From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (seattlepi.com)
President Obama on Monday[March 25, 2013] will create a 955-acre national monument in Washington’s scenic San Juan Islands, using his authority under the same 1906 law deployed by President Theodore Roosevelt to begin preservation of this state’s Olympic Mountains and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
The monument was championed by Western Washington lawmakers after legislation to create a National Conservation Area stalled in the Republican-controlled House Natural Resources Committee. Its chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., has not even bothered to hold a hearing on the proposal.
“Some of the most pristine places in the entire world are in the San Juan Islands. The fact that they could be sold and developed in the future made us want to protect them now,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. “In this case, the uniqueness influenced the White House that the opportunity to protect was in the interests of the nation.”
The lands, scattered through the San Juans, are already federally owned under auspices of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The BLM will continue to manage the new monument, a White House spokesperson indicated Thursday night.
The monument will include such places as secluded Watmough Bay on Lopez Island, the Turn Point lighthouse on Stuart Island — a renowned sunset, orca and porpoise watching spot – and Patos Island, most northerly and remote of the San Juans.
(To read the full article, go to seattlepi.com/2013/03/21/obama-will-create-national-monument-in-san-juans )