San Juan Island National Historical Park welcomes more than 265,000 visitors a year and includes the island’s longest stretch of beach as well as forests and historic sites commemorating the “Pig War,” a peaceful standoff between British and U.S. troops that began in 1860 over the slaughter of a pig and lasted 12 years.

Since 2010, the Fund has worked with local landowners and the National Park Service (NPS) to expand the popular park by nearly 355 acres, protecting the historical site known as “English Camp,” a stretch of pristine shoreline and other natural resources.  

Our Role

In 2010, the Fund worked with Washington State and San Juan County officials to help the Park Service conserve the 321-acre Mitchell Hill property along the southern border of English Camp. This effort preserved a 2.9-mile trail network and a remnant of the 19th century military road linking the opposing encampments.

In 2013,  we helped the Park Service add another 72 acres to the park. Formerly owned by the late Bill and Doree Webb, the property known to locals as Westcott Bay Sea Farm is located along 2,500 feet of pristine shoreline on Westcott Bay and offers rich upland forest and wetland habitats.

Overall, the Fund has helped protect over 393 acres at the English Camp site at San Juan Island National Historic Park. 

Representatives of the Webb family, local conservation groups and the NPS approached the Fund with the intent of perpetuating Bill and Doree Webb’s vision for their land. We helped NPS design a unique conservation plan that would preserve the land’s natural state, while enabling the oyster farming operation begun by the Webbs to continue. Today, Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. offers oysters, clams and mussels grown by new owners Erik and Andrea Anderson, while the Park Service keeps Bill and Dorree Webb’s land free from adverse development and open for all park visitors to enjoy.

“Our parents would be pleased with our decision to sell our family land to The Conservation Fund. We and our parents have worked hard to keep this land natural and open and to support a healthy and clean Westcott Bay. We are grateful that the land will continue in its natural state and that others will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy it as we have.” 
— The Webb sisters

The “Pig War” that Inspired a Park

San Juan Island NHP was established by Congress in 1966 to commemorate the peaceful resolution of the San Juan Boundary Dispute, or “Pig War,” between Great Britain and the United States. Military forces from both nations jointly (and peacefully) occupied the island from 1860 to 1872 following a crisis over a slain pig in 1859. The Webb property acquired by NPS in 2013 was part of the military reserve charted by Captain George E. Pickett of the U.S. Army and Captain George Bazalgette of the British Royal Marines in 1860.

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San Juan Island National Historical Park