The BLM OR/WA Spokane District manages approximately 1000 acres of public land in the San Juan Archipelago. The archipelago consists of hundreds of islands of varying sizes that lie between the mainland of northwestern Washington and Canada's Vancouver Island. These islands, and specifically the BLM lands, are home to unique cultural and natural resources, and are extremely popular recreation destinations for regional, national, and international visitors. Management of these lands and resources involves cooperative agreements and working partnerships with more than 60 other agencies, interest groups, organizations, and Native American Tribes.
The BLM lands in the San Juan Islands house a number of sites and areas of cultural interest. The islands lie within the traditional territory of the Central Coast Salish peoples. Today, the District consults regularly with three Tribes (Lummi Nation, Samish Indian Nation, Swinomish Tribe) regarding proposed actions and activities. In addition to cultural properties of interest to the tribes, BLM also manages a number of light houses/stations that were relinquished by the USCG. The district has recently renovated historic structures at Patos Island and Turn Point light stations, and maintains these sites through partnerships with a number of organizations and volunteers. These two light stations are half of the remaining four light stations on the islands and provide important insight to historic uses of the area.