June 25, 2013

Cattle Point Road Realignment Project Record of Decision Released

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA -- After nine years of analysis and review, the Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division and National Park Service have each approved Records of Decision (RODs) for the Cattle Point Road Realignment Project located on San Juan Island, Washington.

The project is a partnership between the Federal Highways Administration, National Park Service, San Juan County, and Washington Department of Natural Resources. Approval of the RODs allows the agencies to begin final design and construction of the project, pending funding.

The agencies have selected alternative B for construction. This alternative was identified as the preferred alternative in the Final Environmental Impact Statement published in September 2012. The alternative will realign a 4,950-foot section of Cattle Point Road located in San Juan Island National Historical Park. The new alignment will shift the road about 300 feet upslope from its present location, which is expected to protect the roadway from coastal bluff erosion for about 100 years.

“The realignment of Cattle Point Road will preserve road access through San Juan Island National Historical Park to Cape San Juan, and to the light house and picnic areas at Cattle Point,” said park superintendent Lee Taylor. “The National Park Service and San Juan County are collaborating to obtain funding to complete this important project.”

The ROD is the final step in the National Environmental Policy Act process. The ROD outlines the rationale for the decision and measures to minimize environmental harm that will be incorporated into the final road design and construction. The Cattle Point Road Realignment Project RODs are available for download or viewing at Print copies are located at the San Juan Island Library in Friday Harbor.

San Juan Island National Historical Park is well known for splendid vistas, saltwater shores, quiet woodlands, orca whales and one of the last remaining native prairies in the Puget Sound region. But it was also here in 1859 that the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over possession of the island, the crisis ignited by the death of a British-owned pig. Visit for more information.


Superintendent Lee Taylor, [email protected], 360-378-2240 x.2223

Mike Vouri
Chief of Interpretation & Historian
San Juan Island National Historical Park
Phone: 360-378-2240, ext. 2227
FAX: 360-378-2615






June 25, 2013


Park Historian to Launch Civil War Lecture Series June 28 at San Juan Island Library

Join San Juan island National Historical Park Historian Mike Vouri for his talk "Connections: Pig War to Civil War," scheduled at 7 p.m., Friday, June 28, in the San Juan Island Library.

Vouri will raise the issues of secession, homeland defense and the decisions that had to be made by military leaders and individual servicemen such as Capt. George Pickett and his second in command, James Forsyth. The former resigned and went with the South; the latter embraced the Union cause.

The program is free. Vouri's talk is the first in the summer program series, "Connections: The Far West and Civil War," which will explore the relationships between the American Civil War and the San Juan Islands and Pacific Northwest.

All programs are scheduled at the San Juan Island Library, except for the "Life and Times of General George Pickett," which, as it has been for more than 17 years, is slated July 3 and August 7 at the San Juan Community Theatre. The six library programs-scheduled at 7 p.m., June 28, July 19, August 2, 3 (7:30 p.m.), 10 and 17-are free of charge, thanks to a $500 grant to the library from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

The next program  is Territorial Voices: A Civil War Reader's Theater scheduled Saturday, July 20 with Lorraine McConaghy, historian for the Seattle Museum of Science and Industry (MOHAI).

When Abraham Lincoln was elected in November 1860, followed by the secession of seven Southern states a few weeks later, the nation was thrown into turmoil from which it would not fully recover for decades. With every scrap of news arriving by steamer, Overland stage or Pony Express, paranoia abounded not only in Washington territory, but also throughout the entire Far West. Were bands of secessionists ready to either turn the Pacific Slope to the South or create an independent "Republic of the Pacific?"
Closer to home, some wondered if the U.S. Army garrison would remain on San Juan Island.Come listen and learn how it came about.


Call the park at (360) 378-2240, ext. 2233 for more information.







June 19, 2013


The San Juan Islands featured in National and Northwest TV Spots

Continuing a streak of wide-ranging exposure, two television programs will air next week featuring the San Juans Islands and Friday Harbor:

Wednesday, June 26th  7 am – 11 am TODAY Show, (NBC, King 5) - Travel expert and Orbitz Senior Editor, Jean Tornatore, will be speaking with hosts Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb about “5 Places Every American Should Visit,” for this 4th of July-themed program. One of the 5 will be the San Juan Islands.

Thursday, June 27th at 11 am – New Day Northwest, (NBC, King 5) - Friday Harbor Mayor, Carrie Lacher, and Wanderlust Hospitality owner, Scott Hale, will be featured. The theme is "Friday Harbor - Gateway to Outdoor Adventure.” Scott will have one of his “glamping,” glamour camping, tents set up and Mayor Lacher will talk about all the great outdoor adventures--from kayaking to sunsets cruises--Friday Harbor has to offer.

A great weekend getaway package to Friday Harbor for “Savor the San Juans” in October will be given away, including RT floatplane from Seattle on Kenmore Air, two nights at Friday Harbor House, dinner at The Bluff, gift certificate to Vinny’s Ristorante, two day-passes to the Friday Harbor Film Festival and free tickets to The Whale Museum. Each audience member will receive a gift of hydrosol provided by Pelindaba Lavender.

Anyone interested in free tickets to the New Day Northwest show, should RSVP to [email protected].

Share the New Day Northwest news on Facebook or Twitter


Media Contact:
Barbara Marrett
Communications Manager
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
[email protected]
(360) 378-6822 ext. 6







June 18, 2013


Historical Days on Orcas Island

A day of celebration and activities for the Orcas Island Community, Thursday July 4th  11 a.m. on the Eastsound Green

Eastsound, Wash. –  Hooray for Historical Days!—a day-long event filled with activities for families, tourists, and kids of all ages. Historical Days is organized and sponsored by the Orcas Island Historical Museum with the support and participation of the local community.

The Eastsound Green will be packed with games, activities, vendors, a beer garden and the Historical Museum’s hot dog stand. Attendees can attend the Flag Ceremony, listen to live music, participate in our live auction and watch the Harvey Family’s Old Fashioned Logging Show!


11 a.m.:  Presentation of the Colors by the American Legion Color Guard Flag Ceremony hosted by the Eagle Forum

11:30 a.m.: Live music presented by the Orcas Horns

12:30 p.m.: The Museum’s own Live Auction fundraiser begins, with special antiques donated from local families and businesses—including the Museum volunteers and members.  Live Auctioneer and High School teacher Mark Padbury will oversee the Auction – which is a fundraiser for the Orcas Island Historical Museum. The event promises to be filled with fun and surprises.

1:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.:  The Harvey Family Old Fashioned Logging Show

To donate your antiques, artworks, gift certificates and special somethings please contact James Lobdell at 376-4287 or the Orcas Island Historical Museum at 376-4849.

The Orcas Island Historical Museum operates and sustains itself on memberships, donations, grants and a percentage of San Juan County lodging tax.  Your generous contributions toward the July 4th auction and additional fundraisers this summer go a long way towards sustaining the Museum, allowing us to continue collecting, preserving and sharing the history of Orcas Island.


Karen at (360) 376-4849
[email protected]






June 13, 2013


WaterWorks Gallery in Friday Harbor premiers "The Dog Show: Loving our Four-legged Friends" on June 22


Friday Harbor, Wash., ... WaterWorks Gallery is pleased to present the oil paintings of Jamie Ellsworth and the bronze and mixed media sculptures of Barbara Duzan. Both artists, multiple dog owners themselves, convey the love of their canine friends with unique styles that exude of love and humor.

Jaime Ellsworth, painter of dogs, cats and horses has a collection of creatures that range in size from very small to a couple of miniature horses. Jaime’s simplified color palette with her graphic portray of these animals convey a sense of dignity, and perhaps humor that we humans find in our animal world. A look, a touch and a lick, our animals demand attention from all of our senses. Looking at Jaime’s work, give us entrance into this private special world.

Barbara Duzan, amazes us with her artistic versatility, whether she is beading an animal form that hangs on the wall, mixing up the plaster of Paris for her mixed media works or is modeling the clay for a new bronze casting, Barbara continues her exploration in all these mediums with her animals. She will catch a puppy playing on their back, a trained circus dog balancing a hoop on a horse and a dog sitting quietly waiting for what is next. Her work is pleasing to touch and a delight for the eye.

