitment now, with the rest divided over the next two years. These pledges would help cover low-interest loans until grants and permanent funding are in place.

Recent donors wanting to save this 660-plus acre forest include elementary students and 4-H groups from our community who already are thinking about their future. If the woods are saved from development, these young people — and their children — will enjoy the benefits of a beautiful forest, habitat for wildlife and many types of recreation.

Please donate to the land trust at savetheforestnow.org. Sept. 10 is our last chance.

Diane Stone
Clinton

My granddaughter will be proud

Aug 11 2010, 2:48 PM

To the editor:

I did something recently that made me feel so good I want to share. I’ve been hearing about the Whidbey Camano Land Trust’s efforts to save the Trillium property as undeveloped land and felt compelled to add my small donation toward that effort.

My granddaughter has a birthday coming up soon, and I began wondering how she would feel about the gift of a donation in her name.

She’s only 7, but I imagine when I take her to see the land and explain the vision of those of us who despair of losing the forests, she’ll be proud to be a part of that effort.

Mary Goolsby
Langley

A once-in-a-generation chance

Jul 11 2010

To the editor:

At dinner the other evening, friends were talking about the 90-day extension for the land trust to purchase Trillium’s 640 acres for forest preservation. One of my guests said, “You know, if everyone just gave what they’ve given before, we’d be over the top.”

The simplicity of his idea struck me.

Yes, these are terrible economic times. We’ll be asked to choose between our libraries and our schools, our emergency responders and our teachers this fall.

Still, setting aside this acreage is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. You know your grandchildren would thank you for it.

Linda Beeman
Clinton

Let’s spare our special areas

Jul 03 2010

To the editor:

Perhaps no one knows the value of saving open space better than an urban transplant. Ten years ago my husband Simon and

I pulled up stakes from Orange County, Calif., a region once known for its beautiful orange groves and pristine coastal wilderness areas. Today Orange County is largely paved-over in concrete, and areas thought valuable only to wildlife have been decimated nevertheless. No habitat, no wildlife.

Just before we left, we remarked with irony that invariably new developments name their streets for the wildlife whose native habitats their houses, roads, mini malls and parking lots replace: “Gnatcatcher Lane,” “Coyote Circle,” “Indian Paintbrush Way.” How sad.

But coming to Whidbey Island renewed our spirits and restored our commitment to open-space preservation. If we don’t spare special areas now, before we know it they’ll be gone too, even here in rural Island County.

So, it’s wonderful that Whidbey Camano Land Trust — a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of open spaces — has been given a 90-day extension to come up with remaining funds needed to purchase the open space known as “Trillium Woods.”

To all who have contributed, we say, “Well done!” We hope that our modest contribution is multiplied sufficiently to close the gap between what we have, and what we need to save, for generations to come, this especially lovely region.

The clock is ticking, but there is still time. Please visit www.savetheforestnow.org and click on the donate button. It’s that simple.

Sharen Heath
Langley

Please join in saving Trillium Land

Jun 09 2010

To the editor:

As we watch the devastation that hits our country from the Gulf oil spill, many of us are sickened and angry. Surely, there must be a better way to partake in the resources of our wonderful Earth in a respectful and safe way.

So what can we do? Elect officials who appoint bureaucrats who represent our citizens’ and earth’s best interest? Of course. Over the decades, this is absolutely necessary and something that we want from each political administration.

But what about right here on our own lovely island? Start with good personal stewardship for the land that we occupy. Then look to protect the Earth in any way we can.

An opportunity for each of us is to join in the tremendous effort by Whidbey Camano land Trust to save Trillium from development. This prime forest land, the wildlife and the clean wetlands shout for our attention and protection.

For me Trillium is a local “safety net” similar to the Gulf coastline that must be kept clean and healthy for the wildlife, rookeries, and critical vegetation. As we see from the Gulf, once changed and damaged, the restoration will take years.

No, I don’t see development in the same way that the Gulf oil spill damages the Earth. But I do see development as irreversible. Once we develop Trillium it will no longer be the natural resource that we all need.

