Orcas residents Denise and Daniel Wilk attended a public meeting with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, to discuss the San Juan Islands and the Bureau of Land Management Wednesday, April 27 in Anacortes.
The meeting was sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Its purpose was to discuss local efforts to preserve Bureau of Land Management lands in the San Juan Islands, where the BLM is currently developing a management plan for about 445,000 acres of public lands.
The Wilks were introduced to the gathering and had a chance to mention local volunteer programs for local Lighthouses and grounds preservation. Denise is Vice President of the “Keepers of the Patos Light.” Also attending the meeting was President of KOPL radio station, Linda Hudson from Lopez Island.
Denise Wilk said, “It was exciting to be invited to this … meeting with representatives from most of the preservation and conservation groups in San Juan County, Island and Whatcom counties as well as Samish and Swinonish First Nations’ tribal counselors.”
To read more about the meeting, go to seattlepi.com/Interior-Secretary-Salazar-visits-Wash
Seattle Post-Inteligencer reporter Joel Connelly wrote yesterday:
The government will designate federal land in the San Juan Islands as a National Conservation Area if county residents and the state go along, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in an interview.
Salazar met Wednesday with local activists seeking to preserve natural habitats in the islands, saying afterward: “They’re a template for (local) conservation around the country.”
“We will act only with strong support from local communities and states,” Salazar added.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has 955 acres of holdings in the islands. The San Juan National Historical Park is also part of the Interior Department’s jurisdiction.
To read more about the BLM plan and Connelly’s interview with Salazar, go to seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2011/04/27/new-protection-for-san-juans-interior-sec/