Presented at the gallery On Saturday, June 22, at 2 p.m., Barbara and Jaime will walk us through their works, sharing the inspirations behind and process. Then from 4 - 7 p.m. the gallery hosts a reception for the artists.

The show runs until July 13. All artworks are featured on the gallery’s

WaterWorks Gallery  - San Juan Island’s première gallery for contemporary artwork. Established in 1985 with the concept of showcasing artists based in the San Juan Islands and the Pacific Northwest.
The work of the gallery’s painters and sculptors reflect the unique Northwest experience. Artists and their visions evolve and change, stimulated by the changing times we live in.


Ruth Offen
WaterWorks Gallery
315 Argyle St.
PO Box 28
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
(360) 378-3060
(360)317.8262 cell






June 13, 2013


The Great Island Grown Festival

San Juan Islands, October 1-13, 2013

CELEBRATE THE HARVEST!  Join us for the first two weeks of October for The Great Island Grown Festival, offering a rare glimpse inside the unique world of food and farming in the San Juan Islands.  Find out why Lonely Planet calls the San Juans “The Gourmet Archipelago.”  Come together with farmers, restaurants, the island community, and visitors to celebrate a vibrant farming community, pastoral landscapes, food, and the island way of life. Enjoy a variety of events, classes and workshops.  From a tour and lunch at shellfish farm to a chili cook-off with local ingredients; to old island farm tours and farm-to-table feasts; sheep dog demonstrations and farmscape watercolor workshops, apple and vineyard harvests, pig-roast, farm bike tours, cheese-tasting, and more – it’s bound to be a deliciously good time on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands.

Some highlights include:

Lopez on the Halfshell (Friday, October 4th): Visit the Sweetwater Shellfish Farm on Lopez to see how oysters, mussels, and clams are raised and then taste them, raw and cooked—there’s nothing fresher than this!

The Friday Harbor Fall Farm Parade (Saturday, October 5th): Tractors, Old Farm Trucks, Goats, Horses and More! This old-fashioned parade has it all! If this homegrown parade production of island farms and farmers doesn’t turn your head, what will?

Going Whole Hog! (Sunday, Oct 6th): Join Chef Christina Orchid for a full day of culinary events at Red Rabbit Farm, centered on their pig: classes in butchering, roasting, and preserving pork will culminate in a mouth-watering pig roast.  And more: Go for the Gold in the family fun filled Farm Olympics!

“The true diversity of the islands’ agricultural landscape shines through,” Boyd Pratt, coordinator for the Great Island Grown Festival commented.

Here’s what a few of the many participants are saying. At Westcott Bay Ciderworks and San Juan Distillery, tours and tastings of cider and distilled spirits as well as an apple picking party will be held on select weekends in October. “We're using locally foraged ingredients to make a high-quality natural product for islanders, and if that makes us a tourist attraction too, that's awesome,” said Suzy Pingree, partner, San Juan Island Distillery. 

Chef Christina Orchid, who will be hosting Going Whole Hog, “Sustainable agriculture is actually thriving and growing in the San Juans; come and see it for yourselves!”

For the full calendar of events, and to check for updates on “The Great Island Grown Festival” events and times at

The Great Island Grown Festival is part of “Savor the San Juans: A Medley of Food, Art & Culture.”  This month-long movable feast for the senses includes tempting lodging and restaurant specials and harvest activities, visit as more specials are added daily.

For More Information: 
San Juan CountyAgricultural Resources Committee

Media Contact:
Boyd Pratt, Coordinator, The Great Island Grown Festival
Phone: (360) 378-7172
Email: [email protected] or  [email protected] Website:







June 5, 2013


Cruise on the Classic M/V Odyssey During the Solstice, June 20, 6-9 p.m. to support the Friday  Harbor Film Festival

Spend a lovely Solstice evening, the longest day of the year Thurs. June 20, from 6-9 pm cruising among the islands of San Juan Channel. Departing from Spring Street Landing at 6 pm so all aboard at 5:45 PM! Cruise among the beauty of the islands, while enjoying the sizzling saxophone of Teddy Deane. Nibble on savory appetizers and sweet treats. Sip on refreshing beer from Island Hoppin' Brewery, white wine from Spring Street General Store and assorted beverages donated by San Juan Excursions.

The FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL will present quality and award winning documentaries of the diverse Pacific Rim.  Our Film Festival will feature a variety of films about island cultures, the environment, human interest, social justice and grand adventures.  Filmmakers will be on hand throughout the event to introduce their films; offer Q and A, plus, there will be a workshop with several to learn about the art of documentary filmmaking.  The purpose of the FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL is to increase our visitor count on the shoulder season, and raise awareness of our Pacific Rim neighbors and the world.  Also, an art gallery walk is planned along with a special segment of children’s films.

The Friday Harbor Film Festival is being coordinated by the Pacific Islands Research Institute a 501c3 non-profit.  Please check out our web page  The use of the M/V Odyssey has been generously donated by San Juan Excursions to help raise the necessary funds to host the FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL on OCT. 11-12-13, 2013.  The theme of the Film Festival for this year is “STORIES OF THE PACIFIC RIM” and the purpose is to screen films that will ENTERTAIN, INSPIRE and ENLIGHTEN.

Tickets are only $85 per person Seating is very limited. Buy your tickets early.   Tickets can be purchased at: San Juan Excursions at Spring Street Landing under Downriggers, or at Spring Street General Store or by calling 360-298-1939 for Credit Card purchases.





June 3, 2013


June 22 is the date for the annual Orca Sing event at Lime Kiln Point State Park

Friday Harbor, Wash. – Orca Sing is an annual event where people gather for an evening of music at Lime Kiln Point State Park to honor the Southern Resident orcas. Typically held on a Saturday near the Solstice, this year’s event is the 14th annual and will take place on Saturday, June 22. 

The Orca Sing event will be held at the lighthouse at Lime Kiln Point State Park, a.k.a. Whale Watch Park.  Friends and families are invited to come and learn about the Salish Sea ecosystem and the Southern Resident Orca community. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the music. ‘Orca Sing' starts at 6:00 p.m. Parking is limited, so please plan to carpool or take the bus from the ferry. For transit information, see Lighthouse tours will take place before and after the music.

The Washington State Park Discover Pass is required and can be purchased at the park for a fee of $10.

This year we will also celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Washington State Parks.  The music performance will be acoustic. While there is no guarantee, we hope that the orcas will grace us with a pass-by. The event is free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy the beauty of Lime Kiln.  

Tours of the historic lighthouse will be offered before and after the concert. A Discovery Pass is required for parking at the State Park and can be purchased through the Lime Kiln Point State Park Interpretive Center. Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited.

For more information, contact The Whale Museum at (360) 378-4710 ext. 30. The Whale Museum can be found on-line at





May 29, 2013

It’s “Relaxation as Usual” in the San Juan Islands

Easy detour routes and welcoming businesses confirm that getting here is half the fun

San Juan Islands, WA—Despite the I-5 Skagit River bridge closure, the San Juan Islands are kicking off the summer season in style, with fun events, great food and spectacular views. On Memorial Day Weekend, a  huge—and playful—humpback whale spent a few hours in Friday Harbor, and humpback sightings continue around the county. This weekend, the San Juan Island Artist’s Studio Tour will lead visitors through 15 studios around the island, representing 40 artists, the Celebrity Golf Classic and Salmon Barbeque takes place, and a Salish Sea Early Music Festival will be performed on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands.

Resorts, inns and bed & breakfasts have reported little, if any, effect from the bridge closure, since most innkeepers were proactive, making use of phone calls, email and social media to keep their guests informed. Roche Harbor Lodging Director Sam Jacobson said, “We connected with our guests via Twitter, Facebook and direct emails to let them know alternate routes to San Juan Island, and updates on the situation. The show must go on, right?”

