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Outreach and Press

[Resources for journalists interested in this effort can be found on our media page.]

Celebrating the San Juan Islands National Monument

Secretary Salazar, Senator Cantwell, Congressman Larsen and Congresswoman DelBene celebrated the monument designation with an event in Anacortes on April 1st, 2013. There was a local community celebration on Lopez Island later that day. Both were standing-room-only gatherings. In addition, there were many editorials praising the President's action and the lands that it protected.
Islands Weekly: TLC for Iceberg Point (June 2, 2014)
Islands Sounder: The return of the oystercatchers (June 1, 2014)
CLM Internship Program: Botany by Boat: Plant Inventory in the San Juan Island [sic] (May 28, 2014)
Journal of the San Juans: BLM to host 'gatherings' for input on monument (May 23, 2014)
Daily Kos: The Daily Bucket: blooming at Iceberg (May 1, 2014)
CLM Internship Program: Spring Botany in the San Juan Islands (April 25, 2014)
Journal of the San Juans: 'Hands-on, Feet Wet'; marine education program for teens (April 18, 2014)
Journal of the San Juans: While time flies, partnerships prevail (April 5, 2013)
The preservation effort for the National Monument designation recognized the uniqueness of the islands and their role in Puget Sound's health
Journal of the San Juans: Exxon Valdez: lessons learned? (April 3, 2014)
The day made infamous by the ship Exxon Valdez marks one of the darkest days in Pacific Northwest history; the National Monument designation day marks one of the shiniest.
Everett Herald: Must keep natural legacy (March 26, 2014)
Islands Weekly: The task of managing a monument (March 20, 2014)
Journal of the San Juans: Monument: premium placed on partnerships (March 18, 2014)
Islands Sounder: The task of managing a monument (March 18, 2014)
Island Guardian: Meet and Greet Nat. Monument Manager (March 10, 2014)
San Juan Update: Meet & Greet with New BLM Nat'l Monument Manager (March 5, 2014)
Islands Sounder: Nat'l Monument manager hired (March 5, 2014)
Journal of the San Juans: Meet-n'-greet with National Monument manager (March 5, 2014)
Islands Weekly: Nat'l Monument manager hired (March 4, 2014)
Orcas Issues: Meet & Greet for New National Monument Manager (February 27, 2014)
Living on Earth: Presidential Pen Creating National Monuments (February 14, 2014)
Islands Sounder: National Monument committee seeks members (February 13, 2014)
San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce: National Monument Advisory Committee (February 11, 2014)
Island Guardian: National Monument Manager Marcia deChadenedes (January 30, 2014)
Islands Sounder: BLM manager for San Juans (January 29, 2014)
Journal of the San Juans: deChadenedes named manager of SJIs National Monument (January 25, 2014)
Huffington Post: 10 Historic Places That Were 'Saved' in 2013 (January 1, 2014)
Islands Weekly: Top ten stories of 2013 (December 31, 2013)
National Trust for Historic Preservation: 10 Preservation Wins in 2013 (December 30, 2013)
Journal of the San Juans: Top Ten Stories of 2013: No. 6; A 'Monumental' designation (December 26, 2013)
EcoNews: 11 Wilderness Victories in 2013 (December 19, 2013)
Conservation Lands Foundation: Running for the Conservation Lands Foundation Comes to Seattle (November 25, 2013)
San Juan Islander: Now is the time for input on management of National Monument (September 30, 2013)
Journal of the San Juans: A National Monument in the making (September 25, 2013)
Island Guardian: National Monument Meetings This Week (September 23, 2013)
Journal of the San Juans: Rick Larsen; Hospital District Election (August 28, 2013)
Seattle PI: Sally Jewell: Locked in Obama Cabinet? (August 19, 2013)
Seattle Magazine: Easy Island Getaways: Monumental Summer [PDF] (August, 2013)
My Public Lands: experience san juan islands national monument (July 11, 2013)
Public Radio International: New monuments join National Park System this summer (July 9, 2013)
Journal of the San Juans: It's here; your guide to outdoor adventure (July 3, 2013)
Alaska Airlines Magazine: San Juan Islands Getaways (June, 2013)
CityWeekly.net: Good Climate for Monuments (April 24, 2013)
Senator Maria Cantwell Press Release: Cantwell Applauds New Additions to San Juan Island National Historical Park (April 21, 2013)
First Peoples Worldwide: President Obama Protects Native American Heritage Sites (April 18, 2013)
Reading the Washington Landscape: San Juan Islands National Monument - Whatcom County Sector (April 17, 2013)
The Dalles Chronicle: San Juan Islands: High On Everyone's List (April 13, 2013)
The Wenatchee World: San Juan Islands high on everyone's list (April 13, 2013)
Seattle PI: San Juan Islands high on everyone's list (April 13, 2013)
Idaho Press-Tribune: San Juan Islands high on everyone's list (April 13, 2013)
Islands Sounder: Journey to monumental status (April 11, 2013)
The Columbian: In Our View: Cheers & Jeers (April 6, 2013)
Reading the Washington Landscape: San Juan Islands National Monument Map (April 6, 2013)
Vet Voice Foundation: Dedication of the San Juan Islands National Monument (April 4, 2013)
Washington Post: 17 photos that make you appreciate America (April 4, 2013)
Times Standard: Protect more national treasures (April 4, 2013)
Salish Sea Communications: When The People Lead, Leaders Will Follow (April 3, 2013)
High Country News: On setting aside new national monuments (April 2, 2013)
Islands Sounder: Thanks for National Monument status (April 2, 2013)
Environment Washington: Day Filled With Events To Commemorate New National Monument (April 2, 2013)
San Juan Islander: National Monument celebrated April 1 (April 2, 2013)
Journal of the San Juans: Springsteen to headline National Monument Concert (April Fools Day, 2013)
Seattle Times: A Monumental Picture (April 1, 2013)
Examiner.com: San Juan Islands National Monument dedicated (April 1, 2013)
The News Tribune: Leaders celebrate San Juan Islands preservation (April 1, 2013)
The Washington Post story is an example of many outlets across the country that picked up the same AP story.
Salish Sea Communications: Salazar Brings Gift of 'Monument' to San Juans (April Fools Day, 2013)
Yakima Herald: Hastings' monumental mistake (April 1, 2013)
Seattle Times: Obama makes San Juan Islands a national monument (March 31, 2013)
San Juan Island Update: National Monument Parties (March 30, 2013)
Journal of the San Juans: Two National Monument celebrations, on Monday (March 30, 2013)
President Obama’s designation of federal land on the San Juan Islands as a national monument is a point of pride for the entire state.

