for the University of Washington Biological Preserves
in the San Juan Islands, Washington
Autumn 2005

The overarching goals for these properties are to maintain and restore native biodiversity and ecosystem function and to facilitate education and research that is consistent with these goals; a secondary goal is to maintain important parts of the cultural landscape.

(vision statement agreed upon and adopted by the University of Washington Biological Preserves Management Committee)


University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories
476 acre Terrestrial Preserve on San Juan Island
Autumn 2005

This remainder of this statement represents the most recent DRAFT of a document under construction and does not constitute policy

The ecological goal for this property is the preservation of intact native ecosystems, maintenance of natural ecosystem processes, maintenance of species diversity, and restoration of damaged areas and areas invaded by non-native species. This property should be managed for value as a educational and research natural area and as a source of wildlife and plant populations for areas outside the boundaries of this large, contiguous, largely-undeveloped parcel. In order to protect native wildlife, pets including dogs and cats are not allowed on the property.

Proposed implementation in brief:

THE FORESTED PORTION of the Friday Harbor Laboratories Preserve will be managed for the goal of creating a multi-age stand of native species with diverse structure, species composition, and old-growth attributes. All large healthy trees will be left standing; some standing snags and fallen rotting logs are also valuable wildlife habitat and should remain. Tree removal for firewood used on the property should be carried out in a manner specified by, and concordant with, a forest management plan developed to further enhance the goal of a multi-age stand with old-growth attributes. Appropriate practices may include removal of some, but not all, fallen trees, or thinning of severely crowded stands, or tree removal in other locations as specified by a management plan. Non-native invasive species in the forest such as English holly, English ivy, and Himalayan blackberry will be removed to the extent practical. In the event of severe damage due to high winds, fire or disease, active replanting of native species should be attempted, as specified in the forest management plan, again with the goal of retaining diversified structure, age, and species composition.

THE UNDEVELOPED, NON-FORESTED PORTIONS of the Friday Harbor Laboratories Preserve are primarily rocky knolls, (once) dominated by mosses, native grasses, and a diversity of spring and summer wildflowers, and now increasingly invaded by non-native grasses and other plants. To the extent that it is practical, these open knolls should be restored to native species with natural levels of species diversity. Non-native invaders including grasses, teasel, thistle, tansy ragwort, mullein, St. John's wort, foxglove, non-native blackberries, Scotch broom, and others should be removed.

THE DEVELOPED "CAMPUS" PORTION of the property will continue to see site renovations and new construction in the future; non-native invasive plants should be controlled so as not to become a source of exotic species to the rest of the property. Construction projects should preserve all possible topsoil, native trees and brush, and minimize damage to adjacent tree roots and bark. Topsoil should be sequestered on campus (to avoid importation of topsoil from elsewhere with an unwanted seed bank) at the beginning of the project for use in restoring grounds at the end of the project; soil should not be mounded up on the bases and trunks of adjacent trees during construction projects, as this can lead to unnecessary soil compaction around trees not otherwise damaged. Revegetation should be accomplished with native plants ("native" may include species that occur in northwestern Washington, but are not normally found on San Juan Island, such as vine maple or evergreen huckleberry); use of commercial "wildflower" seed and/or grass mixes is prohibited during restoration projects; both are likely to include non-native and invasive species. Any new culverts installed should be black to minimize their visual impact.

THE MARINE MARGINS of the Friday Harbor Laboratories Preserve have been closed to all shellfish and bottomfish harvesting activity since 1990 as listed in the Washington State Fishing Regulations as San Juan Islands Marine Preserve #4-2 ("Those tidelands and bedlands adjacent to San Juan Island within a line beginning on the shore 500 yards west of Point Caution, then 500 yards offshore, then south and east following the shoreline to the intersection with a line projected from a UW marker located 100' north of the north entrance of the floating breakwater of the Port of Friday Harbor and projected toward Reid Rock Buoy, then along the line to shore on San Juan Island.") The Friday Harbor Laboratories Preserve offers a rare opportunity to protect nearshore marine waters by management practices in adjacent protected uplands.

This draft plan was written by an ad hoc committee of interested users of the Friday Harbor Labs property including Claudia Mills, Richard Strathmann, Terrie Klinger, Gretchen Lambert, Charles Lambert, Dianna Padilla, Joann Otto, and David Fluharty, with advice from Peter Dunwiddie of The Nature Conservancy,
and has not yet been adopted as a management plan by the University of Washington.

** This page is maintained by C.E. Mills; established 8 January 2002; last updated 19 November 2005 **

Friday Harbor Laboratories Terrestrial Preserve | Vision Statement
Plant inventory for FHL uplands | Plant inventory for Cedar Rock Preserve
UW classes dealing with uplands management issues in San Juan Islands
Mills Home
| Friday Harbor Laboratories | Forests of San Juan Island
Centennial Historical Timeline of the Friday Harbor Labs