A New Vision


Imagine a county whose population of residents and visitors chooses to honor its rural, wild, sustainable, refreshing, slow, nature-dominated, non-exploitive, respectful, in-perpetuity heritage.

Imagine stepping off the ferry into a sacred sanctuary.

Imagine that while everything looks the same, humans operate with a mindset of humility, acceptance, compassion and respect.

Imagine that each person: property owner, visitor, resident, family member, supplier, takes off his/her

"I'm the dominant species here" mindset

and metaphorically, spiritually and behaviorally embraces the perspective that

"I'm a custodian/steward for a precious and threatened national/international park-sanctuary. I will endeavor to exercise zero-impact behavior in all aspects of my actions here. When I leave no one would know I had been here. I am not only a steward; I am a visitor in a sacred, special, delicate, and vulnerable land; I am here to restore myself and restore the integrity and beauty of this wild and precious group of islands."

"I am here to be part of, and not separate from, the community of peoples, animals, plants, rocks, shoreline, air, birds, orcas, and the gentle timeless spirit of this still-wild, still solid, still interwoven tapestry of life. It is a privilege to be here; I will honor that privilege. I am blessed to be able to share in this experience and I want those who join and follow me to feel and act with the same awe, reverence and joy that I experience."

"I believe in the vision of these islands as "Forever Wild" and fully subscribe to the Guiding Principles and Goals. I know achieving this vision will take conversation, behavior change, and compromise, and I am honored to be able to be a player in achieving this transformation."


Imagine that this package, a graphic and description, is not a sugar-coated window-dressing designed to promote a new brand for the San Juans intended to advance the tourism and construction industries. Rather, imagine that this is a real package that was elevated to the central core of the Vision for San Juan County and embodied in the principles and development codes of the Comprehensive Plan now being updated. Imagine that those who live here, own property here and visit here actually treasure these values and vision and will do what it takes to ensure that this county does not follow the standard “love it to death” process that has happened to essentially every other beautiful small (at one point “undiscovered”) rural community virtually anywhere in the world. 

To make this happen, we have to move from talk to walk. The operant terms here are “we” and “walk”.

The walk begins by clicking on the take action button and taking some action that has agency. The "we" is important because this is a community and a democracy. Ideas for getting started down an uncharted new pathway must be developed, discussed and refined. This process is unfamiliar and there are endless legal, bandwidth, cultural and internal-conflicting barriers. The driver is love. The question is: can we collectively muster enough love to work through the barriers?


I'm in!

Sign an online petition to support this concept.

Print this vision and a) put on your refrigerator  b) give to those who visit you  c) share with your family  d) offer to your neighborhood gatherings  e) send to your state legislators  f) have some spares you can hand out when the moment is right