This is HUGE! Our entire San Juan County Council voted this morning to send a letter to Interior Secretary Salazar with their endorsement of the idea of a National Monument status for our BLM properties in the San Juan Islands…which of course, includes our entire Patos Island and lighthouse! Carla and I have been on a committee, Islanders for a National Conservation Area for 3+ years and that legislation is slooooowly working its way thru congress with little hope of passage in any near future. Salazar proposed this alternate rounte and now it has passed our county council…a very big hurdle as they are 50-50 on everything!
Great thanks go out to Keepers’ Historian Dawn who testified in support at the February public open meeting with Salazar and Cantwell.
Carla and I are so excited and we know you all share the excitement with us!
Carla Chalker and Linda Hudson
Keepers of the Patos Light
“We always welcome donations of any size to help
us to continue our work on Patos Island. And please
remember to consider including us in your estate plans”
Subject: 4/3/12 NEWS RELEASE: Islanders Thank San Juan County Council For Unanimously Supporting Permanent Protection of Local BLM Lands
ISLANDERS THANK SAN JUAN COUNTY COUNCIL FOR UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTING PERMANENT PROTECTION OF LOCAL BLM LANDS
San Juan County islanders thanked its county council today for unanimously supporting permanent protection of local Bureau of Land Management federal properties in the islands. The county council voted to send a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Washington congressional delegation expressing their support of either congressional action or presidential proclamation to achieve federal protection.
“We thank the council for its leadership and thank the many, many people who have expressed their support,” said Asha Lela, chair of the group Islanders for a San Juan Islands National Conservation Area. “We will continue to make sure that there is permanent protection for the BLM lands and that islanders are involved in the management of these lands.”
Asha Lela and other concerned citizens have been working for several years on federal legislation seeking permanent protection for the BLM lands in the San Juan Islands with a strong community voice in their management.
Congressional legislation to permanently protect the BLM lands as a National Conservation Area was introduced by Rep. Rick Larsen and Sen. Maria Cantwell but has been stalled in Congress.
Most recently, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and BLM officials have discussed permanent protection of the federal lands through presidential proclamation based on the congressional legislation and working with local elected officials and citizens.
# # #