San Juan Islands National Monument is Created - March 25, 2013

On March 21st news came out that President Obama would designate the BLM lands of the San Juan Islands as a national monument as of March 25th. The announcement and signing received significant press nationally. Below is a sampling.
Seattle Times: Obama gives San Juan Islands monument protection (March 28, 2013)
Canoe & Kayak: San Juan Islands Designated National Monument (March 27, 2013)
Sierra Club: Wild: San Juan Islands National Monument (March 27, 2013)
New York Times: Obama's Public Lands Record (March 27, 2013)
Washington Kayak Club: San Juan Islands National Monument Established (March 26, 2013)
National Trust for Historic Preservation: America's Antiquities Act Makes History with Five New National Monuments (March 26, 2013)
Everett Herald: Ensuring a natural legacy (March 26, 2013)
We need to know the music of the beaches and the woods, the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote. So it is forever with the San Juan Islands National Monument.
San Juan Islander: San Juan Island Voted Top Island by TripAdvisor (March 26, 2013)
Washington Trails Association: Hike the New San Juan Islands National Monument (March 25, 2013)
RTT News: Obama Proclaims Five New Monuments (March 25, 2013)
Nature Travel Network: 5 New National Monuments to Add to Your U.S. Travel List (March 25, 2013)
This has been a long time in the works, and we islanders are celebrating, as are other folks who love and value nature!
Everett Herald: National recognition for an understated Gem (March 25, 2013)
Newser: US Creates 5 New National Monuments (March 25, 2013)
Environmental News Service: Obama Creates Five National Monuments to 'Benefit All Americans" (March 25, 2013)
 “By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come.”
Smithsonian: Obama Dedicates Five New National Monuments (March 25, 2013)
Conservation Lands Foundation Press Release: Designation of Five New National Monuments to Benefit Local Communities (March 25, 2013)
KGMI Radio Bellingham: San Juan Islands Become National Monument (March 25, 2013)
Public News Service: San Juans Gain National Monument Status (March 25, 2013)
Linda de Lopez (blog): It's Happening at Last! (March 23, 2013)
Philadelphia Inquirer: Obama to designate 5 national monuments (March 23, 2013)
Spokesman-Review: Obama to preserve San Juan key sites (March 23, 2013)
Fox News Latino: Obama Plans to Designates 5 New National Monuments (March 23, 2013)
Washington Post:  Obama to designate national monuments in 5 states (March 23, 2013)
Huffington Post: Preserving National Treasures (March 22, 2013)
KHQ: Obama to designate national monument in Washington (March 22, 2013)
Environment Washington Press Release: President Obama Protects Islands within the San Juans (March 22, 2013)
MSN Travel (Canada): Obama to designate 5 national monuments (March 22, 2013)
Vet Voice Foundation Press Release: Veterans Cheer Designation of San Juan Islands National Monument (March 22, 2013)
As the latest addition to our National Conservation Lands, this monument will ensure the local economy stays strong by protecting important cultural and historical areas and safeguarding the natural areas and recreational opportunities on the public lands in the San Juan Islands.
MyNorthwest.com: San Juan Islands to become National Monument (March 22, 2013)
KGMI 790 Bellingham: Areas Of San Juan Islands Designated National Monument (March 22, 2013)
Mother Nature Network: U.S. to create 5 new national monuments (March 22, 2013)
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Press Release: Obama to Declare National Monument in the San Juan Islands (March 22, 2013)
The Detroit News: Obama to designate five national monuments (March 22, 2013)
San Francisco Chronicle: Obama to designate 5 national monuments (March 22, 2013)
San Juan Islander: Federal lands in San Juans now National Monument (March 22, 2013)
San Juan Islander: Murray applauds National Monument designation for SJIs (March 22, 2013)
San Juan Preservation Trust: National Monument Status for San Juans (March 22, 2013)
New York Times: Obama to Name New National Monuments (March 22, 2013)
The Kansas City Star: Obama to designate 5 national monuments (March 22, 2013)
Salon: Obama to designate 5 national monuments (March 22, 2013)
The Kansas City Star and Salon listings are just two examples of many outlets across the country that picked up the same AP story.
Michigan Chronicle: President Obama to designate Harriet Tubman park a national monument (March 22, 2013)
Island Guardian: "BLM Lands Become A National Monumet" (March 22, 2013)
Albuquerque Journal: New National Monument (subscription) (March 22, 2013)
The Grio: President Obama to designate Harriet Tubman park a national monument (March 22, 2013)
EarthFix: President Obama Set To Create National Monument In Washington's San Juan Islands (March 21, 2013)
San Juan Preservation Trust Press Release: Local Land Trusts Applaud Creation of San Juan Islands National Monument (March 21, 2013)
“This is a great idea and I’m glad the president is making the designation,” said Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville.  “I know about this place, having a home out there. People come there from all over the world.  The natural and historic quality of the islands is unsurpassed.”

