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Bear with us

Anacortes has a new visitor. For the first time in 20-50 years, a black bear has been confirmed on Fidalgo Island! It was sighted in the Rock Ridge neighborhood near the Little Cranberry Lake Forest Lands. Click here to read the full Skagit Valley Herald article. This male bear is likely out looking for a mate and will probably wander East shortly. If you’re out hiking, we suggest keeping your dogs on a leash while in the forest lands (a requirement in the ACFL). Spot a bear? Don’t panic and no need to call 911. Just respect the bear’s space and send us an email at to let us know where the sighting occurred. We’ll keep tabs on his location this way. Let’s enjoy this unique visitor while we have the opportunity and let him enjoy his forest habitat.

Forest Discovery Day Camp


The “Forest Discovery Program” is an activity oriented summer day camp for boys and girls ages 7 to 12. Each day we explore a different area of our Community Forest Lands. As we hike, play games, make nature journals and experiment, we learn about wild animals, native plants and different habitats.

Forest Discovery Day Camp Registration is Here!

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Meet our new Executive Director!

Asa Deane will join The Friends of the Forest team part time in April and assume his role as Executive Director full time starting in May. Deane, a central California native, comes with a strong environmental education background and experience as a Program Director, inspiring and empowering students to connect with the natural world. After stints as both a cabin counselor and naturalist for an outdoor science camp, he was introduced to the idea of bringing people closer to nature as a job. Through his time spent outdoors, it became clear that in order to want to protect something, you have to feel connected to it; an insight that drives his personal and professional life.

 Deane’s love for the outdoors, desire to work with children, and mission to help protect the natural world came together in one unified career path. Seeking the next steps in their careers, he and his wife, Jenna, relocated to the Pacific Northwest. He served as the Program Manager at Wild Whatcom, an outdoor education non-profit based out of Bellingham. Now, having accepted the Executive Director position at Friends of the Forest in Anacortes, Asa is ready to jump in and get to work. 

“I could not be more exited to work with Friends of the Forest, both the organization, as well as the people that utilize the incredible resource that is the ACFL. My first time hiking in this forest, along the Heart Lake trails, I was amazed that such a place existed within the city limits and how lucky the people of Anacortes are to have it. As I learned more about the story of the land, this solidified my feeling that this was the work I was meant to be doing and the organization I was meant to work with. I hope to help Friends of the Forest protect and enjoy this beautiful forest for years to come through the combination of outreach, education, and stewardship- the very three things I feel are most important in successful land conservation.” -Asa Deane

Members and non-members alike are invited to join the Friends of the Forest in welcoming Asa at a meet-and-greet reception at the Depot Building, 611 R Ave., on Wednesday, June 19that 6:30 pm. Get to know our new Director and learn about our exciting new forest education programs launching this summer from our Forest Educator, Melissa Courtney. Beverages and delicious appetizers from Gere-a-Deli will be provided. We hope to see you there!


About the friends

The Friends of the Forest is a non-profit citizens organization dedicated to the preservation of the ACFL through education, outreach, and stewardship. We first formed in 1987 to “preserve, protect, and enjoy” our community forest. Our group was instrumental in the successful effort to halt revenue logging in the ACFL, and essential to the creation and promotion of a system to provide long term legal preservation of the forest. We welcome all who share in our mission.


Upcoming Activities