San Juan Islands News
Volunteers Tackle Invasive Blackberry!
Story by Nick Teague, Outdoor Recreation Planner, San Juan Islands National Monument
On a glorious sunny day this past Saturday, May 30th in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, the annual Washington Water Trails Association (WWTA) Work Party on Blind Island was a tremendous success. In partnership with the Washington State Parks, REI, and the San Juan Islands National Monument, 11 hardy folks tackled a tough non-native plant opponent: the Invasive Himalayan blackberry. After six hours of sweat, lopping, and clipping, an entire infested area was completely cut and cleared which totaled well over 400 pounds of non-native plant removal. San Juan County has identified this non-native plant as Class B for control and removal, and the crew of volunteers took great pride in contributing to the eradication of this invasive island intrude. More>>
"Over the last 15 years, I have spent many memorable long weekends in my kayak traveling along the Cascade Marine Trail and camping in the San Juan Islands," said Lara Rooke, WWTA Board of Directors Secretary. "I am always grateful for the work that WWTA has undertaken to ensure that there are numerous launch sites and overnight camping locations for everyone to enjoy. I support WWTA's mission and can't think of a better way to explore this beautiful area."
Blind Island, part of the San Juan Islands National Monument, is a designated camping location along the Cascadia Marine Trail, our nation's longest water trail and one of our national recreation trails. Cooperatively managed between the BLM and Washington State Parks, Blind Island offers a premier island camping experience for boaters.
As shared by Rob Sendak (photo, far left): "Today was my first work party as the new Executive Director for WWTA. This was amazing and fun! Our commitment of stewardship to this island has really brought back a more natural setting and helps create a positive experience for everyone."
With a safe passage across the channel provided by Rich Doss, Washington State Parks Ranger operating the State Park boat 'Sea Lion,' the volunteers and staff said their goodbyes and committed to reunite next year for more stewardship of this special three acres nestled in the heart of the Salish Sea.
the Klahowya Ferry
Five Meetings, Four Days, Three Islands, and a Ferry—Spokane District Launches San Juan Islands RMP!
"Klahowya" is Chinook for "greetings," so it was fitting that the BLM Spokane District kicked off the San Juan Islands National Monument resource management plan with a scoping meeting aboard the interisland Klahowya Ferry.
In addition to the ferry, scoping meetings were held in Friday Harbor, Lopez, Eastsound, and Anacortes. Each meeting included a number of passionate community members interested in learning more about the National Monument and the planning process. More>>
"Many people who attended the meetings have been involved with the Monument in the past," said Lauren Pidot, lead planner for the RMP. "It was fun getting to talk about planning with such engaged members of the public."
The San Juan Islands National Monument, established by Presidential Proclamation in 2013, encompasses approximately 1,000 acres of public land spread across a uniquely beautiful archipelago of over 450 islands, rocks, and pinnacles.
To learn more about the San Juan Islands National Monument planning effort, visit www.blm.gov/SanJuanIslandsNM/RMP.