President Obama Set To Create National Monument In Washington's San Juan Islands

Mar 22, 2013

President Obama is set to announce the creation of several new national monuments on Monday. One of them will be in Washington’s San Juan Islands. Ashley Ahearn reports.

  The national monument will encompass 1,000 acres on Washington’s Lopez, San Juan and Orcas Islands. The land is currently under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Land Management and includes more than 60 locations around the islands – from lighthouses to pine forests.

Conservation groups and Washington politicians have been pushing for permanent protection of this land for the past several years. Kevin Ranker is a state senator from Orcas Island.

Ranker: “This is a significant amount of land that we currently look at as amazing natural and recreational resources that are economic drivers not just in our community but in Washington state.”

More than 70,000 people visit the San Juans every year. Declaring the land a national monument will prevent it from being mined, logged or developed but will not impose any sort of fee on visitors. There are now 103 national monuments.

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