Media / Contact

Press Releases

San Juan Preservation Trust Press Release: Local Land Trusts Applaud Creation of San Juan Islands National Monument (March 21, 2013)
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Press Release: Obama to Declare National Monument in the San Juan Islands (March 22, 2013)
Environment Washington Press Release: President Obama Protects Islands within the San Juans (March 22, 2013)
Vet Voice Foundation Press Release: Veterans Cheer Designation of San Juan Islands National Monument (March 22, 2013)
Conservation Lands Foundation Press Release: Designation of Five New National Monuments to Benefit Local Communities (March 25, 2013)


Elected Official Voices:

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee -

The local community has worked for years to care for the Bureau of Land Management’s holdings in the San Juan Islands. This designation will ensure the permanent protection of these spectacular lands, and for all of us who appreciate the beauty and recreational opportunities that the San Juan Islands offer. I commend President Obama and Secretary Salazar for their commitment to the protection of these treasured resources for years to come.

San Juan County Council Chair Jamie Stephens -

The communities in these islands now look forward to working with the Bureau of Land Management to develop and carry out a management plan that protects these valuable natural and cultural sites.

State Senator Kevin Ranker: 40th District, Former San Juan County Commissioner, Advisor to President Obama’s National Oceans Council -

The permanent conservation of these natural and recreational resources means more than just preserving the beauty of our landscape, it’s also about maintaining our way of life and economic well-being. The San Juan Islands are a very special place for thousands of Washingtonians and tourists alike. All of us should do everything we can to make sure that our country lives up to our children's expectations. By protecting these critical natural areas we are protecting thousands of jobs and industries that depend on them while preserving these brilliant vistas for our children and grandchildren. I applaud President Obama and Secretary Salazar for seizing this rare opportunity to create a National Monument from one thousand precious acres that my daughter and future generations will continue to enjoy for decades.

State Representative Jeff Morris: 40th District -

The President has respected the will of the local community by ensuring the permanent protection of these federal holdings. This move will preserve some of the spectacular scenery, historic lighthouses and recreational opportunities that make the San Juan Islands a vibrant place to visit and to live.

State Representative Kristine Lytton: 40th District -

This action protects key elements of the ecological and economic web that keeps our area strong. From recreational outfitters and guides to lodging owners in the islands and in our gateway communities, many people rely on the scenic and recreational appeal of the San Juan Islands for their livelihood. This designation will help protect that part of our local economy.

Volunteer Voices:

Tim Clark: Lopez Island Conservation Corps -

The Lopez Island Conservation Corps has worked on BLM lands for over five years in an effort to keep those lands pristine. With National Monument status, their work seems even more worthwhile. Our youth can rest easy in knowing that those same BLM lands will be available for the next generation.

Asha Lela: Chair, Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument -

Thank you, Mr. President. We are very grateful to now have permanent protection for these treasured BLM lands. The community has had a loud supporting voice and looks forward to working with the BLM with this designation. For all, it means that future generations now have the promise of enjoying these lands.

Wendy Mickle: volunteer BLM monitor -

As a volunteer monitor for around 20 years, I’m continually struck by how fortunate we have been to have these lands preserved and available for all to enjoy. Whether it’s a solitary walk on a stormy day or the enjoyment of seeing visiting families play on the beach, a picnic with friends or just being stunned once again by their beauty, they always offer something special. This designation will keep these lands as a lasting resource for our community and our visitors.

Mike Jonas: Turn Point Lighthouse Preservation Society -

We are normally very conservative and desire less government in our lives, but we believe that in this case the protections of these lands for future citizens to enjoy is essential. We and other volunteers have put in thousands of hours in restoring the 1893 Turn Point Light Station and facilities on Stuart Island. These beautiful lands and historic structures, are vital to promote educational and historic opportunity for generations to come, and deserve the national monument designation. The beauty is, it's a win-win situation, as the lands are already federal property, so there is no change, just protection of the status quo.

Amanda Wedrow: Program Leader of the Lopez Island Conservation Corps, Biologist for the Iceberg Point marine bird monitoring project -

The Lopez Island Conservation Corps has been working with the BLM for six years to give local teenagers outdoor jobs and train them to become stewards of our public lands. Youth that participate in the LICC summer program develop a sense of ownership and pride in our landscape. Our crews enjoy working on BLM lands because habitat diversity, beautiful scenery, meaningful conservation projects and an opportunity to be directly involved in management. We are excited about the National Monument designation which will support continuing local youth involvement and leadership.