A new term starts in Washington, D.C. - early 2013

As Congress started a new session and President Obama entered his second term, the community's desire to protect these lands continued to grow. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who was a great friend of this effort announced that he would step down as of March. Supporters suggested that completing the permanent protection of these precious places would be a great part of his legacy. Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, Congressman Larsen and Congresswoman DelBene sent a joint letter to President Obama asking him to act during Salazar's term. Congressman Larsen also wrote a letter to Secretary Salazar with similar sentiments. The delegation appeal to act was joined by Governor Jay Inslee in his own letter to the President.
 
In February President Obama nominated Sally Jewell to succeed Salazar. As confirmation hearings were held for Jewell in March, the congressional delegation from northwest Washington re-introduced legislation to protect the BLM lands as the San Juan Islands National Conservation Area.
Huffington Post: Sally Jewell: From REI to DOI? (March 14, 2013)
As the "Conservation in the West" polling data shows, people in the West understand the value of protecting these special places. A national monument generates economic and recreational value for nearby communities, and it keeps doing so in perpetuity.
Seattle PI: Alpine Lakes: A milestone and a millstone (March 14, 2013)
Sierra Club: Sally Jewell: From REI to DOI? (March 13, 2013)
KGMI 790 Bellingham: Lawmakers Push protection for San Juan Islands (March 11, 2013)
Friday Harbor Now: Protect the San Juan Islands (March 9, 2013)
GoSkagit.com:  Lawmakers push for protection of San Juans land (March 7, 2013)
Crosscut: The Daily Troll (March 7, 2013)
Seattle PI: Bill introduced to protect San Juans (March 7, 2013)
Whether through action by Congress or the President, the federal government should answer the Islanders' calls to permanently protect these lands for the enjoyment by all.
Whether through this legislation or a presidential designation, we must preserve these cherished federal lands on the San Juan Islands. This dual-track approach is the best way to ensure we answer the local community's call to preserve this land for future generations to enjoy.
Adventure NW: San Juan Islands National Monument? (p. 8) (February 27, 2013)
Salish Sea Communications: Governor Jay's Valentine's Day Note to President Barack (February 21, 2013)
Seattle PI: U.S. 'green' scoreboard: Republicans flunk (February 20, 2013)
Everett Herald: A cabinet chief with pull (February 10, 2013)
The San Juan Islands National Monument is a no-brainer.
San Juan Islander: Washington CEO as Interior Secretary? (February 8, 2013)
It would be wonderful if Salazar finished up his legacy and declared the national monument before he left.
Public News Service: Washington CEO as Interior Secretary? (February 8, 2013)
Linda de Lopez (blog): A National Monument Designation, Perhaps? (February 6, 2013)
Congressman Rick Larsen Press Release: Larsen Statement on Nomination of Sally Jewell to Lead Interior Department (February 6, 2013)
I look forward to working with Sally on issues important to our economy and environment, starting with the designation of the San Juan Islands National Monument.
KGMI 790 Bellingham: Senators Tell Obama To Approve San Juan Monument (January 29, 2013)
E&E News: Wash. lawmakers urge Obama to designate San Juan Islands monument (subscription) (January 29, 2013)
Senator Maria Cantwell Press Release: NW Washington Delegation Urges President Obama to Protect Lands on San Juan Islands (January 29, 2013)
Congressman Rick Larsen Press Release: NW Washington Delegation Urges President Obama to Protect Lands on San Juan Islands (January 29, 2013)
Greenwire: Salazar has long list of unfinished business (January 17, 2013)
Salazar may pressure the White House to designate a national monument ... on BLM-managed islands off the coast of Washington state
Senator Maria Cantwell Press Release: Cantwell Statement on Retirement of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (January 17, 2013)