And the show did go on.  Doe Bay Resort & Retreat on Orcas Island hosted a Memorial Day Music Weekend with three bands from Seattle. General Manager River Augenstein reported only one cabin cancellation from the music-packed weekend. “People were excited to come up and relax at Doe Bay and see all the bands that played and didn’t let the bridge closure stop them.”  Lance Evans, Director of the Orcas Island Chamber, said the Bite of Orcas was well attended and he was grateful to see sunshine on Saturday for this annual event.

Although some inns and businesses such as whale watch tours were affected, local business owners are optimistic that the bridge will be fixed by mid June. Richard Fralick of Isle Dream Cottages on Orcas Island said, “We were on top of the closure and sent out alternate routes late Thursday night. Our first guests were on island early Friday morning reporting no troubles getting here and actually enjoyed the scenic alternative. We passed their comments on to future guests and have permanently added the “scenic route” to our website.”  Christopher Peacock, General Manager of Rosario Resort, implemented similar proactive strategies and reported that they only lost four reservations but they filled them up just as quickly.

Detour routes can be found on our website at and

Media contact:  Barbara Marrett, Communications Manager
888.468.3701 ext. 6 or [email protected]
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, Washington State





May 26, 2013

Governor Inslee announces I-5 bridge replacement plan

Solution keeps traffic moving while crews construct permanent bridge

MT. VERNON – Gov. Inslee today announced a plan to replace the collapsed portion of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River near Mt. Vernon.

“We will install a temporary span on the bridge that will restore traffic while we build a safe and durable permanent span adjacent to it,” said Governor Inslee. “This plan ensures the economic vitality of Washington state and the communities along this important corridor.”

The temporary four-lane bridge will carry I-5 traffic over the Skagit River at a reduced speed and capacity. The bridge will consist of two, 24-foot wide structures to replace the collapsed section of the bridge. These structures will be pre-built and trucked to the site to allow for accelerated installation. The remaining southern section has been examined and will not need to be replaced.

“The plan minimizes the closure time and keeps clear access to popular Skagit County retail business and destinations including the Anacortes ferry terminal,” said Inslee. “I’m proud of all the work done by the Department of Transportation and all our local and federal partners that resulted in this innovative plan.”

If the remaining inspections of the bridge structure find no additional damage, the temporary bridge could be in place within weeks. Once debris has been removed, further underwater structural examinations will determine if additional repairs are needed before installing the temporary span.

Crews will immediately start work on the permanent bridge when the temporary span is put in place. Crews will put temporary piers into the river to support a platform adjacent to the collapsed span where the new section will be built. Once complete, the temporary span will be removed and the new permanent span will be moved into place. WSDOT hopes to have the permanent bridge open to traffic in early fall.

Governor Inslee’s proclamation on Friday prompted the immediate $1 million federal emergency quick release funding from USDOT. Federal funding will make up 90 percent of the cost of a permanent fix. The initial estimate for the total cost of a permanent fix is $15 million.

WSDOT Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson provided a reminder that although the short-term fix will bring some relief to drivers and the community, the final resolution is still months away. “We ask for everyone’s patience as we transition from emergency operations to long-term repair,” said Secretary Peterson.

Reduced speeds during the interim fix mean traffic backups will continue to be a challenge, both locally and on I-5. Drivers should still allow extra time when traveling through the area. The detours will remain in place to provide drivers with travel options.

“The home stretch will be a two week total closure of I-5 likely in September as crews remove the temporary structure and move the permanent bridge into place,” said Secretary Peterson. A portion of a bridge on I-5 collapsed into the Skagit River near Mount Vernon Thursday evening after a semi-truck struck critical steel supports. This vital corridor carries 71,000 vehicles each day and is the only north-south interstate in Washington state.

Contact: David Postman (360) 902-0632



May 28, 2013

Signs for Optimism for San Juan County Businesses after the I-5 Bridge Closure

Friday Harbor, WA...A diverse array of local elected officials, government staff, and business representatives from each of the San Juan Islands have been working hard this weekend to monitor and manage impacts from the I-5 bridge closure on the islands' economy.

“Key people began talking on Thursday night, and on Friday morning we had a meeting with Duncan Wilson from the Town of Friday Harbor, our Emergency Manager, Brendan Cowan, Deborah Hopkins Buchanan from the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, and Bob Jean from the County," stated San Juan County Council Member Rick Hughes. "The immediate concern of all involved was understanding the implications of the bridge closure and working to communicate information on reroutes and impacts to visitors, businesses, and residents.”

“We've been focused on getting positive information out there, and delivering a more informative and detailed message than what we've been seeing from DOT. The reality is that there are lots of alternate routes available, and we want to make sure the message that the islands are open for business is heard loud and clear,” said Friday Harbor Administrator Wilson.

“Emergency Management Director Cowan has been hosting regular conference calls with the Chambers, Visitors Bureau, and local government, and State Senator Kevin Ranker who is working closely with the Governor's Office and other State agencies. The cooperation has been great. We've really tried to craft an accurate, clear, and consistent message,” said Friday Harbor Mayor Carrie Lacher. Hopkins Buchanan from the Visitors Bureau added, “Our island businesses have really done an amazing job of reaching out directly to their guests and clients by sharing information with them and helping figuring out how best to get to the islands. It's a real county-wide effort.”

While it's too soon to know for sure, there is a sense of optimism. Vehicle traffic on the ferries was up slightly for Friday from a year ago, and anecdotal reports suggest that cancellations have been relatively rare. As Governor Inslee announced on Sunday, a temporary bridge could be in place by mid-June. Given initial predictions of up to three months, that's good news, but until a new bridge is in place, everyone coming to or from the islands needs to give themselves a bit of extra time and anticipate possible delays at peak travel times.

Emergency Management Director Cowan noted that “Many travelers have made the trip to Anacortes this weekend with no delays at all, but there have been periods of back up on Best Road and other routes. DOT is fine tuning the process, and things will get better, but this will be an inconvenience for the near future. Patience, flexibility, and a bit of ingenuity will go a long way—common traits for islanders and island visitors alike.”

RELATED LINKS: WS DOT Skagit Bridge Info Page: San Juan Visitors Bureau Facebook ( & Twitter ( SJC Emergency Management Facebook ( & Twitter (

CONTACTS: Brendan Cowan Emergency Management Director San Juan County & Friday Harbor (360) 370-7612 [email protected]

Barbara Marrett Communications Director, San Juan Islands Visitor Bureau [email protected] (360) 298-1212



May 24, 2013; detour routes updated May 26

San Juan Islands Offer Support and a Reminder that the Islands are Open for Business Regarding I-5 Skagit River Bridge Closure

As news of the I-5 bridge collapse reached the islands on Thursday evening, the first instinct of local government was to help it's neighbors. Offers of assistance were quickly made to Skagit County from San Juan County and the Town of Friday Harbor, and the islands stand by to support in any way possible.

When day broke on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, the good news that there were no fatalities was welcome, but the potential for a major economic impact on the islands loomed large.

Fortunately, WA State DOT has been working non-stop to identify, sign, and fine tune alternate routes to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal- of which there are many.

In a word, businesses on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands are very much OPEN, and visitors who make the trip will be greeted with very open arms.

Updated May 26: For northbound traffic, DOT is officially recommending Exit 226 Kincaid St./Division St./Hwy. 536 to Hwy. 20 west. Another preferred route is via Exit 221 Fir Island Road to Best Road to Hwy. 20 west. Those traveling southbound may still use the usual route at Exit 230, or can avoid congestion by taking Bow Hill Road Exit 236. Both routes are scenic and connect directly with Highway 20 that leads right to the ferry terminal in Anacortes.

Washington State Ferries are running on their usual holiday schedule, and there is ample parking at the Terminal.

For up to the minute updates, visit or

Contact: Brendan Cowan, PIO San Juan County Dept. of Emergency Management 360-370-7612 [email protected]



May 20, 2013

The Scenic Byway Bus Just Got Better

Don’t miss the bus! Explorer bus 2-for-1 special takes you farther than before

Friday Harbor, WA...Go green, save time, and get a free companion pass to see Washington’s newest Scenic Byway by bus! Visitors are encouraged to leave their cars behind this summer and ride the island-based shuttle bus to the most special recreational, cultural, historical and scenic spots along the San Juan Islands Scenic Byway. Companion travelers can sign up to receive their free companion Explorer Bus Day Pass ($15 value) at Redeem it on the shuttle bus on San Juan Island or Orcas Island.