I encourage my fellow Whidbey Islanders to help raise the final funds that are needed by June 10 to preserve Trillium within our common “land trust.” Please join me in donating to http://www.SavetheForestNow.org to save Trillium.

Margaret Andersen
Langley

Now is the time for a positive difference

Jun 09 2010

To the editor:

June 10 is the deadline for saving Trillium Woods. That is tomorrow. As we watch the news about the pollution and environmental devastation in the Gulf, we have a great way to express our commitment to helping out our poor, tired Mother Earth. We can work together to keep our little island green, give animals and birds a safe habitat, clean our air with all those beautiful trees, and make a positive difference for generations to come. Now is the time.

Janice O’Mahony
Langley

Let’s save the tiny bit we have

Jun 07 2010

To the editor:

Time is running out. The Whidbey Camano Land Trust has only until June 10 to raise $4.2 million to preserve the 664-acre Trillium land.

Once forest land is developed — paved and parked out — most changes are both irreversible and detrimental to the long-term needs of a community.

Economic studies between 1989 and 2009 reported by the Trust for Public Land show that providing infrastructure to housing developments almost “always costs more than the community expects to gain in taxes and other benefits.” Septic systems, roads, water, electricity, telephones, fire service and police protection require an enormous amount of our tax dollars. And we pay far into the future.

On the other hand, healthy forests provide numerous benefits that don’t cost us one penny: forests contribute to clean air and water, offer recreational opportunities (hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, hunting), provide wildlife habitat and attract tourists.

Here we have a chance to do things right. If this forest is left as forest rather than turned into housing sprawl, we can protect open space and be better off economically.

It’s not too late to contribute and help save the largest undeveloped piece of land left on Whidbey Island — visit savetheforestnow.org for more information. They aren’t making forests anymore — we better save the little bit we have.

Diane Stone
Clinton

Opportunity to purchase land for public use

Jun 02 2010

To the editor:

South Whidbey and North Whidbey islanders have a fabulous opportunity to own publicly 664 acres of forestland and make it available to the public forever.

Developers put in new gravel roads; and soft dirt trails made in between the roads. It is a joy to be out in this land. I have ridden my horse on these awesome trails, from the time the forest was Georgia Pacific land, and after the recovery of logging by Trillium in 1988. I have been so thankful for this land, this wonderful experience. This land has been open for people to ride and walk on for all these years.

This is such a great equestrian opportunity, probably our last for cross-country woodland. We did such a good job with Putney Woods, the Saratoga Woods, and the Metcalf Woods. I know many are in love with the woods, the same as I am.

All we have to do is pledge a dollar amount to Whidbey Camano Land Trust. They have a Web site, http://www.savetheforestnow.org.

We only have seven days left. We still need $2.5 million.

Join us June 5 for another ride out, walk out of the M-Bar-C at 10 a.m. RSVP jerrytoy@whidbey.com or call 206-730-2519. (We need to know how many burgers to buy.)

Thank you Herald Net, for running this article: http://heraldnet.com/article/20100601/NEWS01/706019936

Mary Tallman
Clinton

Help make the dream come true

Jun 02 2010

To the editor:

Nine years ago the Whidbey Camano Land Trust played a crucial role in saving our beloved Saratoga Woods from development. Since then, they have run up an impressive record of preserving more than 6,000 acres on our precious islands.

Obviously, these successes would not have been possible without the enthusiastic support of our community. We understand how unique these natural open spaces are for ourselves, and as our legacy to future generations.

Now the land trust has embarked on its most ambitious project to date. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save the largest remaining parcel of undeveloped land, the Trillium forest consisting of 664 acres between Freeland and Greenbank

The challenge is huge, but if there is anyone who can do it, it’s the terrific board and staff of our Whidbey Camano Island Land Trust — with all our help. So I urge you to visit http://www.savetheforestnow.org, or to call the land trust at 360-222-3310, to learn about the details of this project and to offer your help. We need each and every one of you to make this dream come true.