Continued outreach toward a National Monument - Fall 2012

TattooThe San Juan County Economic Development Council voted in September to endorse the effort to protect the BLM lands in the San Juan Islands. Two national monument designations elsewhere by President Obama generated additional editorial interest in a monument here.
 
Environment Washington seized on Senator Cantwell's quote about doing everything short of getting a tattoo to show her support for a monument. They worked with a local artist to create a temporary tattoo that they distributed throughout the Puget Sound area and posted hundreds of photos of tattooed supporters on the Department of Interior's Facebook page.
 
Supportive op-eds were run by the Seattle Times and by the Puget Sound Business Journal in October.
Treehugger: 10 Environmental Victories of 2012 (December 21, 2012)
Lake Stevens Journal: San Juan Island Residents Seek Presidential 'Autograph' (November 9, 2012)
Public News Service: San Juan Island Residents Seek Presidential "Autograph" (November 9, 2012)
This Public News Service story ran on over a dozen different radio stations across the state.
San Juan Islander: San Juan Island Residents Seek Presidential "Autograph" (November 8, 2012)
Islands Sounder: A look at Indian Island and East Sound (November 1, 2012)
Keepers of the Patos Light: Hundreds get tattoos showing support! (November 1, 2012)
Keepers of the Patos Light: Salazar, Cantwell push to protect San Juan Islands (November 1, 2012)
Sierra Club Blog: It's Time for a San Juan Island National Monument (November 1, 2012)
Bellingham Herald: Supports San Juan national monument (October 15, 2012)
Puget Sound Business Journal: Why this election matters to the outdoors sector (October 12, 2012)
Our Newsletter: What national monument comes next? (October 2, 2012)
Journal of the San Juans: Tattoo artist shines in national debate (October 2, 2012)
Islands Sounder: Tattoos for land preservation (October 2, 2012)
Seattle PI: Obama: A monument in California, nothing here (October 1, 2012)
San Juan Islander: Cattle Point (October 1, 2012)
Biologically rich habitats on the island continue to disappear and so this 26-acres of BLM property takes on even greater meaning for wildlife and to those of us that walk the trails, marvel at the spectacular views, share special times here with family and friends, and perhaps take a moment to remember how lucky we are to live in such a special part of the world.
Environment Washington: Congressman Larsen Gets Tattoo for San Juans (September 29, 2012)
Seattle PI: Seldom-seen Cantwell in rare public appearance (September 28, 2012)
Seattle PI: Put on a tattoo for the San Juans (September 27, 2012)
Seattle PI: The Obama campaign: Admission required (September 25, 2012)
Friday Harbor Now: Chimney Rock Press Could Help Protect the San Juans (September 22, 2012)

By creating a San Juans National Monument, President Obama could ensure that some of our state’s most beautiful shoreline is preserved for future generations.

Seattle PI: Colorado gets monument: What about us? (September 21, 2012)
Crosscut.com: San Juans monument debate shows islands' fault lines (September 21, 2012)
Our Newsletter: Progress Update on National Monument Designation (September 8, 2012) 

Congressional and Grassroots Efforts - Summer 2012

Rick Larsen
Representative Larsen kicked off the summer by writing a letter asking the administration to move forward with a monument designation.
 
The combined efforts of Environment Washington and the Dave Matthews Band generated over 2,000 additional letters from individuals to the administration.
The Sierra Club sent an action alert in July to its members in Washington which generated over 3,000 emails to President Obama - a state record for the club.
 