New this year, for day pass holders, a free ride back to the ferry the next day. And beginning June 21, the bus will include the Cattle Point area of the new San Juan Islands National Monument in one of its runs.

San Juan Islands daily shuttle bus service began earlier this year, May 17, and runs longer than before, through September 15. Route options have increased. Three different island routes originate or terminate at the Friday Harbor ferry landing. See for full details of schedules/pickup sites. •Friday Harbor—Roche Harbor (includes vineyard, alpaca ranch, English Camp, sculpture park) DAILY 5/17 thru 9/15 •Friday Harbor—Cape San Juan (includes golf course, American Camp, South Beach, Cape San Juan) DAILY 6/21—9/2 • Friday Harbor—Snug Harbor (includes Lime Kiln Point State Park, San Juan County Park, lavender farm) FRIDAYS—MONDAYS in May and June, DAILY 6/14 - 9/2 Orcas Island daily shuttle bus service is available Solstice through Labor Day (June 21 through September 2). • Orcas ferry landing, West Sound, south Turtleback trail head, Deer Harbor, golf course, Eastsound, Rosario Resort, Moran State Park

Travelers can use the pass in conjunction with the Washington State Ferries free walk-on passenger ticket (with purchase of one full-fare passenger ticket) offered in the print version of the Seattle Chinook Book. The Chinook Book can be found at bookstores and retail outlets around Puget Sound or purchased online at

Wheelchairs are welcome on the bus and on the Washington State Ferries (WSF). Advance calls to make arrangements are recommended. Shuttle bus: (360) 378-8887; WSF assistance: contact ADA Specialist Susan Moriarty at (206) 515-3481.

Discover island-style hospitality and experience Washington’s newest Scenic Byway. For lodging and activities see the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau website at

Contact: Barbara Marrett, Communications Manager San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Washington State (360) 378-6822 ext. 6 [email protected]



April 26, 2013

Islands Museum of Art purchases old EMS Building

Friday Harbor, WA...The acquisition of the old EMS building by the San Juan Islands Museum of Art was unanimously accepted by the Board of Commissioners of the San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 at their meeting on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

Jim Cole, Chief of the San Juan Island EMS, stated “This is an absolute win-win. We are taking a public building and keeping it as an exciting new public building.” Chief Cole also added that he has talked with the Wilson family and they are very pleased that it will become a wonderful museum in our community. The building was originally dedicated to family member, Frank Wilson. San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA) Board members Charlie Bodenstab and Jack Yelverton thanked the Board of Commissioners, Chief Jim Cole, and Dr. J. Michael Edwards for their excellent due diligence during the three year period of discussions regarding the purchase.

The IMA Board has set as a priority the creation of a façade for the front of the building that will convert it from the very noble, but utilitarian image, consistent with the mission of the EMS organization, to an exciting and inviting art museum.

The purchase of this building is a major commitment to the community to provide an accredited visual arts museum in Friday Harbor, serving the San Juan Islands. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art’s mission is to connect people with art that inspires, challenges, enlightens and educates. The IMA was established in February 2005 and is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.

Media Contact: Darleen Nixon (360) 317-6182



May 15, 2013

The 2nd annual San Juan Music Festival will be Saturday, August 31, 2013

The 2nd annual San Juan Music Festival will be Saturday, August 31, 2013 (Labor Day Weekend) at the new performance site at the former Browne’s Lumber lot at 330 Spring St. in Friday Harbor. This all day event will feature performances from these Island bands & artists, playing rock, jazz, big band, blues, and folk music: The Tease, the Chameleons, the San Juan Jazz Quintet, the One More Time Big Band, OPA, Debbie Nash Strasser, the Dust Bunnies, and the Shotgun Messengers.

This San Juan Lions club event will offer hot dogs, sandwiches, beer, soft drinks, plenty of seating, sun and shade, and fun. Admission at the gate will be $10. Kids 12 and under free.

Proceeds will help fund the many Lions Vision and Hearing projects. A goal is to purchase a digital vision screening unit for preschool aged children. Currently no such screening is available, and the screening device will be made available for all the children of our county.

Contact: Tom Starr (360) 298-1281 Email: [email protected]



May 7, 2009

Pelindaba Lavender Wins King 5/Evening Magazine’s BEST PUBLIC GARDEN award for Fifth Year in Succession

San Juan Island, Wash….For the fifth year in a row, Pelindaba Lavender Farm has just been voted as “Best Public Garden in Western Washington” in local NBC affiliate King 5/Evening Magazine’s “Best of the Northwest Escapes” annual contest.

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Pelindaba Lavender Farm won this same title as winner of the same contest in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Stephen Robins, owner of Pelindaba Lavender, said, “We are delighted to receive this broad public recognition of what we have created here on San Juan Island. Esthetics are a critically important element of the high quality standards we strive to instill in everything we do, and help us attract even greater attention to the value of open space preservation in an increasingly crowded environment. It is particularly gratifying to have this affirmation that these efforts provide as much pleasure for others as they do for us.

“We welcome thousands of visitors each year at the farm. They come to stroll through the blooming fields, picnic, harvest their own bouquets, explore the distillery and exhibits, enjoy lavender ice cream and lavender lemonade and browse the hundreds of lavender products we handcraft on-site from our organic flowers and oils.”

Pelindaba Lavender is a 14-year-old San Juan Island open space preservation project that has steadily developed into a nationally prominent vertically integrated farmer of organically certified lavender, and manufacturer and retailer of value-added lavender products handcrafted entirely by island residents. It has also gained wide recognition as a unique model of sustainable community development as well as a highly popular regional agri-tourism destination.

Pelindaba Lavender was nominated for Washington State’s 2004 Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and was the recipient of San Juan County Rotary’s first ever Award for Business Excellence in 2005.




May 2, 2013

Tour San Juan Island's Historic Homes on May 18, 2013

Friday Harbor, Washington…..San Juan Island Historical Museum offers an opportunity to step inside some of the unique and history-filled houses on the island, during the Historic Home Tour slated for Saturday, May 18, 2013, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Most of the six homes on the tour this year were built in the late 1800’s, with one notable exception: a modern home filled with the antique collection of a lifetime. Another added treat for this year’s tour is a guided tour of the Crook House at English Camp, courtesy of San Juan Island National Historical Park.

The tour begins with the James King House on the grounds of the San Juan Historical Museum, where, starting at 11:00 am, tour participants can check in to purchase or pick up your tickets and tour packets. Tickets are $20 each adult, children under 15 years are free of charge. The tour packet will include a detailed map to each of the six houses on the tour. The tours are self-guided and self-paced. The map and guide will feature photos of the home as it was in the past, and how it appears today. The photos included here are of Olympic Lights Bed and Breakfast, built as a farmhouse in 1895, and now providing quant and beautiful accommodations to visitors around the world.

Tickets may be purchase ahead of the event by calling 360-378-3949, or by purchasing them online at – choose “Events”.

Proceeds from the tour will benefit the San Juan Historical Museum.

Sponsors include King’s Market, Browne’s Home Center, Islanders Bank, San Juan Interiors, VanderYacht Propane, Coldwell Banker.

About the San Juan Historical Museum:

The purpose of the San Juan Historical Society and its museum is to share and interpret the story of the peoples of San Juan Island. The Historical Society will assemble, collect, preserve, exhibit and make available for future generations historical data, information and artifacts which illustrate the heritage of San Juan Island. Collections, programs and publications will provide for the enjoyment and education of residents and visitors.

Contact: Kevin Loftus Museum Director San Juan Historical Museum 425 Price Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 [email protected] (360) 378-3949



May 2, 2013

Visitors Share the Love with Local Economy: How Tourism Works for the Islands

National Travel & Tourism Week, May 4 – 12, champions the power of travel to enhance communities across the country by contributing to the local economy and overall quality of life. To put it more directly: Tourism Matters. It’s also the perfect timing to release figures from a recent study, “Washington State Travel Impacts & Visitor Volume” by Dean Runyan Associates.

