How to care for an island

“You have to be more careful with an island” retired San Juan County Commissioner

The aspects of life of Lopez that resonate with residents as well as visitors, are the rolling farmlands, serene woodlands and picturesque open spaces with shimmering vistas. Many of these areas are ecologically fragile and we are very conscious of our impact on our natural resources. Water is finite, wild fires are disastrous, and recycling is hard-wired into our DNA.

Listen to what Island Kids say about Trash; Respecting Wildlife; Fire Safety

We are officially a “Leave No Trace” county and have adopted 7 Core Principles to guide our behavior. We hope that you will do the same while you visit us and that you will share what you have learned with friends and family when you return home.

*PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE—know about weather, tides, currents and travel challenges.

* BE CAREFUL WITH FIRES— only build fires in designated fire pits in public campgrounds. An illegal fire could be disastrous given the remote location of many of the natural sites open to the public. Please help us protect our island by not having fires in any of our day parks/public lands.

* STICK TO TRAILS AND USE DESIGNATED OVERNIGHT CAMPING SITES—respect Private Property signs and use established public trails.

* TRASH YOUR TRASH AND PICK UP POOP—take your trash and pet poop with you. Keep soaps, human and pet waste out of the Salish waters.

* REFILL YOUR WATER BOTTLE—water bottle refill stations can be found at: Blossom Grocery and the Lopez Community Center. 

* LEAVE IT AS YOU FIND IT—leave nature in nature.

* KEEP WILDLIFE WILD—don’t feed the wildlife and keep pets leased to they don’t disturb animals and nests.

* BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS—make room on trails for others; avoid yelling or loud music. Care for the limited water supply by consciously conserving how much you use.

A note about Farms and Farm stands

Please keep in mind when visiting public farms and farm stands you are entering a space in which people work and live. Be mindful of where you walk and keep to the designated public areas, never entering private space, homes, or yards. Remember to grab a gift for yourself and a friend when leaving the farm stand! Thank you for respecting our agricultural community here on Lopez Island.