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Fundraising drive for Glacier begins

Those active in the fight to protect Maury Island gathered Sunday next to the mine site. In the front row from left are former POI presidents Libby McLardy, Sharon Nelson, Amy Carey, J.W. Turner and Brenda Moore. Behind them is Tom Dean, head of the land trust. - Leslie Brown/Staff Photo
Those active in the fight to protect Maury Island gathered Sunday next to the mine site. In the front row from left are former POI presidents Libby McLardy, Sharon Nelson, Amy Carey, J.W. Turner and Brenda Moore. Behind them is Tom Dean, head of the land trust.
— image credit: Leslie Brown/Staff Photo

Conservation-minded activists on Vashon Island and throughout the region have launched an ambitious fundraising drive to raise $2 million from private individuals by the end of December, the amount needed to bring the huge CalPortland deal to fruition.

The day the deal was announced, Cascade Land Conservancy, a Seattle-based conservation group that helped to broker the agreement, put a new icon on its website: “Save Maury Island now! Because Puget Sound can’t wait,” it said, above a dramatic picture of an orca breaching by famed Vashon photographer Ray Pfortner.

Several other organizations quickly followed suit, including the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, Preserve Our Islands, People For Puget Sound, the Backbone Campaign and the Washington Environmental Council.

Tom Dean, head of the land trust, and Amy Carey, president of Preserve Our Islands, said the $2 million in private funds is needed to enable the county to make its goal. The county pledged $19.1 million from its Conservation Futures Fund — the amount needed to meet the $36 million price tag for the 250 acres of shoreline and madrone-studded forests on the eastern flank of Maury Island.

In fact, the county needs $2 million of that $19.1 million reimbursed by private sources. Without private support, the county’s Conservation Futures Fund would hit its annual lending limit, and the county, Dean and Carey said, needs a cushion to make the project both politically and financially tenable.

“There’s a gap. There’s an urgency,” said Carey, adding that she hopes $500,000 comes from Vashon.

Dean said it’s important to realize that it’s not a done deal until the private monies come through. “There’s no party or parade until the deed transfers,” he said.

To donate, visit any one these websites:

Preserve Our Islands, www.preserveourislands.org

Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, www.vashonlandtrust.org

Cascade Land Conservancy, www.cascadeland.org

People For Puget Sound, www.pugetsound.org.

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