The Washington Tourism Alliance sent a letter in support of our efforts citing the economic benefits of the landscape. We hosted a visit to the BLM lands with some of Congressman Larsen's staff and regional leadership from the Bureau of Land Management. We had a booth at the San Juan County Fair in Friday Harbor which was visited by Senator Maria Cantwell and State Senator Kevin Ranker among many others - both locals and visitors.
 
Having started the summer with a letter from Representative Larsen to the administration, we finished with a letter from Senators Cantwell and Murray expressing their support for a national monument designation.
Senator Kevin Ranker eNews: San Juan Islands National Monument is a Regional Opportunity (August 22, 2012)
Reading the Washington Landscape (blog): Update on San Juan Islands NCA or Will it be a National Monument? (August 22, 2012)
Islands Weekly: Cantwell back to the beginning (August 20, 2012)
Pressed whether she’s done everything she could to convince the president to sign that order, Cantwell said she’d done everything but “get a tattoo” to show the president she supported the idea.
San Juan Islander: New Support for National Monument Status (August 17, 2012)
Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) has joined 150 local businesses, the San Juan County Council, League of Women Voters, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, Governor Christine Gregoire, the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Conservation Area and other community leaders in encouraging permanent protection for 955 acres of Bureau of Land Management public-lands in the islands through presidential proclamation as a National Monument.
Everett Herald: Obama needs to act, now (August 12, 2012)
Bellingham Herald: Backs protection for San Juan Islands (August 8, 2012)
DelBene said she supports having President Obama designate 955 acres of federal land in the San Juan Islands - including several famous beauty spots - as a national monument.
Seattle PI: President Obama and Patos Island (July 20, 2012)
Larsen's letter to Salazar joins similar letters from local citizens, businesses, the San Juan County Council, the Skagit County Board of Commissioners and Governor Christine Gregoire urging President Obama to issue an executive order under the Antiquities Act to preserve nearly 60 small sites and islands, including three lighthouses, in the archipelago of the San Juan Islands.
Seattle PI: Larsen to Obama: Get moving on Monument (June 11, 2012)
“Partisan opposition to the movement of any public lands legislation” has blocked its passage in Congress, Larsen told Salazar.
Congressman Rick Larsen Press Release: Larsen: Designate National Monument in San Juan Islands (June 11, 2012) 

Support for a National Monument - Spring 2012

Mt. Rainier and the monumentOn April 3, 2012, the San Juan County Council unanimously voted to endorse Secretary Salazar's proposal of a presidential proclamation protecting these lands as a National Monument. They join hundreds of supporting groups and individuals including the Skagit County Board of Commissioners and the Samish Indian Nation in supporting this second path. By the end of April, Washington's Governor Christine Gregoire had also written a letter to Interior Secretary Salazar supporting the dual track approach.
We continued our public education efforts, sponsoring the Salish Landscapes series of talks on Lopez Island.
May brought strong editorial endorsements in the Seattle PI and the Journal of the San Juan Islands. The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau wrote to the administration in support of our efforts, and Asha Lela received a local environmental leadership award for chairing this effort.
June began with a letter from 156 local businesses asking President Obama to help.
"The recreational opportunities provided by these public lands attract the residents and visitors that keep our businesses vibrant," said Brent Snow, Roche Harbor Resort General Manager.
Friday Harbor Now: Protect the San Juan Islands (June 4, 2012)
San Juan Island Update: The stewards of the island, with thanks.... (May 23, 2012)
Washington Wilderness Coalition: Get to Know Your BLM Lands (May 22, 2012)
The effort to protect BLM lands in the San Juan Islands started with grassroots work from the local community. Their enthusiasm and dedication is inspiring, and a reminder that the voices of small communities with big visions can be heard.
Journal of the San Juans: Editorial: A slam dunk (May 9, 2012)
Voicing her “ardent support” to protect key federal holdings in the San Juan Islands, Gov. Chris Gregoire indicates she would support action by President Obama if Congress continues to dawdle.
Seattle PI: San Juan Islands on federal protection list (slideshow - no date listed)
Public News Service: A New National Monument for WA? (April 16, 2012)
Islands Sounder: Conservation effort gets county council boost (April 9, 2012)
Islands Weekly: Conservation effort gets county council boost (April 9, 2012)
San Juan Island Update: Around the island, this week.... (April 4, 2012)
In an unanimous vote San Juan County Council agreed to send a letter to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar asking him to ask President Barack Obama to sign a proclamation creating San Juan National Monument.
Salish Sea Communications: San Juan County Council Says "Yes!" To BLM Lands Protection (April 3, 2012)
 

A Second Path Opens - March 2012

U.S. Capitol Building
The Islanders for the San Juan Islands NCA decided to pursue Secretary Salazar's offer of a presidential proclamation as a second path to our goal of permanent protection for the BLM lands in the islands assuming that the proclamation was based on the legislation that Rep. Larsen and Sen. Cantwell introduced.
 
