Our 2012 Environmental Awards

Here are the people and organizations working hard to perserve the most special places of the West

Best shoreline
Photo by Thomas J. Story, illustration by Kozyndan

Best shoreline

What didn’t happen here: A waterfront resort and luxury housing.

Why it’s a winner: The 94 acres of Washington’s Devil’s Head will be an amazing public park.When one landowner gazed at Devil’s Head—a mile-long beach, killer views of Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, and the Olympics—he had a dream. Specifically, a dream of McMansions and a coastal retreat on this 94-acre tip of the Key Peninsula west of Tacoma. That didn’t happen, thanks to the work of Forterra, formerly the Cascade Land Conservancy. Over several years, the conservancy amassed $3.4 million to buy the land for Pierce County. As is standard with recession-battered real-estate deals these days, nothing about buying Devil’s Head was easy: Conservationists had to deal with the landowner’s bankruptcy. But they prevailed. Now hikers will have new forests and beaches to tromp, and kayakers a new stop on the Cascadia Marine Trail.

Take a look: For now, the best way to see Devil’s Head is from a kayak (eventually trails will be developed). forterra.org

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