Diane Kendy
Langley

Make a pledge for the forest

May 21 2010

To the editor:

I’ve just been on a tour of the Trillium property that the Whidbey Camano Land Trust is attempting to preserve with their “Save the Forest Now” campaign. They need to raise $4.2 million by June 10.

This is the largest piece of privately owned property in Island County. It is larger than one square mile — a 664-acre forest.

We Whidbey Islanders have a wonderful opportunity to acquire this land, but we have to move quickly. Go to the Save the Forest Now Web site for information on the property and how to donate.

If you are unsure about making a contribution, you can make a pledge (find the form at http://wclt.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/save-the-forest-now-pledgeform.pdf).

That way, you will only pay if they raise enough money by the deadline.

Six hundred and sixty four acres.

Linda Booth Kast
Langley

Trillium land buy would improve Whidbey water quality

May 13 2010

To the editor:

The conservation and recreational benefits of acquiring the Trillium property are obvious. But there is one big issue that might be overlooked — water quality.

The 664 acres sit on the ridge between Bush Point and Holmes Harbor. Local forester and consultant, Elliott Menashe, writes on the http://www.savetheforestnow.org Web site that the property holds the origins of three separate creeks and watersheds, one of which flows through South Whidbey State Park.

Mr. Menashe discusses the value of the property in “recharging the aquifers of the surrounding communities, reducing stormwater impacts, and fending off saltwater intrusion of the shoreline wells and water systems.”

A quick look at an aerial photo of the property makes his point very clear. Development of the Trillium property poses a threat to our water supply.

I recommend that your readers check out Mr. Menashe’s essay and the watershed map he included on the http://www.savetheforestnow.org Web site. The Web site also provides information about how to contribute to the conservation of this property.

Duane Fulgham
Clinton

Trillium project can unite Whidbey

Apr 26 2010

To the editor:

We have before us the rarest of opportunities — the opportunity to save for ourselves and future generations 664 acres of forest, forest that will only become better as the years pass, richer and wilder, offering a much-needed place to recreate.

We all need to contribute in order to make this opportunity a reality. Pennies from some of us, more from those who can give more, but we all need to take part.

To those who say we can’t afford this, that taking this land from the tax rolls is something we can’t afford, I ask, “When has development paid for itself?” Development taxes all of us in terms of paying for infrastructure; water delivery, roads, schools, power, surface water management, an endless list of costs developers do not directly cover.

Please contact the Whidbey Camano Land Trust with your contribution (360-222-331, http://www.SavetheForestNow.org). Some of us can buy an acre, some a footprint. This is a project we can all come together on — to save a parcel of land that is the heart of our island.

Sharon Dunn
Greenbank

Island County Back Country Horsemen support Trillium purchase

Apr 22 2010

To the editor:

The Island County Back Country Horsemen are supporting the Whidbey Camano Land Trust in its effort to save the Trillium property, which is the largest parcel of privately owned forest on Whidbey Island from future development.

Although last logged in 1988, there are still stands of mature conifers, maples and alder, as well as regenerating forest, a lush native understory, wetlands and abundant wildlife. A network of trails and old logging roads throughout has long been used on an informal basis by local equestrians, bikers, dog walkers and birders.

In the past few years, the land was divided into 124 plots and approved for development by Island County. Recently, the property went into foreclosure, and the land trust has purchased an option to buy it, but has only until June 10 to raise the $4.2 million required to permanently protect the forest for passive recreational use, wildlife habitat and forest renewal. Failure to raise the capital will result in the property going back on the auction block and small parcels sold off for development.

The Back Country Horsemen strongly feel that preserving this forest wonderland for the use of current and future generations is of critical importance in sustaining the quality of rural life on Whidbey Island, which makes it such an attractive place to live and visit. Therefore we urge all residents to support the acquisition of the Trillium property with donations to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust earmarked for this purchase.

Opportunity knocks but once. Time is of the essence. June 10 rapidly approaches.