A contingent of three islanders travelled to D.C. and met with staff in the offices of every member of the Washington State delegation - both House and Senate. They also met with several senior leaders as the BLM, including Director Bob Abbey. They heard broad support for the effort, signs of progress in the Senate, little chance of progress in the gridlocked House, and strong support from the senior levels of BLM and the Department of Interior.
 
We met with the San Juan County Council on March 20th to report on progress and ask the council to accept Secretary Salazar's offer of a presidential proclamation based on the legislation. The council put off that decision until their April 3rd meeting. Many citizens sent letters to the council and some letters to the editor in support of this motion.
 
The NCA bill in the Senate (S. 1559) had a subcommittee hearing on March 22nd, which went well and generated some local press. The Deputy Director of the BLM testified in support of the bill. His written testimony is available here.
Declaring the land a National Conservation Area would not infringe on private property nearby. It would prevent the thousand acres from being sold for development and would also provide funding for land management.
Our Newsletter: San Juan County Council Needs More Proof (March 26. 2012)
San Juan Islander: Support BLM/NCA designation by Susan Vernon (March 24, 2012)
We have a great opportunity at hand. Many years from now we - and our descendants - can look back with a great deal of pride to the fact that islanders with varying philosophies came together to protect precious and important parts of our beloved landscape and its wildlife, our history, our culture, our community, and our future - a fine legacy, indeed.
San Juan Islander: What does NCA designation do? (March 23, 2012)
Northwest Public Radio: Senate Holds Hearing On Protecting San Juans' Public Lands (March 23, 2012)
Islands Weekly: Support for protection of BLM Lands | Letters (March 22, 2012)

Town Hall with Secretary Salazar and Senator Cantwell - February 2012

Senator Cantwell at Town Hall Meeting
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Senator Maria Cantwell held a Town Hall on February 18 to discuss the efforts to achieve permanent protection of the San Juan BLM lands. The press estimates over 150 people were there. The public expressed deep connections to the lands, a desire for them to remain natural and accessible, and a strong need for community involvement in managing the lands.
 
Secretary Salazar offered to propose to the President that these lands achieve their Conservation Land designation via a presidential proclamation rather than wait for the uncertain legislative process.
 
The BLM also reported on the secretary's earlier call for greater collaboration between conservation agencies in the islands, highlighting the first "Terrestrial Managers Workshop" on San Juan Island, in January 2012, which convened federal, state, county, non-profit and private conservation groups working in the islands to share ideas for working together.
San Juan Islander: NCA or National Monument? One will protect sooner (February 29, 2012)
Journal of the San Juans: Officials still looking at making local lands federally protected (February 27, 2012)
Journal of the San Juans: Permanent protection of federal land benefits the San Juans | Letters (February 21, 2012)
San Juan Islander: Photo of the Day (February 20, 2012)
Anacortes Now: Large turnout for conservation area town hall (February 18, 2012)
The Olympian: Salazar, Cantwell push to protect San Juan Islands (February 18, 2012) [link no longer active]
Seattle Times: Salazar, Cantwell push to protect San Juan Islands (February 18, 2012)
The above Seattle Times and Olympian articles are from the Associated Press, whose coverage also made The Columbian, The Bellingham Herald, The Tri-City Herald, komonews.com and many other outlets around the country and the world.
KGMI 790 Bellingham: Federal Official Visits Anacortes (February 17, 2012)
Journal of the San Juans: Town Hall: Cantwell, Salazar focus on San Juans conservation area (February 16, 2012)
The Bellingham Herald: Interior Secretary Salazar plans to visit Anacortes (February 16, 2012)
Tri-City Herald: Interior Sec. Salazar plans Saturday visit to state (February 16, 2012)
Orcas Issues: Meeting for BLM Lands in the San Juan Archipelago (February 15, 2012)
Salish Sea Communications: Community-led Protection of the San Juans (February 15, 2012)
 

"Crown Jewel" Status - November 2011

View for Patos Island by Linda Hudson
In the fall of 2011, at Representative Larsen's request, a number of local organizations sent letters to Representative Hastings (Washington State delegate from Yakima who heads the House Natural Resources Committee) requesting a hearing on our legislation.
 
In November 2011 Interior Secretary Salazar sent a report to Congress listing 18 land conservation efforts across the nation that were "crown jewels" of our public lands and had "significant local support for congressional protection." The BLM lands in the San Juan Islands were highlighted in that report which garnered national press.
  
