|Watmough Bight (Susan Muckle)
Islanders Thank San Juan County Council For Unanimously Supporting Permanent Protection of Local BLM LandsSan 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.
For more information, contact Islanders For A San Juan Islands National Conservation Area, www.SanJuanIslandsNCA.org