Sharon Vanderslice
Emily Brink,Co-PresidentBack Country Horsemen
Jan Crawford, Co-President
Back Country Horsemen

Learn more about saving forest on Trillium property

Apr 19 2010

To the editor:

As many of your readers may be aware, the 664-acre former Trillium property northwest of Freeland is coming up for sale soon, and the Whidbey Camano Land Trust has mounted an enthusiastic effort to purchase it for posterity.

As one of the folks who helped to save the similarly-sized Putney Woods from clear-cutting and development, I would encourage all who care about the future of our island watersheds to visit www.savetheforestnow.org for more information about how they can help in this noble effort.

“Ranger Kirk” Francis
Langley

Letters published in the Whidbey News-Times

Some of the following letters were also printed in the South Whidbey Record (above).

Not another Orange County

Jul 20 2010, 2:39 PM · UPDATED

Perhaps no one knows the value of saving open space better than an urban transplant. Ten years ago my husband Simon and I pulled up stakes from Orange County, Calif., a region once known for its beautiful orange groves and pristine coastal wilderness areas. Today Orange County is largely paved over in concrete and areas thought valuable only to wildlife have been decimated nevertheless. No habitat: no wildlife.

Just before we left we remarked with irony that invariably new developments name their streets for the wildlife whose native habitats their houses, roads, mini malls and parking lots replace: “Gnatcatcher Lane,” “Coyote Circle,” “Indian Paintbrush Way.” How sad.

But coming to Whidbey Island renewed our spirits and restored our commitment to open space preservation. If we don’t spare special areas now, before we know it, they’ll be gone too, even here in rural Island County. So, it’s wonderful that Whidbey Camano Land Trust ­— a 501C3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of open spaces ­— has been given a 90-day extension to come up with remaining funds needed to purchase the open space known as “Trillium Woods.”

To all who have contributed we say, “Well done!” We hope that our modest contribution is multiplied sufficiently to close the gap between what we have and what we need to save for generations to come for this especially lovely region.

The clock is ticking, but there is still time. Please visit www.savetheforestnow.org and click on the donate button. It’s that simple.

Sharen Heath
Langley

Trillium forest once in a lifetime opportunity

May 26 2010

Nine years ago the Whidbey Camano Land Trust played a crucial role in saving our beloved Saratoga Woods from development. Since then they have run up an impressive record of preserving over 6,000 acres on our precious Islands.

Obviously, these successes would not have been possible without the enthusiastic support of our community. We understand how unique these natural open spaces are for ourselves and as our legacy to future generations.

Now the Land Trust has embarked on its most ambitious project to date. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save the largest remaining parcel of undeveloped land, the Trillium forest consisting of 664 acres between Freeland and Greenbank.

The challenge is huge, but if there is anyone who can do it, it’s the terrific board and staff of our Whidbey Camano Island Land Trust – with all our help. So I urge you to visit http://www.savetheforestnow.org, or to call the Land Trust at 360-222-3310, to learn about the details of this project and to offer your help. We need each and every one of you to make this dream come true.

Diane Kendy
Langley

Land would benefit all of Whidbey

Jun 09 2010

South Whidbey and North Whidbey Islanders have a fabulous opportunity to own publicly 664 acres of forestland and make it available to the public forever. Developers put in new gravel roads; and soft dirt trails made in between the roads.

It is a joy to be out in this land. I have ridden my horse on these awesome trails, from the time the forest was Georgia Pacific land, and after the recovery of logging by Trillium in 1988. I have been so thankful for this land, this wonderful experience. This land has been open for people to ride and walk on for all these years.

This is such a great equestrian opportunity, probably our last for cross-country woodland. We did such a good job with Putney Woods, The Saratoga Woods and The Metcalf Woods. I know many are in love with the woods, the same as I am.

All we have to do is pledge a dollar amount to Whidbey Camano Land Trust. They have a Web site http://www.savetheforestnow.org.

We only have a few days left. We still need $2.5 million.

Mary Tallman
Clinton

Development of the Trillium property poses a threat to our water supply

May 06 2010

The conservation and recreational benefits of acquiring the Trillium property are obvious. But, there is one big issue that might be overlooked – water quality.

