Camera adventure

Lake Brigg Adventure | The San Juan Islands Journal

Eager families, over thirty people, gathered on Sunday, May 29 at the Lake Brigg trailhead near Roche Harbor Road.

Organized by the San Juan Island Trail Committee, the hike, led by local teenagers Milo, Lucy and Ava Martin, took hikers to Picnic Rock at Lake Brigg. San Juan Island National Historical Park Superintendent Elexis Fredy spoke briefly about how she became involved with the park service and her experiences as a female superintendent.

“In high school, we moved [from California] in Florida,” she said. At that time, there was a lot of development and various ecosystems were quickly turning into golf courses. “I wanted to do something.”

Her desire to do something to protect wild areas led her to national parks.

“It’s hard to believe someone would tell someone they can’t be something because they’re a woman,” Fredy said, especially these days. Although it didn’t happen to Fredy, a male authority figure told Theresa Simendinger, who is on the San Juan Island trail committee, that she couldn’t be a park ranger.

“It wasn’t easy,” admitted Fredy. “I worked twice as hard as my male counterparts.”

That being said, Fredy also mentioned how many truly inspiring mentors she has had over the years, both male and female.

“I’ve had male mentors who have been very supportive and supportive, and female mentors who have really been through a lot,” Fredy said, as bald eagles flew overhead. Fredy added that mentors don’t find the mentee, the mentee has to look for mentors and ask for what they need.

During the Q&A session, foxes were brought up. Fredy noted that this year has been particularly difficult and that we will have to regroup to find how to do better next year.

Over the past five years, Fredy added, recreational visitors to the park have doubled to more than half a million last year. San Juan County has been working on a tourism sustainability management plan in response to the number of people coming to the islands.

However, tourists are only one of the concerns. American Camp has experienced a spate of vandalism, which has forced staff to focus on repairs, delaying priority projects. The perpetrators were local, Fredy said. Park employees know this because the individuals were filmed. Working with the county council and involving schools, as well as the community at large to ensure islanders are all on the same page when it comes to wildlife and their habitat could help.

“What we need is funding,” Fredy said with a sigh.

After lunch, the Martin teenagers led the hikers around the lake. The family day, however, continued after the Briggs Lake expedition. The Friday Harbor Film Festival featured three short documentaries; “When Goats Fly”, “Grizzlies of the Sea” and “Cascade Crossroads” which were performed at the San Juan Island Grange later in the afternoon.