FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 25, 2013
Mark Westlund, San Francisco, (415) 977-5719
Dan Ritzman, Washington State, (206) 378-0114 x311
Sierra Club Commends Creation of San Juan Islands National Monument
Washington, DC: President Obama today designated a collection of more than 60 Bureau of Land Management sites on the Pacific Northwest’s San Juan Islands archipelago as San Juan Islands National Monument. The sites are widely recognized for their important recreational, ecological, historical and cultural resources, which draw thousands of visitors each year.
“We’re pleased that President Obama has used his authority to recognize and permanently protect this important piece of America as a national monument,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “The sites of San Juan Islands National Monument represent historic sites and a unique and beloved Pacific Northwest landscape, both valuable parts of our public lands that everyone can now experience in perpetuity.”
The archipelago includes dozens of small islands and reefs. These safe havens are home to one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles, harbor seals and a host of rare plants; ancient fishing sites and old lighthouses dot the small islands. Within the monument are important breeding grounds for birds and other wildlife as well as numerous historic and sites and tourist hot spots, like reef-net cabins at Kellett Bluff and the Cattle Point lighthouse.
“By designating these lands as a national monument President Obama has secured the future of these lands that we love, while maintaining access for recreation and tourism,” said Margie Van Cleve, chair of the Washington State Sierra Club. “This monument is good news for our community, our economy and our environment.”
The designation comes after more than 150 local businesses expressed their support to President Obama for protection of these unique public lands, as did the local county council and visitors’ bureau, alongside hundreds of other supporters.
“America’s proud tradition of protecting public lands is what allows people from all walks of life to enjoy the many spectacular parks, national monuments and forests we have today. We hope that President Obama will continue to carry on this tradition by protecting other natural wonders as national monuments,” said Brune.
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