Islanders for the
San Juan Islands National Monument
Resource Management Plan Status
Thank you to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Monument Advisory Committee (MAC), and the members of the public that made the August 27, 2020 virtual public meeting possible and productive.
Meeting for the first time since before the Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) was published, the MAC heard from subject matter experts, tribal members, state agencies, and the public.
The MAC, tribal members, San Juan County Council Member Jamie Stephens, and many members of the public were concerned that the Department of the Interior had not filled the MAC positions for tribal, local government, or private landowner representation. The MAC unanimously requested that they be allowed to meet soon with all appointments complete to continue deliberations on the Proposed RMP.
The MAC approved several motions with regards to the Proposed RMP. The MAC recommended to BLM that recreational access not be allowed on small rocks in the Monument, that dispersed camping not be allowed in the Monument, and that target shooting not be allowed in the Monument. The MAC did not have time to discuss and had additional questions about other matters such as cultural inventory, party size limit, managing for wilderness characteristics, vegetative management, and public access to small islands. The MAC requested another meeting to discuss these issues before making their recommendations to BLM.
From here, the BLM District Office (Spokane) will make recommendations to the State Office (Portland). The State Office will present its recommendations to the BLM Headquarters and to the Department of Interior. We don't have an estimate for how long this might take. The next milestone may be publication of BLM's Record of Decision (ROD).
There are two situations where we may hear more before the ROD is published. 1) If the BLM doesn't accept all the consistency recommendations from the Governor’s January letter, the Governor may have a 30-day appeal period before BLM can issue the ROD. 2) If the BLM makes "significant" changes from the Proposed RMP, there may be a 30-day public comment period before BLM can issue the ROD.
Here are some of the resources presented and discussed at the August 27 MAC meeting.
- The letter submitted to the BLM by Governor Inslee as part of his Consistency Review of the Proposed RMP
- The protest letter submitted by the San Juan County Council in response to the proposed RMP
- A Summary of Issues in the Proposed RMP prepared by Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument for the Protest Period last winter
- A letter from the San Juan County Council expressing concern about gaps in the latest MAC appointments
- A detailed protest letter submitted jointly by The Wilderness Society and the Conservation Lands Foundation
Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument is a group of local citizens who care deeply for the lands of the San Juan Islands National Monument and work to ensure their care.
Our 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.
More information about the Monument can be found on BLM's official website for the monument.
Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument advocated for the designation of the Monument, which was achieved in 2013. Since then, Islanders, has worked to inform the public of key engagement and advocacy opportunities, such as public meetings, and compile information to enable the public to engage productively with the BLM and others on issues surrounding the Monument.
Our History page contains information about the advocacy efforts that led to creation of the Monument as well as the history of the first 5 years of the Monument's existence. Our Resources page includes more recent information distributed during key input phases in the development of the Monument's Resource Managagement Plan.