The Lummi Island DNR site is just a few miles from Bellingham on southeast Lummi Island. It is a beautiful campsite with the feel of a rustic campground in the mountains and a magnificent eastern view of Bellingham Bay and Mt. Baker. Porpoises, seals, waterfowl galore, eagles, deer, and fatally attractive landscapes surround the campsite and the journey to it. The site is also part of a 661-acre Natural Resource Conservation Area in northern Puget Sound that includes forested shorelines with steep, rocky headlands. An uneven-aged mixed forest dominated by old growth Douglas-fir provides a combination of habitat features very appealing to birds of prey. The Lummi DNR also includes a very small marine park available for boaters as noted on the DNR website.
Because of federal funding shortfalls, WAKE has taken over the maintenance of the Lummi DNR. We’ve successfully kept our little island area accessible, clean, safe and very happy. We clean the outhouses, pick up trash, scout the area for trouble [like an occasional rogue campsite, fire pit, or impromptu shelter], restore the trails and staircases after storm damage, dig out fire pits, and most important, maintain a presence at the site. The general visitor must know that this is a monitored and maintained site.
If you are a volunteer for the DNR Lummi site, please download the Site Report Form here. Your notes on the state of the site are helpful in knowing what maintenance or repairs might be needed! Please send completed reports to: WAKE, PO Box 1952. Bellingham, WA 98227
So far we have had little noticeable impact on the local critters as far as promoting camp robbers. Mind you, there are a couple of socialized mice that may scurry under your feet at night. But no raccoons, cheery geese, sea gulls, fox, raven or other aggressive critters. This is actually amazing in the San Juans. Here is how campers and day visitors have prevented unwanted animal behavior:
- Kept a clean camp.
- Put away food stuff after eating.
- Hung edibles at night. Not high, just up enough to evade the critters. No bear worries. [Another safe-so-far option is to put food in the hatches of the kayaks when not needed.]
- Opted not to feed the cute little wildlife.
- Washed dishes with biodegradable soap on the beach. Optimally, strained out major food stuffs and paddled these out.
You should do the same! For more information, visit the Leave No Trace website at www.lnt.org.
Cascade Marine Trail
The Lummi DNR site is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail, a system founded in the 1980s to “honor and preserve 5,000 years of marine travel.” Early paddlers were concerned about the diminishing number of pullouts for kayakers and recognized the need to preserve space for their flotillas. As with hikers and backpackers, kayakers needed rest areas and camping sites. The goal was to have pullouts within human powered reach. We can thank the foresight of those early paddlers who set the stage for our drive to preserve a water trail for non-motorized craft.