The San Juan Islands host an estimated 750,000 visitors a year, which, in turn, creates an annual infusion of $156.5 million into the local economy (2012 preliminary total). According to San Juan County data, lodging tax grew by 15.3% in 2012. Visitor spending in general grew by $13.9 million (representing 9.6% growth) from 2011, according to the Runyan study. More information on visitor impacts to the State of Washington can be found here:

The theme for 2013’s National Tourism week is “The Travel Effect” and it’s responsible for creating jobs, stimulating business development, funding town and county projects, and enriching the culture and vibrancy of visitor destinations like the San Juan Islands. Think--great restaurants, events and activities. An estimated 1,850 jobs were supported by tourism dollars last year in San Juan County. In fact, approximately one out of every eight people in the Islands is employed by tourist dependent businesses.

The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau is the county’s official destination marketing organization and represents over 330 island businesses supporting local history, culture and visitor education. Visitors here generated 2.7 million in local taxes; taxes that stayed in San Juan County to support local services and helped to reduce tax burdens for island residents. Lodging taxes paid by the visitor help fund our Chamber of Commerce visitor centers, destination marketing services, community theaters, historical museums, county parks, fairgrounds, festivals and events. Celebrate these treasures by visiting island museums, cultural centers, and historic sites during, History Lives Here: Heritage Month in the San Juan Islands, (, in May.

There is much to see and do here at home on a “staycation,” in May. Learn more about our tourism businesses and all of May’s events at

Media Contact: Barbara Marrett San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau [email protected] 360-378-6822 ext.6



April 29, 2013

History Lives Here: Getaways in May

Celebrate Heritage Month in the San Juan Islands

For some pioneers, reaching the Pacific Ocean wasn’t far enough; they kept searching. This May, visitors can uncover the stories of an isolated archipelago and the people who settled there during a getaway to the San Juan Islands. Stay in historic B&Bs, inns or hotels. Dine in historic restaurants; catch a film in a 1915 movie house. Take in history exhibits, an evening ghost tour, walk historic neighborhoods and visit historic homes. Pray in historic churches. Celebrate 100 years of Washington State Parks from the historic tower of Moran State Park and view 100 miles of the Salish Sea and the San Juan Archipelago.

During the month of May, the Town of Friday Harbor in partnership with the Lopez, San Juan and Orcas islands’ historical museums, the San Juan Island National Historical Park and other community organizations, celebrate National Historic Preservation Month branded as, History Lives Here: Heritage Month in the San Juan Islands.

Events and exhibits will share tales of the people and places that make the San Juan Islands what they are today. The islands’ past is full of history and intrigue. From early native people and explorers, to rogues and soldiers, to entrepreneurs and families, the story of the islands is a rich collection of diverse voices. Come hear their stories. More spring events can be found at:

Lopez Island Images New and Old

This year, the Lopez Island Historical Museum celebrates its 40th anniversary, with a new exhibit throughout May, entitled: Homesteaders, Indian Wives and Second Sons, featuring photos and artifacts from the courageous and colorful homesteaders who settled on Lopez in the mid-1800s. Find out more at Lopez Island Historical Society & Museum

The Lopez Island Library began its life at the end of World War II, by the 1970s, it needed a new home, and the Lopez Library League raised money and found a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, then moved the building to its present location and renovated it. The library has been the center of Lopez intellectual life ever since. Find out more about readings and events at

Friday Harbor / Roche Harbor and San Juan Island National Historical Park

Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor

All month, guided walking tours, including an evening ghost tour of Friday Harbor, local history talks, Memorial Day parade and other special events will portray the past as long-time islanders lived and remember it. Over a dozen events and activities sponsored by the Town of Friday Harbor take place in various locations Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The Crook House Tour and Lecture at English Camp

The San Juan Island National Historical Park will open historic, circa 1900, Crook House at English Camp to the public for the first time. Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. Tickets $5. Visit San Juan Historical Museum for more information.

Historic Home Tour Fundraiser and American Camp Officers Quarters Tour

This is a rare opportunity to peek inside several historic homes and farm houses from 100 years ago. Also, for the first time, the National Park Service is opening the historic officer’s quarters at American Camp, so you can experience how the soldiers and officers really lived during the Pig War of 1859. Historic Home Tour, Saturday, May 18, 11 – 4; check San Juan Historical Museum for ticket prices.

Orcas Island

100th Anniversary of Washington State Parks

The Orcas Island Historical Museum celebrates the centennial of state parks in Washington with a party at the top of Mt. Constitution on Saturday, May 11, 11 – 4 p.m. The museum will also have a special exhibit, with a series of photographs of the changing face of Moran State Park since its beginnings in the 1920s. All month, guided walking tours, local history talks and other special events are planned. Visit Orcas Island Historical Museum for more information.

Rosario Resort Concert & Historical Narrative

Enjoy a presentation of music and photography that walks guests through the history of the Moran family and the Rosario estate each Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Highlights include the historic Moran photograph collection and original Phantom of the Opera music performed on the Mansion’s 1,972 pipe Aeolian organ along with the silent film. Free and open to the public. Visit for more information.

In May and the first weekend in June, many other events are planned throughout the islands. For more information contact the Visitors Bureau: 360-378-9551 ext. 1, check out their History Lives Here: Heritage Month in the San Juan Islands page and events calendar or see these websites:,,, or

Islands in the Stream - of Time: The National Register of Historic Places

There are 18 sites in San Juan County registered as “Historic Places.” From the Emanuel Episcopalian Church, built in 1885 on the Eastsound waterfront; to Doe Bay Resort, one of the first post offices (and taverns) on Orcas Island, most of these places are open to the public. Many sites have been lovingly restored through community effort, such as the 1917 Port Stanley School on Lopez Island, restored in 2003 with the original pot belly stove that had languished for years in someone’s garage. Others have been restored by private enterprise, such as to the Orcas Hotel, built in 1904, then closed in 1977, when the fire escape consisted of a knotted rope tied to a third floor ceiling. Thanks to islanders, the hotel was saved from becoming a ferry parking lot in 1978, and finally restored by private owners in 1985. Walk through the lobby of Roche Harbor Resort’s Hotel de Haro, founded in 1886, or the 1909 Moran Mansion Museum at Rosario Resort to see historic photographs and original furnishings.

Beyond the registry, the islands have many historic places to visit every day, from the Outlook Inn on Orcas, built in 1876 by ‘49er Charles Shattuck; to the Lopez Library, and the former 1870s Saloon Best, now the Blue Water Grill in Friday Harbor. When historic places are treasured and cherished, visitors connect to future generations, who may in turn, understand the past–and themselves–more fully.

Media Contact: Barbara Marrett San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, Washington State [email protected] (360) 378-6822 ext. 6



April 25, 2013

Wildflower Fest Completes Bloom Week at San Juan Island's National Historical Park

Learn where the wildflowers and birds are, peer over the shoulders of artists in action, play a game or catch a tune or two during San Juan Island National Historical Park's second annual Wildflower Festival, scheduled 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 11 on the American Camp parade ground.

The Festival is the culmination of Bloom Week, a week-long celebration of spring for the whole family, scheduled May 5 - 11 at both English and American camps. All events are free and open to the public. See below or click here for a full slate of Bloom Week activities, dates and times. For special access information, please call the American Camp visitor center at (360) 378-2240, ext. 2228 or 2233.

Winners of the park's first Community Arts in the Park art contest also will be announced at the Wildflower Festival following a week of public judging at the American Camp visitor. Stop by the visitor center starting Saturday, May 4, look at the work and cast your vote.

The parade ground Festival will also feature representatives of nature conservation organizations such as Lime Kiln State Park; Bureau of Land Management; Wolf Hollow; San Juan Historical Society; Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve; Washington Native Plant Society; San Juan Chapter; San Juan Islands Conservation District; San Juan County Marine Resources Committee; San Juan Island Garden Club; Friends of Lime Kiln Society (FOLKS) and; Futurewise.

Music will be offered throughout the day. Musicians include the Pig War Band with Michael Cohen and other artists to be announced.

