Analysis

The San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are an archipelago of 172 islands located off the coast of northwest Washington state outside of Vancouver, BC. The Bureau of Land Management manages nearly 1,000 acres of these islands spread over about 75 sites of beaches, reefs and pristine forests.

The local community has been pushing for protection of the BLM lands to prevent further development or sale of the lands for commercial interests.

The federal lands are breeding grounds for birds, and safe refuges for many animal and plant species, including harbor seal pups. They are home to the largest population of bald eagles in the continental United States and still contain stands of old growth Douglas Fir. In addition, they contain myriad historical sites- from ancient fishing spots to pre-automation light houses and are prized for their recreation opportunities, including hiking, kayaking, whale watching, fishing and camping.

View Photos of the San Juan Islands:

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Susan Whitmore

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