San Juan Islands National Monument

The San Juan Islands National Monument was established on March 25, 2013 by the Obama administration. 

A view from the San Juan Islands. Photo: Bureau of Land Management
A view from the San Juan Islands. Photo: Bureau of Land Management

This is a living document that will be updated periodically with information related to the San Juan Islands National Monument.

The monument

National Monument status protects all land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the San Juan archipelago from uses such as mining, grazing, off-road vehicle access, and other development. The land will be managed for conservation and recreation purposes, according to the agency. (Read the Obama administration proclamation establishing the monument.)

The BLM has a detailed map of the 1,000 acres they manage in the San Juans, which also includes land managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the State of Washington.

Visit the San Juan Islands National Monument website for more information. 

The following is a selected list of reports and resources related to the ecology and conservation of the San Juan Islands. The list is not meant to be comprehensive and will be updated periodically. We welcome your suggestions for additional content.

*San Juan County commissioned a Best Available Science Synthesis in 2011, which profiles the geology, habitat, and resources of the islands as well as effects of human presence and conservation needs.

*The Nature Conservancy’s Marine Stewardship Plan for the islands, written in 2007, set goals for fish and marine mammal populations and assesses threats and priorities for the region.

*In April of 2011, the US Fish and Wildlife Service developed a Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge areas in the San Juans.

*Friday Harbor Labs maintains a list of study sites in the San Juans, some of them active since 1915.

Additional efforts to protect and restore areas in the San Juan Islands

*The San Juan Preservation Trust is working through a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the endemic Island Marble Butterfly (Euchloe ausonides insulanus). The group also completed a 5-year reintroduction of the Western Bluebird in 2011, successfully translocating 92 adult bluebirds.

*The National Park Service is working to preserve the American Camp Prairie, one of the last surviving natural prairies in the Puget Sound region.

*In late August of 2012, the San Juan County Land Bank received $40,000 in grants to work on restoring habitat for Garry oaks on Orcas Island, which has suffered from absence of fire and deer browsing.

*Additional conservation organizations include: Friends of the San Juan Islands and the San Juan Islands Conservation District.

About the Author: 
Research for this article was provided by Amelia Apfel, editorial assistant at the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.