We are writing this letter as representatives of the Lopez Island Conservation Corps, a local 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to engaging volunteers, primarily youth, through the maintenance and exploration of our special public lands.
We would like to express our support of the great efforts being put forth to protect Bureau of Land Management lands by the group Islanders for a San Juan Islands National Conservation Area.
LICC supports permanent protection of BLM lands in San Juan County through a dual action approach via a Congressional National Conservation Area or the Presidential Proclamation of a National Monument.
The result of either conservation declaration would be the same, as they both require a strong community voice in management. Locals will guide stewardship decisions and have opportunities for active participation in management.
Over the past five years, LICC has developed a strong partnership with the BLM. Federal grants have supported a part-time LICC summer youth crew to steward BLM lands to meet local conservation and recreation goals. The community is already involved and invested and permanently protecting these lands will secure them for generations to come.
We strongly urge the county council to fully support the dual action approach and the National Monument designation, just as they have supported the National Conservation Area.
Lopez Island Conservation Corps