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UPDATE: HANFORD REACH PROTECTED!
Washington state is home to two national monuments, the San Juan Islands, designated by President Obama in 2013, and Hanford Reach in Eastern Washington, designated by President Bill Clinton in 2000.
Connected by the mighty Columbia River, these two national monuments provide food and life to critically endangered birds, fish, plants, and animals. Whether it’s supporting a salmon economy all the way up to Alaska or through the millions of visitors each year, these special places contribute to a thriving economy and are cherished by people from all walks of life.
Washington’s Hanford Reach National Monument is home to 43 species of fish, 42 mammal species, and 258 bird species and is an important cultural resource to many tribes. It is a prime spawning place for Chinook salmon. This summer, LCV’s John Reuter and Kristin Brown visited the Hanford Reach National Monument to take in the sites and learn more about how this monument came to be and the special impact it has.
If you follow the salmon down the Columbia and out to sea up to Alaska, you’ll pass right through the San Juan Islands. Situated in the northern parts of the Puget Sound, these islands are home to a trove of cultural and recreational resources, including remains of native villages and outstanding fishing, kayaking, hiking, and camping.
The diverse habitat provides a refuge for countless species of mammals, birds, insects, and its largest resident: orcas. The Southern Resident Orcas visit the San Juan Islands almost every day in the summer month to feed on Chinook salmon. They can consume up to 400 pounds of fish per day! The protected seas along the San Juan Islands are critical for keeping these endangered animals safe and thriving.
It’s not hard to see why there is overwhelming support for protecting these two incredible monuments. To get a deeper dive into the local support, we met up with Washington Conservation Voters’ social media and email communications guru Kristi Nakata, and Puget Sound Advocacy Manager, Rain Ackman.
Hanford Reach National Monument and San Juan Islands National Monument are irreplaceable treasures. We must stand up and keep these special places protected for future generations to enjoy.
Members of Washington’s congressional delegation, including Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, have been tireless advocates for protecting national monuments. They’ve been speaking out again the Trump administration’s review and will fight to preserve these special places in their home state and across the country.
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