About Us

Saving Cherished Places

The Bureau of Land Management owns and manages cherished spots in the San Juan Islands. We want to ensure long-term protection of these lands by having them permanently designated as Conservation Lands.
 

 

An Effort with Deep Roots - A Landscape with Repeated Threats

When the BLM designated Iceberg Point and Point Colville as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) in June 1990, they reported that "Over ten years ago public lands under the jurisdiction of BLM on Iceberg point and Point Colville were proposed for disposal."1 The proposed "disposal" of these treasured lands was met with public outcry and the land was saved, for the time being. The BLM managed the lands as de-facto Natural Areas with no formal designation until a public planning process began in 1987 which led to the ACEC designations.
 
Separately, in March of 1989, the Lopez Island community came together and gathered 600 signatures in 10 days on a petition requesting a moratorium on logging 120 acres of Washington State Department of Natural Resources land on Chadwick Hill. A group of volunteers called The Friends of Chadwick was formed. Having built a supportive relationship with BLM, the community began a ten year campaign to acquire and conserve Chadwick Hill and Watmough Bay as additions to the BLM land at Point Colville. This was largely accomplished through a series of Land and Water Conservation Fund acquisitions between 1992 and 19992. Conservation acquisitions by the San Juan County Land Bank and the San Juan Preservation Trust have continued conservation in the area into the 21st century3.

In 2009 a few of the original Friends of Chadwick members learned that more secure long-term protection was now possible through Conservation Lands status and the legislative designation of a National Conservation Area. They also recognized that while the BLM owned and managed a total of about 1000 acres in the San Juan Islands, only the 450 acres in the ACECs were under a conservation management plan. More people were brought into the effort and that group soon reached out to the entire community for help.
 
Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument (a.k.a. Islanders for the San Juan Islands Conservation Area) is that core group of island residents. As visitors, neighbors and stewards of these lands we've seen their popularity increase over the years. We've also watched while other public lands have been sold off by government agencies or local island groups have scrambled to protect public lands threatened with sale.

Our goal isn't change. It is stability. We want to ensure that our children and grandchildren will enjoy the same wonderful archipelago that we have been privileged to enjoy.
 
Help us ensure the long-term protection of these lands we love.

Steering committee members: Russel Barsh, Lincoln Bormann, Carla Chalker, Tom Cowan, Nancy McCoy, Cynthia Dilling, Linda Hudson, Asha Lela, Madrona Murphy, Bob Myhr, Sally Reeve, Tom Reeve, Tim Seifert, Dave Zeretzke