Protect the San Juan Islands
President Obama can save 1,000 acres of the San Juan Islands from risk of destructive development—but he'll only do it if we can show massive public support.
The San Juan Islands are beautiful and unique, yet 1,000 acres of federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) still need permanent protection, including special places on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez islands. President Obama can protect these island landscapes by designating them as a national monument, so we’re rallying public support to urge the President to act before it’s too late.
A place to commune with nature
Whether hiking on Iceberg Point, kayaking within sight of orca pods off of San Juan Island, or spotting nesting peregrine falcons on Chadwick Hill, the San Juan Islands offer amazing opportunities to get closer to nature. The islands still have old growth stands of Douglas firs, and are home to the largest population of Bald Eagles in the continental United States. Thousands of visitors come to the islands every year, from all over the world, for some of the best whale watching experiences on earth. Resident orcas and gray whales are common visitors to the islands, swimming within sight of kayakers and sailboats.
1,000 acres at risk
Unfortunately, 1,000 acres of key habitat, including special places on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez Island, don’t have long-term protection from possible abuse or sale. Other public lands in the islands have faced threat of sale to development. Over the years, developers have tried to buy off these priceless pieces of land—including beaches, reefs, and pristine forests—for timber and mineral extraction. So far, island residents have managed to fight off every reckless proposal, but we can’t allow that to happen to these lands: The San Juan Islands are just too precious.
Joining our local partners to protect the islands we love
Environment Washington is joining with local citizens to call on the President to declare the San Juan Islands BLM lands a national monument, protecting them forever. Already, hundreds of San Juan Islanders have written to the president in support of this campaign. In early April, the San Juan County Council unanimously supported the effort to declare these lands as a national monument.
A national monument for all Washingtonians
While much has been done, there is still more that we need to accomplish to give the San Juan Islands BLM lands the permanent protection that they need. We need to show president Obama that all Washingtonians treasure these islands. Under the Antiquities Act, the president has the power to protect federal land by declaring it a national monument. The law is designed to preserve places of extreme ecological and historical significance, and the San Juan Islands fit the bill. With your help, we can ensure that we build the broad, public support that we need to create the San Juan Islands National Monument, a treasure for all of Washington.
- The San Juan Islands are famous for their unique, Pacific Northwest ecosystem: resident orcas spotted just off shore, bald eagles spotted in the tree tops, ancient Douglas firs reaching to the sky, and reefs dotting the coastline.
- 1,000 acres of spectacular landscape are not permanently protected, including special places in the islands, like Watmough Bay, Cattle Point, the Patos Island, and Iceberg Point.
Already, there is strong support from local islanders, but we need to continue building this support throughout Washington.