The Bureau of Land Management has released the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the San Juan Islands National Monument (Monument).
Planning Area Map. View larger PDF on BLM website
This Draft RMP/EIS is available to review at https://go.usa.gov/xRphc and addresses a range of alternatives for the purposes of providing overarching goals and objectives for the management of the Monument to include the protection and restoration of historic and cultural resources, providing for recreation opportunities, and coordinating the management of these lands with local tribes and governmental organizations.
“It’s important to realize this plan will only apply to the 1,021 acres of public lands that make up the Monument,” said BLM Spokane District Manager Linda Clark. “While a relatively small area, the Monument includes landscapes of great beauty as well as sensitive cultural and ecological resources that should be protected for future generations to enjoy.”
The Draft RMP/EIS presents a full spectrum of different management alternatives, and analyzes the environmental effects of the alternatives. Based on this analysis and comments the agency receives on the Draft RMP/EIS, the BLM will prepare a Proposed RMP/Final EIS with the assistance of cooperating agencies.
Following publication of this Draft RMP/EIS, members of the public will have 90 days to provide written comments. The BLM encourages all interested members of the public to submit comments and participate in the upcoming open houses and workshops:
Nov 5 from 6 to 8 PM, Woodman Hall, 4102 Fisherman Bay Rd, Lopez Island
Nov 6 from 6 to 8 PM, San Juan Island Grange, 152 1st St N, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
Nov 7 from 6 to 8 PM, Orcas Island Library, 500 Rose St, Eastsound, Orcas Island
Nov 8 from 6 to 8 PM, Squalicum Boathouse, 2600 N Harbor Loop Dr, Bellingham
Nov 9 from 6 to 8 PM, Anacortes Library, 1220 10th St, Anacortes
“The BLM prepared this document in coordination with cooperating agencies and consulting tribes and with input from the Monument Advisory Committee and the public,” said Monument Manager Marcia deChadenèdes. “This next step with the public is critical to ensure we heard everyone and that we haven’t missed anyone. I hope we’ll get plenty of constructive feedback and I hope to see everyone at the public meetings.”
The public is encouraged to submit comments through the internet, email, or postal mail:
San Juan Islands National Monument
BLM Lopez Island Office
PO Box 3
Lopez, WA 98261
Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument (SJINM), a group of individuals and organizations who care and support the National Monument, encourages you to become knowledgeable about the issues and comment on the Draft Resource Management Plan and Travel and Transportation Plan for the SJINM.Report
The public has until January 3, 2019 to comment on these plans. BLM will host public meetings throughout the islands the week of November 5th, and BLM staff will also be available at other times to answer your questions about the proposed plans. A schedule of those opportunities can be found at http://bit.ly/RMP-Meetings
The Islanders group is putting together a GUIDE TO THE ISSUES and TIPS FOR COMMENTING which we will have available on our website prior to the public meetings.
The material presented by BLM is composed of two components:
1) DRAFT RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN AND EIS which will provide the framework for overall management of the monument for the next 15-20 years. (http://bit.ly/RMP-DraftRMP)
2) TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT PLAN which has specific implementation items on human use of the monument lands. (http://bit.ly/RMP-Travel)
Here are some suggestions for approaching this:
• There is NO RUSH to comment, take the time to BECOME WELL INFORMED before you comment, you don’t have to comment on everything, you do not need to select an alternative, and it OK to say more later as long as comments are received by January 3, 2019. BLM has stated they place emphasis on comments which include a strong rationale for your position.
• To make commenting easier, the Islanders group is preparing versions of the BLM comment forms which can be edited online and then submitted by email to BLM. These will be available soon on the Islander’s website, http://www.SanJuanIslandsNM.org.
• Sign up for email updates from Islanders at the same website, and sign up for BLM’s email updates by emailing a request to email@example.com
• An OVERVIEW OF THE DRAFT RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN ALTERNATIVES can be found in the Executive Summary section of the Draft Resource Management Plan, pages ix to xi (http://bit.ly/RMP-DraftRMP). We want to emphasize that you do not need to select an alternative, you can select parts of various alternatives or create your own description of what you would like for overall management of the SJINM for the next 15-20 years.
• The preferred alternative (alternative B) is a potential starting point for a plan as BLM devised this as a middle of the road alternative given the comments they had previously received. The actual Proposed Resource Management Plan will likely be different and will be designed after input from the public and cooperating agencies is received by BLM.
• We suggest you review the PLANNING PROCESS PRIMER AND GUIDEBOOK (http://bit.ly/RMP-Guidebook) as this gives background information about the Travel and Transportation Management Plan comment pages. This will also give you the range of comments BLM previously received and which BLM was legally required to consider. But note the quotes listed represent the range of comments but do not indicate how many people supported each position.
• The Draft Alternatives, the Travel and Transportation Plan, and all the appendixes contain a substantial amount of information. Do not feel overwhelmed by all this. Go to the BLM public meetings to learn more about the process and the plans. Ask BLM staff about your concerns. And refer to the Islanders website for the GUIDE TO THE ISSUES and additional information which will be available in advance of the public meetings.
• We expect people will disagree on how they feel the BLM should manage the monument lands. We do ask that our community act respectfully and with grace in addressing differences.
Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument is a group of locals who have been working for many years to secure protection for the BLM lands in the San Juan Islands with a strong public voice in the management of those lands. The group includes individuals from BLM monitors; current and former Monument Advisory Committee members; lighthouse groups; current and former SJ County Council members; representatives from scientific, cultural, historic, land preservation and environmental groups; and others who care for and support the monument.
BLM Meeting Schedule: http://bit.ly/RMP-Meetings
Planning Process Primer and Guidebook: http://bit.ly/RMP-Guidebook
Instruction Manual for Commenting: http://bit.ly/RMP-Instructions
Appendix H – Draft Travel and Transportation Management Plan: http://bit.ly/RMP-Travel
All RMP Documents: http://bit.ly/RMP-Documents
Draft RMP and EIS: http://bit.ly/RMP-DraftRMP