Carla Chalker: Co-President of Keepers of the Patos Light -

As docents with Keepers of the Patos Light, we have the opportunity to meet with many visitors to Patos Island. Our visitors come from all over the world to visit the San Juan Islands. Patos Island is often said to be their "favorite" island because of its natural beauty, serenity and old growth forest, not to mention the beautifully restored 109 year old lighthouse. We agree with our visitors that Patos Island is "a magical place" and are incredibly grateful to President Obama for his action. Permanent protection will ensure that future generations may continue to visit this lovely island and wonderful lighthouse.

Michael Reeve: Lopez Island High School student, member of the Lopez Island Conservation Corps –

As a high school senior heading off to college, and having grown up exploring Iceberg Point, I am very thankful the President took action to permanently protect these special lands and keep them available for kids to discover. I know the lands will be well managed and preserved so I can come back to these places. I worked with the Lopez Island Conservation Corp last summer on the BLM lands, saw the varied habitats and watched many neighbors and visitors enjoying these places. From Watmough Bay to Patos Island, these are amazing places to explore.

Charlie Janeway: volunteer BLM monitor -

It’s very exciting to me to think that the beautiful BLM lands that I help monitor on Lopez Island will become a National Monument securing them from development forever. It is a privilege to be able to walk these trails on a scheduled monthly basis in all types of weather from season to season. Each outing brings a sense of peace and renewal. I want to thank all of those folks who have worked so hard to help preserve these exquisite lands for my grandchildren and their grandchildren to enjoy.

Kirman Taylor: Co-founder, Lopez Community Trails Network -

The BLM lands of the San Juan Islands contrast sharply with other BLM managed lands. Here is enduring beauty with views of mountains and water, meadows, forests and flowers; animals abound with eagles above, deer and otters, orcas and salmon. This designation will allow us to continue to enjoy these unspoiled lands, protecting their unique natural beauty forever. This is a tribute to the efforts of our community, our governor, Secretary Salazar, our Congressional Representatives and Senators who passionately believed in preserving this awe-inspiring landscape.

Community Voices:

Susan Vernon: Author of Rainshadow World: A Naturalist’s Year in the San Juan Islands, Former Executive Director of the Whale Museum, co-founder of the San Juan nature Institute, and consulting naturalist for the National Park Service -

This is great news for nearly a thousand acres of vitally important wildlife habitat in the San Juan Islands. I am especially happy about Cattle Point where eagles soar, owls nest in the willow grove, culturally iconic wildflowers bloom, and otters and mink forage along the rocky shoreline of the Salish Sea. The rare island marble butterfly - poised on the brink of extinction - will have secure breeding sites, and migrating songbirds and dragonflies will continue to find safe haven at Cattle Point as they navigate the Pacific Flyway on their journeys south. The very soul of this rich and treasured place is now protected for the ages.

Stephanie Buffum: Executive Director, Friends of the San Juans -

The San Juans are an international treasure. The designation of the islands as a National Monument celebrates a natural heritage that has been carved by glaciers and lives on the wings of eagles and the fins of the orca.

Tom Cowan: Past Chair of San Juan County Land Bank Commission, Washington State Transportation Commissioner, Former San Juan County Commissioner, Former Director of the Northwest Straits Commission, Former Assistant Director of the Puget Sound Action Team -

The local BLM lands have a deep importance to our local community. They are part of our history and part of our daily lives. The community has been caring for these lands for decades. Designating them as a National Monument ensures that the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving them is as strong as ours.

Bob Myhr: Former San Juan County Council Member, Former Executive Director of the San Juan Preservation Trust –

Interior Secretary Salazar has committed himself to giving our most treasured public lands the protection they deserve. He heard the community’s request and dedicated himself to working with Congressman Larsen and Senator Cantwell to ensure these lands got this protection and that the BLM was a collaborative partner with other conservation groups in the San Juans. The San Juan Islands National Monument will be a tribute to his efforts as Secretary and a fitting piece of his legacy.

Cynthia Dilling: Friends of Chadwick, Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument -

Creating permanent protection for these lands has been our goal since we started working with the BLM in 1989.

Tom Reeve: adjoining land owner, member of Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument -

Adding these lands to BLM’s National Conservation Lands ensures their permanent protection both locals and visitors. This is the result of determined work by Congressman Rick Larsen, Senator Maria Cantwell, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and our county council responding to the goals of the community that cares so deeply about these lands. We are incredibly grateful for all of their efforts.

