(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement after President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that lands in the San Juan Islands have been designated as a National Monument.
“Today’s announcement ensures that nearly 1,000 acres of cherished lands in the San Juan Islands will join our nation’s most iconic parks, wildlife refuges, and landmarks as a permanent, federally protected national monument.
“From the bluffs on Stuart Island to Watmough Bay, the San Juan Islands are home to some of our nation’s most beautiful and important natural resources. I applaud President Obama for making this designation and thank Secretary Salazar for his incredible leadership to protect this beloved region.”
Before today’s announcement, Senator Murray, along with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who championed the effort in the Senate and U.S. Representatives Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Suzan DelBene (WA-01), pursued a dual-track approach to permanently protect the federally-owned land parcels in the San Juan Islands. While encouraging the Obama Administration to protect the area through a National Monument designation, the legislators also introduced a bill to designate the lands as a National Conservation Area.