We continued our local public education about these amazing lands with a great hour-long radio special on Iceberg Point carried on the Lopez Island community radio station KLOI.
The Columbian: In Our View: Victories for Nature (December 5, 2011)
KLOI 102.9: Living on Lopez: Iceberg Point (November, 2011)
The Spokesman-Review: Region's wilderness high on Obama's list (November 27, 2011)
The News Tribune: San Juans in report calling for protection (November 20, 2011)
Bellingham Herald: San Juans in report calling for protection (November 20, 2011)
Reading the Washington Landscape (blog): Doc Hastings and San Juan Island National Conservation Area Proposal (November 20, 2011)
The Olympian: San Juans in report calling for protection (November 20, 2011)
The Spokesman-Review: Obama administration urges new wilderness protections (November 18, 2011)
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Rick Larsen hailed the inclusion last week of the San Juan Islands on Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s list of “Crown Jewel” federal lands that deserve permanent protection.
KGMI 790 Bellingham: Cantwell, Larsen Hail 'Crown Jewel' Designation For San Juans (November 14, 2011)
Seattle Times: Congress can protect two of Washington's treasures (November 13, 2011)
"Two nuggets of good news about protecting beloved landscapes in Washington state run counter to the durable clichés about a do-nothing Congress and a volatile failure of bipartisanship."
The News Tribune: Obama administration wants to protect San Juan Islands (November 10, 2011)
Conservation Lands Foundation: Support for Administration's lands conservation agenda (November 10, 2011)
The Olympian: Obama team wants to protect San Juan Islands (November 10, 2011)
Bellingham Herald: Obama team wants to protect San Juan Islands (November 10, 2011)
"This locally-driven plan will ensure these cherished lands remain protected, accessible to the public, and better managed to accommodate continued visitor use and enjoyment."
"The San Juan Islands should be preserved for not only residents and visitors today, but for future generations," said Larsen.
Islands Sounder: Upcoming San Juan Islands conservation meeting (October 31, 2011)
Reading the Washington Landscape (blog): Whatcom County Council Supports San Juan Island National Conservation Area (September 28, 2011)

Legislation is Introduced - September 2011

Protecting nests on Indian Island - photo by Shann Weston
In September 2011, just days after receiving the unanimous support of the Whatcom County Council, we reached a major milestone in our efforts with the introduction of bills in both the House and Senate which would designate these lands as a National Conservation Area. We are very grateful to Representative Larsen and Senator Cantwell who sponsored the legislation.
KGMI 790 Bellingham: PM Bellingham for 9/22/11 [minutes 4 through 9] (September 22, 2011)
Journal of the San Juans: National Conservation Area for the San Juans in congressional hands (September 20, 2011)
Conservation Lands Foundation: Legislation introduced to protect the San Juan Islands (September 19, 2011)
The Island Guardian: Fed lands Protection Moves Forward (September 16, 2011)
Senator Maria Cantwell Press Release: Cantwell, Larsen Introduce Legislation to Protect Land on San Juan Islands (September 15, 2011)
"This bill will ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the natural treasures in the San Juan Islands."
The Congressional Record - Senate: Senator Cantwell's remarks (PDF) (September 14, 2011)

Summer of 2011

Gathering support on Lopez Island - photo by Tom Reeve
We spent the summer of 2011 gathering local support for a National Conservation Area designation. We were a regular fixture at several of the local Farmers Markets and special events such as the San Juan County Fair, the Orcas Library Fair and the Tour de Lopez bike ride. We collected endorsement postcards from scores of local citizens to forward to Congress. We also met with local organizations ranging from the Lopez Lions Club to the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau with our story and gained their endorsements. We also received, in July, the support of the Skagit County Board of Commissioners.
 
In July, Senator Cantwell and Representative Larsen held a community listening session hosted by State Senator Kevin Ranker to explore our request for legislation designating these lands as Conservation Lands.
 
Pursuing Secretary Salazar's push for better collaboration, BLM, The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service held a joint listening session in Friday Harbor on August 25.
 
The BLM continued their Resource Management Plan outreach with a meeting in Friday Harbor on August 27. 
 
We took advantage of the BLM officials visiting the islands to hold a public meeting on the NCA proposal on Lopez Island on August 28. Speakers included several supporters from the community, Daniel Picard (BLM's District Manager from Spokane), and Brian O'Donnell (Executive Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation).
The Island Guardian: U.S. Sec. of Interior Hears Support for BLM of SJC (August 18, 2011)
The Island Guardian: Cantwell On National Conservation Area (July 26, 2011)

“I share the local community's desire to ensure the permanent protection and accessibility of the San Juan Islands’ natural beauty as visitor traffic continues to increase,” said Senator Cantwell. “We appreciated hearing from the community on protecting cherished San Juan lands and look forward to moving forward on a bill that incorporates their feedback. I applaud the hard work of the many stakeholders involved in moving this effort forward. Through our efforts we will work to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy these special parts of the San Juan Islands."