Activities for children include learning to create your own prairie ecosystem, junior ranger booklets with patches and badges, coloring books and much more.

But of course, nature willing, the biggest attractions to any wildflower festival are the wildflowers. In addition to park rangers, local botanists Madrona Murphy, Louisa Nishitani and North Cascades national Park botanist Regina Rochefort will be available all day to seek out and discuss wildflowers from South Beach to the parade ground, as well as the Jakle's Lagoon/Mt. Finlayson trail network. Naturalist Susan Vernon will be will be available at the Redoubt to answer questions about the rare Island Marble butterfly. Or visitors can do their own sleuthing with the aid of the park's full-color wildflower brochure, featuring 28 plant varieties, available for a mere $1.50. The guide is also available now in the American Camp visitor center.

Bloom Week activities include: The Frazer Homestead walk with Historian Mike Vouri, at noon, Sunday, May 5; Wildflowers of San Juan Island NHP, a brief presentation at 11:30 a.m., Monday, May 5 at Mullis Center; Wildflowers with Local Students, meeting noon, Tuesday May 7 in the Jakle's Lagoon parking area; Wildflower Observations with Spring Street International School, meet at 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 8 at the American Camp Visitor Center; Wildflowers of San Juan Island National Historical Park, a presentation with Jerald Weaver and Mike Vouri meeting 6:15, Thursday, May 9 in the meeting room of the Village at the Harbor, 547 Spring Street and; A Wildflower Walk with the Friday Walkers, meeting 10 a.m., Friday May 10 at the American Camp Visitor Center.

For more information contact the American Camp visitor center at (360) 378-2240 ex 2228 or 2229.

Contact: Raena Parsons, (360) 378-2240, ext. 2222 Contact: Mike Vouri, (360) 378-2240, ext. 2227 Contact: Doug Halsey, (360) 378-2240, ext. 2228 Website:


Kenmore Air's Spring Seat Sale - April 24 thru May 13

SEATTLE (April 23, 2013) – Starting tomorrow, April 24, local airline Kenmore Air is having a huge Spring Seat Sale for flights between Seattle & the San Juan Islands.

Travel April 24 through June 13, 2013 and save $50 when you fly round-trip between Seattle’s Lake Union, Kenmore Air Harbor on Lake Washington or Boeing Field and eight (8) destinations in the San Juan Islands:

• San Juan Island (Friday Harbor Marina, Roche Harbor & Friday Harbor Airport), • Orcas Island (Deer Harbor, Rosario Resort, Westsound & East Sound) • Lopez Island (Fisherman Bay).

The scenic 45-minute seaplane flight is fast, convenient, and stress-free. There are no big airports to get through, there’s no need to show up hours before your flight, and there is no waiting for the next ferry.

In addition, Kenmore Air also provides convenient complimentary shuttle service between our Lake Union Terminal and Sea-Tac International Airport.

The Kenmore Air Spring Seat Sale ends May 13, and seats are subject to availability. More info at

About Kenmore Air At Kenmore Air we think your travel should be just as much fun as your destination. Whether you're traveling for pleasure or business, our flights are far from your average airline experience. It’s a whole new perspective – the way flying is supposed to feel. Our scheduled flights to over 45 destinations are an easy, hassle-free alternative. As a family-run airline with a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, we are dedicated to creating memorable experiences for travelers. We value our rich history of flying in the Pacific Northwest since 1946 and hope you’ll join us.

Contact: Danny Levine NationAd Communications (425) 401-9901 [email protected] Photos & video available upon request



Author Richard Blumenthal Signs his new book "Maritime Place Names: Inland Washington Waters"

San Juan Historical Museum Resource Center, Saturday, April 20, 6:30 pm

The San Juan Historical Museum is pleased to welcome author Richard Blumenthal for a book signing and discussion. MARITIME PLACE NAMES Inland Washington Waters is a historical text on Washington state maritime place names. It includes every named island, bay, point, inlet, pass, harbor, channel, strait, canal, passage, peninsula, sound, shoal and rock identified on current nautical charts. Variants and more obscure local names are frequently included as well as historical names that did not stand the test of time. The manuscript generally identifies the individual who named the place, when, why and for whom. It also identifies the chart where the name first appeared and the early settlement history of each place.

Heavily annotated, the manuscript makes extensive use of quotes of the observations from our earliest explorers to document their reasons for various names and to provide readers an impression of what Puget Sound country looked like 150-200 years ago.

About the author Richard Blumenthal began boating on Lake Washington at age five. Throughout his childhood, he cruised in the San Juans with family, learning of the secrets held by the numerous islands. Eventually, he became more interested in local maritime history. He researched the journals of early explorers and transcribed the material to get a better sense of their efforts, the hardships they faced and the places they visited. Some of these journals are available in his other books The Early Exploration of Inland Washington Waters, With Vancouver in Inland Washington Waters and Charles Wilkes and the Exploration of Inland Washington Waters.

Suggest donation is $5 and museum members are admitted at no charge.

Please contact the museum for further information at 360.378.3949 or [email protected]

Contact: Kevin Loftus (360) 378.3949 [email protected]



April 4, 2013

Eastsound Achieves Arts Accolades

Chosen as one of America’s Top Twelve Small-Town Artplaces

Eastsound Village on Orcas Island is in excellent company. Along with culturally vibrant towns such as Taos , NM and Stowe, VT, Eastsound was chosen as one of “America’s Top Twelve Small-Town ArtPlaces,” a new annual initiative recognizing smaller communities where the arts are central to creating the kinds of places where people want to live, work, and visit.

The announcement was made today by ArtPlace, a collaboration of foundations, banks, and agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking—putting the arts at the heart of community revitalization.

Director Carol Coletta said, “Earlier this year, ArtPlace announced America’s Top Twelve ArtPlaces in major metropolitan areas—vibrant communities identified as being exceptionally successful in combining the arts, artists, and venues for creativity and expression with independent businesses, restaurants, and a walkable lifestyle. It is equally important to celebrate dynamic Small-Town ArtPlaces and the unique qualities that make them well worth the journey to explore and enjoy.”

ArtPlace had this to say about Eastsound: a lively community on Orcas Island, the largest of the scenic San Juan Islands in the Salish Sea, midway between Seattle and Vancouver. Located at the top of a fjord-like inlet, the village is home to galleries, boutiques, and eateries. The galleries display a mix of locally produced art including ceramics from the three pottery studios on the island. Eastsound also has a vibrant performing arts scene including a Chamber Music Festival held every August.

The Top Twelve Small-Town ArtPlaces for 2013 (not ranked in any particular order) are: • Eastsound, WA • Taos, NM • Stowe, VT • Ketchum, ID • Vineyard Haven, MA • Eureka Springs, AR • Crested Butte, CO • Lanesboro, MN • Highlands, NC • Saratoga, WY • Boothbay Harbor, ME • Marfa, TX

The twelve communities had the highest concentrations of arts non-profits, core arts-oriented businesses, and workers in creative occupations among smaller towns in the United States.

About the methodology: The 2013 Top Twelve Small-Town ArtPlaces comprise arts-centric communities in single-town zip codes in non-metropolitan areas and metropolitan areas with a population of 100,000 or less. The selection was based on three factors identified by Impresa Inc., a Portland-based consulting firm specializing in the study of regional and metropolitan economies. The factors were the per capita numbers of; arts-related non-profits; arts-related businesses; and people working in creative occupations. The scores were normalized on a percentile scale (100 being the highest score and zero the lowest) and multiplied. The towns selected had the highest scores in the country.