Tim Seifert: Executive Director, San Juan Preservation Trust -

The properties now protected by National Monument status have long been essential to our network of conserved lands in the San Juan Islands. In addition to sheltering priority plant and wildlife habitat, these special places provide both residents and visitors with recreational opportunities that are vital to our way of life here in the islands. We have enjoyed a close working relationship with the BLM for many years, and we look forward to participating as they engage our island community to manage these extraordinary public lands.

Chuck Schietinger: Physicist, instructor at Spring Street International School in Friday Harbor, member of the Salmon Recovery Board Technical Advisory Group -

These lands are an important part of what makes these islands special. I hear from my students how important these lands are to them and their families. And I know the educational value of having these diverse environments and rich cultural heritage in our community. This National Monument designation will ensure that the community can continue to enjoy these jewels, and that our children can continue to learn from them. The protection of these lands gives our children reason to hope.

Joe Gaydos: Chief Scientist for the SeaDoc Society, a program of the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center -

This designation will protect places that are very important habitat for marine birds and include important harbor seal haul out sites. These sites shelter shorelines that provide habitat for a wealth of marine life. Permanently protecting these federal lands as a National Monument leaves a legacy that will help ensure the health of our marine fish and wildlife as well as our economy, which is dependent on that ecosystem.

Lincoln Bormann: Director, San Juan County Land Bank -

Being in a place so sought after for its beauty and sense of connection to the natural world, this designation highlights the community's commitment to conserving and managing what we've got for present and future generations.

Bill Evans: Superintendent, Lopez Island School District -

Local students take advantage of the unique natural features of our islands to study, work and play. They enjoy the recreational, cultural, and environmental health benefits of this land. Our students will benefit greatly from the permanent protection of our natural resources.

Business Voices:

Clark Casebolt: Founder of Outdoor Odysseys Kayak Tours -

In 25 years of guiding sea kayaking trips in the San Juan Islands I have shared this landscape and its wildlife with people from all over the world. Protecting these amazing places will help ensure that small businesses like ours can continue to thrive and provide solid jobs for people in the islands.

Barbara Marrett: Communications Manager, San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau -

Conservation is not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense. Our outdoor industry supports hundreds of jobs in the county. Open spaces, a healthy environment and a strong stewardship ethic, in turn, support the viability of many local businesses and attract thousands of visitors to the San Juan Islands. President Obama’s decision to protect these iconic lands, while allowing our community a voice in their management, helps bolster and sustain our local economy in perpetuity. We are grateful for this gift to islanders, visitors and future generations.


The following photos of the BLM lands in the San Juan Islands are available for use in media coverage of this effort. Click photo for full resolution downloadable version. Please credit the photographer of any photo you use.
These images are made available for use to local, regional, and national media organizations in publicizing, both in print and electronically, the announcement of the new San Juan Islands National Monument. This grant of usage right restricts the use of these images solely to editorial or reporting use by press. The images cannot be used to promote or sell any service or product.

Watmough Bight
(photo credit - Steve Horn)

Watmough Bight (photo credit - Steve Horn)

Iceberg Point, Lopez Island
(photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Iceberg Point, Lopez Island (photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Patos Island
(photo credit - Linda Hudson)

Patos Island (photo credit - Linda Hudson)

Iceberg Point shoreline, Lopez Island
(photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Iceberg Point shoreline, Lopez island (photo credit - Tom Reeve)

 Patos Island sunset
(photo credit - Linda Hudson)

Patos Island sunset (photo credit - Linda Hudson)

Kayaks at Iceberg Point, Lopez Island
(photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Kayaks at Iceberg Point, Lopez Island (photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Patos Island Light
(photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Patos Island Light (photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Patos Island
(photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Patos Island (photo credit - Tom Reeve)

Iceberg Point, Lopez Island
(photo credit - Michael Reeve)

Iceberg Point bird survey (photo credit - Michael Reeve)


Media Contacts

Members of the media can reach representatives of Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument by email at We can put you in touch with local citizens, business people, elected officials and conservationists who would be happy to talk to the press about this effort.

As an informal volunteer group we have no office phone number, but members of the media can reach the group via Tom or Sally Reeve, Lopez Island, 360-468-3270. The media can also contact Meghan Kissell, Conservation Lands Foundation, 571-643-3526 - the Conservation Lands Foundation has been supportive of our work and knows how to reach us.

General Contact

You may contact us via email using,
or send us mail the old-fashioned way at:

Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Conservation Area
PO Box 484
Lopez Island, WA 98261

And you can 'like' us on Facebook at