Hi folks, I am writing to introduce myself as the new Land Bank Preserve Steward (aka the “new Tim”). Over the last month, I have been working at our preserves on trail maintenance, removing noxious weeds, monitoring wildlife, and other field season activities. I have also been enjoying meeting many of you who regularly visit the preserves and hearing about what makes them special to you and our community.
I have been frequently asked about the 2017 acquisitions highlighted in the Land Bank’s recent annual report. One of these purchases from the Sunset Acres Owners Association, and it is about 800 feet of beach that connects Otis Perkins and the Tombolo. There has been some confusion around the location and what it means for beach access. To sum it up simply: if you are standing at Otis Perkins there is public beach to the north (up to the Tombolo turnout) and private beach to the south (including the ‘big rock’).
Previously, the beach stretching from Otis Perkins to the Tombolo had a complicated patchwork of owners (County Parks, private property, State Fish and Wildlife, private property, the Land Bank). The Land Bank acquired the segments of private property from Sunset Acres thus unifying that stretch of beach for public access.
To the south of Otis Perkins, the beach and associated tidelands remain entirely private and do not allow public access. There have been reports of trespassing and we ask that you be considerate of our island neighbors and avoid that beach. Instead, enjoy the beautiful beaches that we share as public land. This time of year on the Tombolo there is excellent wildlife viewing, with herons, gulls, and terns, and occasional glimpses of an osprey or bald eagles.
The other questions I am asked regularly are about the second acquisition on Lopez last year- the temporarily named Lopez Channel Preserve. Currently the preserve is closed. We are conducting various assessments of the property in preparation for writing a management plan. We will begin the process of drafting the management plan this winter and there will be opportunities for the public to get involved. More details to come, stay tuned for updates.
Lopez Preserve Steward
San Juan County Land Bank