Friday Harbor listening session - by Tom Reeve

The Island Guardian:
Cantwell & Larsen Will Support National Conservation Area (July 25, 2011)
Journal of the San Juans: Protecting BLM lands needs community support (PDF) (June 22, 2011)
The Whidbey Examiner: Cantwell, Larsen support San Juan Islands protection (June 20, 2011)
The Island Guardian: Cantwell, Larsen Back Effort To Protect Land In County (June 18, 2011)
Senator Maria Cantwell Press Release: Cantwell, Larsen Back Effort to Protect Land on San Juan Islands (June 17, 2011)

"A National Conservation Area designation will help ensure long-term protection of these natural treasures, keep them accessible and in the public domain, and better managed to accommodate heavier visitor use. The legislation will not have a cost to the federal government or taxpayers."

“On my recent travels to Washington State, I heard from local residents, tribal leaders, and county commissioners about their desire to better protect the lands we manage in the San Juan Islands,” Secretary Salazar said. “The enthusiasm and support that the local community expressed for protecting the San Juans is inspiring and Interior should do all it can to support these efforts – including efforts by Members of Congress - to help build a proud legacy for the area’s residents and visitors to enjoy."

Meeting with Interior Secretary Salazar - April 2011

Secretary Salazar speaking in Anacortes - photo by Linda Hudson
In April 2011, over a year after our first local press coverage, we hit the big time. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar held a public meeting in Anacortes. He listened well and spoke highly of the community-driven approach we were pursuing. He offered to help us pursue an NCA designation.
 
Salazar also asked the Interior Department agencies with lands in the islands (BLM, the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service) to work collaboratively with each other and with local groups to help move conservation forward more effectively in the islands. That mandate, formalized in a memo in June, resulted in several good joint working sessions in the islands in 2011 and 2012.
 
Secretary Salazar's visit was preceded by a visit to Lopez Island by Marcilynn Burke, the Deputy Director of BLM, who had a chance to hike some of the lands with us.
Reading the Washington Landscape (blog): National Conservation Area and San Juan Islands (May 3, 2011)
Anacortes Now: Interior Secretary stops here (April 28, 2011)
"This is just the beginning of a dialogue with our partners in the northwest," Salazar said. "It is important that we build consensus from the ground up as our nation develops a 21st century conservation agenda."
Seattle Times: San Juan County seeks land protection (April 27, 2011)
"The vibrancy and enthusiasm of the local community is what inspires me to work with them toward what they want to accomplish," he said.
Salazar plans to form a committee, headed by an official from the bureau, to achieve the designation.
Salazar met Wednesday with local activists seeking to preserve natural habitats in the islands, saying afterward:  “They’re a template for (local) conservation around the country.”
Kitsap Sun: Interior Secretary Salazar visits Wash. (April 27, 2011)
Salazar commended Gov. Chris Gregoire for innovative conservation efforts in Washington state and he says Washington is setting a good example of 21st Century conservation for other states.

Early Outreach

In 2010, before we started gathering endorsements for a Conservation Lands designation, we were aware that many people in our community took these public lands for granted. Not only did people presume that they were permanently protected, but they were not aware which lands were managed by the BLM. To remedy that situation, we worked with the local newspapers to run a number of articles describing the lands and their management. This was the first time many people in the county heard of a National Conservation Area. At the same time, the BLM started public discussions for its Resource Management Plan process, which we encouraged the public to participate in.
 
Since a National Conservation Area designation would require congressional legislation, we began working with Representative Larsen, who visited Lopez Island to meet with NCA supporters in August, 2010. 
 
Knowing that we would need the support of the County Council, we began presentations at their public meetings in the summer of 2010 and secured their unanimous support in November.

Islands Sounder

 

Journal of the San Juans

 

The Islands Weekly

BLM wild headlands: (May 30, 2010)

 


The Beginning

Journal of the San Juans: 'Monument' would foster conservation (March 18, 2010)
For more on how this effort got started, see the About Us page.
 
Photos: Iceberg Point monument and U.S. Capitol by Tom Reeve, Senator Cantwell by Gene Helfman, View from Patos Island by Linda Hudson, Protecting Nests on Indian Island by Shan Weston, Gathering Support and Congressional Listening Session by Tom Reeve, Ken Salazar by Linda Hudson