Islanders for the
San Juan Islands National Monument
San Juan Islands National Monument protects precious sites in the San Juan Islands. These sites, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), include recreation areas beloved by locals and visitors, cultural sites used by local tribes for thousands of years, historic lighthouses, disappearing habitat, and much more.
The BLM is currently developing a Resource Management Plan for the monument which will guide their stewardship of these lands for the next 15-20 years, as well as a Travel and Transportation Management Plan to guide recreation in the monument.
You can provide input for that plan during a 90-day public comment period ending January 3rd, 2019. BLM will be hosting public meetings during that period to answer all your questions. And Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument will, on this website, share guidance on some of the issues that you should consider commenting on. We expect it may take a couple weeks for us to compile things in a useful form now that the BLM has published their reports. Sign up for our email updates by clicking here to be informed when our Guide to the Issues is available, which should be in advance of the public meetings.
The material presented by BLM is composed of two components:
In anticipation of your comments, and until we get our guidance prepared, consider:
- An Overview of the Draft Resource Management Plan Alternatives can be found in the Executive Summary section of the Draft Resource Management Plan, pages ix to xi. We want to emphasize that you do not need to select an alternative, you can select parts of various alternatives or create your own description of what you would like for overall management of the monument for the next 15-20 years.
- The preferred alternative (alternative B) is a potential starting point for a plan, but the actual Proposed Resource Management Plan will likely be different and will be designed after input from the public and cooperating agencies is received by BLM.
- We suggest you review the Planning Process Primer and Guidebook as this gives background information about the Travel and Transportation Management Plan comment pages. This will also give you the range of comments BLM previously received and which BLM was legally required to consider. But note the quotes listed represent the range of comments but do not indicate how many people supported each position.
- In addition to the BLM's Planning Process Primer and Guidebook, consider reviewing their Site Catalog to better understand the sites and issues involved.
- The Draft Alternatives, the Travel and Transportation Plan, and all the appendixes contain a substantial amount of information. Do not feel overwhelmed by all this. Go to the BLM public meetings to learn more about the process and the plans. Ask BLM staff about your concerns. And refer to the Islanders website for the Guide to the Issues and additional information which will be available in advance of the public meetings.
- Consider how you would like to see each of these sites managed and why.
BLM will be hosting public meetings to explain the process and help the public provide actionable input. For example, it is important to explain the reason for your preferred management approaches. This isn't a popularity contest between approaches - the BLM will be weighing different options based on impacts and benefits.
BLM is required by law to present a range of alternatives in order to analyze all options. You do not need to vote for an alternative. You can comment on specific aspects of the alternatives and respond with how and why you would like the sites to be managed. BLM is not required to adopt one of the alternatives presented. After analysis of public comments and comments from local government, agencies and tribes, BLM can create a plan that incorporates those comments.
BLM has published comment forms that can be printed and filled-in by the public. We will try to create versions of those forms that can be edited electronically and submitted by email - check back at this site a week or so after the comment period starts.
Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument will publish on this website a Guide to the issues - our suggestions on what management approaches are appropriate for each part of the monument sites to serve as a reference guide.
These suggestions will draw upon information members of the Monument Advisory Committee (MAC) received from BLM and other agencies. These suggestions will also rely upon information provided by the public during the establishment of the monument and information from the public scoping sessions conducted by BLM in the five years since the Monument was proclaimed.
Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument is a group of local citizens who care deeply for these lands and work to ensure their care. Unfortunately the Monument Advisory Committee (MAC), the body established to provide public input to the BLM in this planning process, has been unable to meet since October 2017 because the Department of Interior did not filled vacancies when MAC members' terms expired.
More information about the monument can be found on BLM's official website for the monument.