ArtPlace provides grants and loans, supports research, and conducts outreach and advocacy. To date, they have awarded 80 grants totaling $26.9 million to 76 organizations in 46 U.S. communities. For more information about ArtPlace, visit For more information on the other selected locations:

Local Media Contact: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Barbara Marrett Communications Manager 360-378-6822 ext 6 / 888-468-3701 ext. 6 [email protected]

ArtPlace Media Contact: Bow Bridge Communications, LLC Libby Mark, 917-968-5567, [email protected] Heather Meltzer, 917-488-8441, [email protected] George Abbott, 504-432-8641, [email protected]



April 2, 2013

San Juan Cruises In Bellingham, WA Announces New "Bird Watching / Deception Pass Cruise"

Bellingham, WA – San Juan Cruises will be offering new bird watching cruises this season aboard the remodeled and rechristened M/V Salish Sea. Departing each Saturday throughout the spring and summer, passengers will have the opportunity to view an amazing variety of birds while cruising through Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands, under the Deception Pass bridge, and through the Swinomish Channel. The vessel’s captain and professional naturalists will talk about, and help passengers spot, the beautiful and fascinating birds that can be seen in the area. According to their naturalist Victoria Souze, “There are many birds that spend their lives on the marine waters here. Often the only opportunity to see these species is by boat.” The new San Juan Cruises “Bird Watching Cruise” series runs May 4th through August 24th, 2013 (Saturdays only). The price is $79.00/adult, $39.50/youth (ages 6-17) and children under 6 are free. More information can be found online:

San Juan Cruises offers this and other tours that highlight the best of what makes this corner of Washington State so special and unique – the rugged coastlines of the San Juan Islands and Chuckanut Bay, wildlife such as Orca Whales, Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals and Stellar Sea Lions, and Northwest cuisine, including Wild Alaskan Salmon and Dungeness Crab. Other tours offered include their Whale Watching Adventure Cruise, Chuckanut Bay Cracked Crab Dinner Cruise, "unWINEd On The Bay" wine tasting cruises, “Bellingham Bay BREWS Cruises”, and Sucia Island picnic cruises.

The San Juan Islands have been in the headlines this month. On March 25th the President signed a proclamation establishing 970 acres within the islands as a National Monument. They were also recently named by TripAdvisor as the top island destination in the US, beating out islands in Hawaii, Florida and Virginia.

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact: Contact: Drew Schmidt [email protected]

San Juan Cruises 355 Harris Avenue #104 Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 738-8099 (800) 443-4552

San Juan Cruises is a locally owned Bellingham company that has been offering boat cruises and tours to the San Juan Islands and British Columbia since 1987.



April 5, 2013

The Whale Museum’s 2013 Marine Naturalist Training Program

Friday Harbor, WA – Are you interested in becoming a trained and certified Marine Naturalist? Or have you ever just wanted to know more about the amazing animals that share your ecosystem? The Whale Museum is currently accepting registrations for its Marine Naturalist Training Program. Now offered twice yearly, the object of this program is to provide a learning experience that assists adults in becoming qualified regionally as professional or volunteer naturalists. The course is endorsed by the Pacific Whale Watch Association. Dates for the spring program are April 27, 28, May 4, 11, 18 and 19. The summer program takes place from July 18th through 24th with a one-day break on July 21st.

The main focus of the training is the ecology, current status and conservation of Southern Resident killer whales and other local marine species as well as discussions about the marine environment. The course includes presentations on cetaceans, pinnipeds, otters, intertidal invertebrates, marine birds, and other topics such as geology, marine conservation and current research projects. Faculty includes Whale Museum staff, professional naturalists, marine scientists, and environmental educators active in the region. Students will also participate in a variety of related field trips including the opportunity to practice their naturalist skills onboard a tour boat. Tuition is $375 which includes an orca adoption and a Whale Museum membership. There are no prerequisites other than high school graduation and a sincere interest to learn.

Contact: Cindy Hansen Education Curator [email protected] (360) 378-4710 ext. 23



March 25, 2013


Office of the Press Secretary


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Within Washington State's Puget Sound lies an archipelago of over 450 islands, rocks, and pinnacles known as the San Juan Islands. These islands form an unmatched landscape of contrasts, where forests seem to spring from gray rock and distant, snow-capped peaks provide the backdrop for sandy beaches. Numerous wildlife species can be found here, thriving in the diverse habitats supported by the islands. The presence of archeological sites, historic lighthouses, and a few tight-knit communities testifies that humans have navigated this rugged landscape for thousands of years. These lands are a refuge of scientific and historic treasures and a classroom for generations of Americans.

The islands are part of the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. Native people first used the area near the end of the last glacial period, about 12,000 years ago. However, permanent settlements were relatively uncommon until the last several hundred years. The Coast Salish people often lived in villages of wooden-plank houses and used numerous smaller sites for fishing and harvesting shellfish. In addition to collecting edible plants, and hunting various birds and mammals, native people used fire to maintain meadows of the nutritionally rich great camas. Archaeological remains of the villages, camps, and processing sites are located throughout these lands, including shell middens, reef net locations, and burial sites. Wood-working tools, such as antler wedges, along with bone barbs used for fishing hooks and projectile points, are also found on the islands. Scientists working in the San Juan Islands have uncovered a unique array of fossils and other evidence of long-vanished species. Ancient bison skeletons (10,000-12,000 years old) have been found in several areas, indicating that these islands were an historic mammal dispersal corridor. Butcher marks on some of these bones suggest that the earliest human inhabitants hunted these large animals.

The first Europeans explored the narrows of the San Juan Islands in the late 18th century, and many of their names for the islands are still in use. These early explorers led the way for 19th century European and American traders and trappers. By 1852, American settlers had established homesteads on the San Juan Islands, some of which remain today. In the late 19th century, the Federal Government built several structures to aid in maritime navigation. Two light stations and their associated buildings are located on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM): Patos Island Light Station (National Register of Historic Places, 1977) and Turn Point Light Station (Washington State Register of Historic Places, 1978).

The lands on Patos Island, Stuart Island, Lopez Island, and neighboring islands constitute some of the most scientifically interesting lands in the San Juan Islands. These lands contain a dramatic and unusual diversity of habitats, with forests, woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands intermixed with rocky balds, bluffs, inter-tidal areas, and sandy beaches. The stands of forests and open woodlands, some of which are several hundred years old, include a majestic assemblage of trees, such as Douglas fir, red cedar, western hemlock, Oregon maple, Garry oak, and Pacific madrone. The fire-dependent grasslands, which are also susceptible to invasive species, are home to chick lupine, historically significant great camas, brittle cactus, and the threatened golden paintbrush. Rocky balds and bluffs are home to over 200 species of moss that are extremely sensitive to disturbance and trampling. In an area with limited fresh water, two wetlands on Lopez Island and one on Patos Island are the most significant freshwater habitats in the San Juan Islands.

The diversity of habitats in the San Juan Islands is critical to supporting an equally varied collection of wildlife. Marine mammals, including orcas, seals, and porpoises, attract a regular stream of wildlife watchers. Native, terrestrial mammals include black-tail deer, river otter, mink, several bats, and the Shaw Island vole. Raptors, such as bald eagles and peregrine falcons, are commonly observed soaring above the islands. Varied seabirds and terrestrial birds can also be found here, including the threatened marbled murrelet and the recently reintroduced western bluebird. The island marble butterfly, once thought to be extinct, is currently limited to a small population in the San Juan Islands.

The protection of these lands in the San Juan Islands will maintain their historical and cultural significance and enhance their unique and varied natural and scientific resources, for the benefit of all Americans.

WHEREAS section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431) (the "Antiquities Act"), authorizes the President, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected;

WHEREAS it is in the public interest to preserve the objects of scientific and historic interest on the lands of the San Juan Islands;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 2 of the Antiquities Act, hereby proclaim the objects identified above that are situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be the San Juan Islands National Monument (monument), and, for the purpose of protecting those objects, reserve as a part thereof all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States and administered by the Department of the Interior through the BLM, including all unappropriated or unreserved islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles above mean high tide, within the boundaries described on the accompanying map, which is attached to and forms a part of this proclamation. These reserved Federal lands and interests in lands encompass approximately 970 acres, which is the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.

All Federal lands and interests in lands within the boundaries of the monument administered by the Department of the Interior through the BLM are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, location, selection, sale, leasing, or other disposition under the public land laws, including withdrawal from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing, other than by exchange that furthers the protective purposes of this proclamation.

The establishment of the monument is subject to valid existing rights. Lands and interests in lands within the monument boundaries not owned or controlled by the Government of the United States shall be reserved as a part of the monument upon acquisition of ownership or control by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) on behalf of the United States.

