News Flash

County Corner Column

Posted on: January 20, 2023

County Corner - January

County Corner_January

This column is part of a series detailing San Juan County’s recent news. Follow along each month to learn about important County projects, Council initiatives, department news, and more. 

In January, the County swore-in eight elected officials including a new Councilmember, Sheriff, Auditor, and Prosecuting Attorney. The public is invited to “Meet Your Elected Officials” at events across the islands that offer opportunities to meet and chat with those in office.

Saturday January 28th – San Juan Island, Council Hearing Room (55 2nd St N, Friday Harbor) from 1pm-2pm

Saturday February 4th – Orcas Island, Orcas Senior Center (62 Henry Rd, Eastsound) from 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Saturday March 11th – Lopez Island, Lopez Community Center (204 Village Rd, Lopez Village) 1:15pm-2:15pm  

Thanks a Million 

Representative Rick Larsen visited San Juan Island on January 20 to celebrate the recent procurement of $5.28 million in federal funds to create a trail between the Town of Friday Harbor and the Zylstra Lake Preserve. County Councilmembers and employees joined the congressman in a visit to the preserve.

“Thanks to the unwavering support of Congressman Rick Larsen, the long planned for and much discussed Zylstra Lake trail is now a reality,” said County Manager Mike Thomas. “The Congressional appropriation will fund a 2.5 mile walking and cycling pathway where residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy 285 acres of habitat and trails in a truly unique and unforgettable island setting.”

Health Headlines

The Health and Community Services Department launched a new oral health program for school-age children. The department will provide ‘Smile Checks’ - quick, one-minute look-in-the-mouth checks to identify cavities, infections, or the need for preventive dental services.

Smile Checks and oral health education have been/will be provided to each school district on the following dates:  

January 20 at the Orcas Island School District

January 25 at the Lopez Island School District

February 1 and 8 at the San Juan Island School District

Make your Mark on Fair History 

It is with great excitement that San Juan County announces the 2023 Fair theme: “Dancing with the Steers,” a play on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars.” With this in mind, the SJC Fair invites all interested artists to submit art for the 2023 poster. Show off your creative ideas of what “Dancing with the Steers” looks like! Participants must email submissions to by January 30, 2023. Visit or call 360-378-4310 for assistance.

Open Registrations 

The Parks, Recreation, and Fair Department is offering advanced camping reservations for year-round San Juan County residents beginning January 25 at 6:00 am until February 8 at 4:00 pm. This two-week window is your chance to reserve private, individual campsites early! Choose from San Juan, Odlin or Shaw County Parks or the San Juan County Fairgrounds (RVs only). Contact the Parks, Recreation, and Fair Department for more information.

The Auditor’s Office is now selling dog licenses for 2023. All dogs in San Juan County are required to be licensed annually. The current fees are $15 for dogs that are spayed or neutered and $40 for “natural” canines. A late fee of $10 applies to licenses purchased after March 31, 2023. Add a photo of your dog for an additional $5 per year, which will display when the dog’s license number is looked up. Contact the Auditor’s Office for more information.

Learn more about the County’s recent news by visiting:

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