Monitoring National Monument status | Letter

The San Juan Islands National Monument is not on the initial list of National Monuments covered by President Trump’s Executive Order. Councilmember Jamie Stephens met with Department of Interior and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff in D.C. and was assured our monument was safe for now.

In a meeting on May 10 Congressman Larsen stated he will be vigilant in watching out for our monument’s permanent protection status and funding. He met with members of the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee (MAC) and the Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument.

The possibility of presidential changes to other monuments is of concern. This could set precedent to alter the permanent protection and protected values of our monument.

The Monument Advisory Committee (MAC) – our vehicle to give public comment to BLM on the management of our monument – has been suspended until September 2017. The members of the MAC will continue to work informally but cannot give input to the BLM.

The MAC suspension delays the planned public review, set to happen this summer, for BLM’s draft alternatives for San Juan Islands National Monument Resource Management Plan. Without a Resource Management Plan, BLM is limited in actions it can take to preserve, protect and restore our monument.

The Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument will monitor happenings that affect our monument. For more information follow San Juan Islands National Monument on Facebook.

Sally Reeve

Member, Islanders for San Juan Islands National Monument