The 664 acres sit on the ridge between Bush Point and Holmes Harbor. Local forester and consultant, Elliott Menashe, writes on the http://www.savetheforestnow.org Web site that the property holds the origins of three separate creeks and watersheds, one of which flows through South Whidbey State Park.

Mr. Menashe discusses the value of the property in “recharging the aquifers of the surrounding communities, reducing storm water impacts, and fending off saltwater intrusion of the shoreline wells and water systems.” A quick look at an aerial photo of the property makes his point very clear. Development of the Trillium property poses a threat to our water supply.

I recommend that your readers check out Mr. Menashe’s essay and the watershed map he included on the Web site. The site also provides information about how to contribute to the conservation of this property.

Duane Fulgham
Clinton

Everyone on Whidbey should contribute to Trillium land purchase

Apr 21 2010

We have before us the rarest of opportunities: The opportunity to save for ourselves and future generations 664 acres of forest, forest that will only become better as the years pass, richer and wilder, offering a much-needed place to recreate.

We all need to contribute in order to make this opportunity a reality. Pennies from some of us, more from those who can give more but we all need to take part.

To those who say we can’t afford this, that taking this land from the tax rolls is something we can’t afford, I ask, “When has development paid for itself?” Development taxes all of us in terms of paying for infrastructure; water delivery, roads, schools, power, surface water management, an endless list of costs developers do not directly cover.

Please contact the Whidbey Camano Land Trust with your contribution (360-222-331, www.SavetheForestNow.org). Some of us can buy an acre, some a foot- print. This is a project we can all come together on, to save a parcel of land that is the heart of Whidbey Island.

Sharon Dunn
Greenbank

Horsemen work to save property

May 01 2010

The Island County Back Country Horsemen are supporting the Whidbey Camano Land Trust in their effort to save the Trillium property, which is the largest parcel of privately owned forest on Whidbey Island, from future development. Although last logged in 1988, there are still stands of mature conifers, maples and alder, as well as regenerating forest, a lush native understory, wetlands and abundant wildlife. A network of trails and old logging roads throughout has long been used on an informal basis by local equestrians, bikers, dog walkers and birders.

In the last few years, the land was divided into 124 plots and approved for development by Island County. Recently the property went into foreclosure and the Land Trust has purchased an option to buy it, but has only until June 10, 2010 to raise the $4.2 million required to permanently protect the forest for passive recreational use, wildlife habitat and forest renewal. Failure to raise the capital will result in the property going back on the auction block and small parcels sold off for development.

The Back Country Horsemen strongly feel that preserving this forest wonderland for the use of current and future generations is of critical importance in sustaining the quality of rural life on Whidbey Island which makes it such an attractive place to live and visit. Therefore we urge all residents to support the acquisition of the Trillium property with donations to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust earmarked for this purchase. Opportunity knocks but once. Time is of the essence.

Sharon Vanderslice
Emily Brink, co-president Back Country Horsemen
Jan Crawford, co-president Back Country Horsemen

Whidbey Realtors support Trillium effort

Apr 21 2010

In an effort to continually improve the quality of life for all Whidbey Island residents, the Whidbey Island Association of Realtors endorses and supports the Whidbey Camano Land Trust in its attempt to purchase the 664-acre forest commonly known as the Trillium property. The Realtors are the latest to join the growing list of supporting organizations, as the Land Trust races to raise $4.2 million by June 10.

Realtors feels very strongly that by supporting this effort to preserve a large and beautiful portion of Whidbey Island, we can ensure that future generations have the opportunity to perpetually enjoy the beauty and natural wonder that has brought many of us here to Whidbey Island. This is a natural fit with the Realtors’ Quality of Life pledge, and we’re pleased to give our support.

Members of our organization will be raising money to contribute to the cause and we encourage Whidbey Island residents and property owners to also support the effort.

The Whidbey Island Association of Realtors has 121 Realtor members and 20 affiliate members from Oak Harbor to Clinton. For more information about how to help, or to invest in the protection of rural Whidbey Island, visit www.SaveTheForestNow.org.

Christina Parker
2010 president
Whidbey Island Association of Realtors

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