The Secretary shall manage the monument through the BLM as a unit of the National Landscape Conservation System, pursuant to applicable legal authorities, to implement the purposes of this proclamation, except that if the Secretary hereafter acquires on behalf of the United States ownership or control of any lands or interests in lands within the monument boundaries not owned or controlled by the United States, the Secretary shall determine whether such lands and interests in lands will be administered by the BLM as a unit of the National Landscape Conservation System or by another component of the Department of the Interior, consistent with applicable legal authorities.

For purposes of protecting and restoring the objects identified above, the Secretary, through the BLM, shall prepare and maintain a management plan for the monument and shall establish an advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) to provide information and advice regarding the development of such plan.

Except for emergency, Federal law enforcement, or authorized administrative purposes, motorized vehicle use in the monument shall be permitted only on designated roads, and non-motorized mechanized vehicle use in the monument shall be permitted only on designated roads and trails.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish the rights of any Indian tribe. The Secretary shall, in consultation with Indian tribes, ensure the protection of religious and cultural sites in the monument and provide access to the sites by members of Indian tribes for traditional cultural and customary uses, consistent with the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (42 U.S.C. 1996) and Executive Order 13007 of May 24, 1996 (Indian Sacred Sites).

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish the jurisdiction or authority of the State of Washington or the United States over submerged or other lands within the territorial waters off the coast of Washington.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish the jurisdiction of the State of Washington with respect to fish and wildlife management.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to limit the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to engage in search and rescue operations, or to use Patos Island Light Station, Turn Point Light Station, or other aids to navigation for navigational or national security purposes.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; however, the monument shall be the dominant reservation.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to restrict safe and efficient aircraft operations, including activities and exercises of the Armed Forces and the United States Coast Guard, in the vicinity of the monument.

Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of the monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.




March 26, 2013

San Juan Island Voted Top Island


Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands, Washington – March 26, Good things come in pairs, today San Juan Island was acknowledged as the top Island in the United States by TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice® Islands awards. Yesterday, President Obama established the San Juan Islands National Monument, which includes 955 acres of cherished land throughout the San Juan Islands archipelago.

Travelers’ Choice® awards honor top islands around the world, based entirely on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. In total, more than 100 winning islands were named across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, South Pacific and the U.S.

“We’re delighted that San Juan Island is honored as both the top island in the U.S. and as a top four world pick in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands awards,” said Deborah Hopkins, Executive Director for the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau. "We'd like to thank the travelers who have made this win possible, simply by sharing their love of the sparkling waters, abundant wildlife, outdoor recreation and vibrant arts scene that San Juan Island offers on TripAdvisor."

“Whether you’re looking for idyllic palm-lined islands, or islands that offer a more cultural experience, you’ll find inspiration in these lists,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “From the world famous to the hidden gems, what unifies every award winner is the fantastic feedback from travelers across the globe.”

The San Juan Islands are a magnificent 172-island archipelago in the heart of the Salish Sea in Washington State. Washington’s newest scenic byway, the Islands attract visitors year-round to the three main islands of Orcas, Lopez and San Juan. Extensive national, state and county parks, and new national monument status, preserve a coastline renowned for whale and wildlife viewing. Boat and kayak tours offer up-close views of wildlife and uninhabited islands.

The complete list of 2013 Travelers’ Choice Islands can be found at:

TripAdvisor®—the world's largest travel site*—offers advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors**, and over 100 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, January 2013 **Source: Google Analytics, worldwide data, January 2013 ©2013 TripAdvisor, Inc. All rights reserved. SOURCE TripAdvisor

Contact: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Barbara Marrett (888) 468-3701 ext.6 [email protected]

TripAdvisor Media Relations [email protected]



March 22, 2013

Obama to Declare National Monument in the San Juan Islands

President Obama will designate 955 acres of beloved Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in the San Juan Islands of Washington State as a national monument on Monday. The culmination of over three years of grass-roots community effort by private citizens, local businesses, elected officials and members of Washington’s congressional delegation; the announcement was cause for local celebration.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, who tirelessly pursued the designation along with Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, issued this statement on Thursday, “From the bluffs on Stuart Island to Watmough Bay, the San Juan Islands are home to some of our nation’s most beautiful and important natural resources. I applaud President Obama for making this designation and thank Secretary Salazar for his incredible leadership to protect this beloved region.”

National monument status will permanently protect lands already managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Properties extending into San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties include cultural sites used by local tribes for thousands of years and over 60 uninhabited islands, promontories and headlands, which provide exceptional wildlife habitat. Iconic lighthouses and recreational areas cherished by islanders and visitors include: Cattle Point (San Juan Island), Iceberg Point and Watmough Bight (Lopez Island), Turn Point (Stuart Island), Carter Point (the southern tip of Lummi Island) and Patos Island.

Monument status also assigns these lands to BLM's National Conservation Lands, which directs BLM to work closely with the local community on a management plan, and prevents potential development, or sale.

The designation is due largely to the unfailing efforts of Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument who created a committed coalition of stakeholders and politicians to pursue the designation, “Thank you, Mr. President,” said Asha Lela chair of the group, “We are grateful to now have permanent protection for these treasured BLM lands.” Follow the story on the group’s press page.

The San Juan Islands will join the ranks of more than 100 other national monuments including the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon, and together with Mt. St. Helens and Hanford Reach, become the third national monument in Washington State.

Other sites designated for national monument protection on Monday: Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers Monument in Ohio; First State National Monument in Delaware; Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland; Río Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico.

This is a lasting legacy for departing Secretary of the Interior Salazar who visited the San Juans on several occasions during the process. Without his leadership and vision these new gems in the national monument crown would not have been achieved.

Contact: Barbara Marrett (888) 468.3701 ext. 6 [email protected] San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, Washington State



March 1, 2013

San Juan National Historical Park Expands

Land Protected for English Camp will Provide New Recreation Opportunities for Park Visitors

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. – The National Park Service (NPS) and The Conservation Fund announced today the conservation and addition of a 34-acre property to San Juan Island National Historical Park (NHP) in northwest Washington. The newly protected land, located along 2,500 feet of pristine shoreline on Westcott Bay, will enable the NPS to enhance the park’s educational and recreational offerings at English Camp.

Known to many San Juan Island residents as part of the Westcott Bay Sea Farm, the property also offers rich upland forest and wetland habitats. The land was previously owned and managed by the Webb family. Representatives of the Webb family, local conservation groups and the NPS approached The Conservation Fund with the intent of protecting the property and perpetuating Bill and Doree Webb’s vision for the land to remain free from adverse development. The Conservation Fund and the NPS worked together to design a unique conservation plan that would preserve the land’s natural state, while enabling the family or subsequent owners of the historic sea farm to continue to use a portion of the tidelands for oyster farming operations.

“The National Park Service was looking for a way to add valuable land to the park without compromising the ability of the oyster farm to operate; and we’re pleased that we will be able to achieve both goals here,” said San Juan Island National Historical Park superintendent Lee Taylor. “The beautiful property will be a wonderful addition to the national historical park and will provide real benefits to the community.”

The NPS acquired the first portion of the 70-acre property from The Conservation Fund with support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a federal land protection program that receives a percentage of proceeds from offshore oil and gas royalties. The U.S. Congress appropriated the LWCF funding in Fiscal Year 2010 with strong support from U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Representative Rick Larsen.

”The conservation and preservation of our natural resources reflects the values I grew up with here in Washington State,” said Senator Murray. “I want to leave the same kind of legacy for my grandchildren and for future generations to enjoy. I am proud to have worked with Senator Cantwell and Congressman Larsen to expand the San Juan Island National Historical Park for all Washingtonians to enjoy.”

“The preservation of this important land within San Juan Island National Historical Park builds upon our efforts to protect and expand public access to Washington’s natural landscapes and cultural heritage,” said Senator Cantwell. “I was proud to work with local stakeholders to preserve nearby Mitchell Hill and keep it in the public domain. This new addition is a great example of the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in ensuring that treasured lands will be there for future generations to enjoy.”

Congressman Larsen noted: “One-hundred and fifty years ago, hundreds of American and British troops faced off for control of San Juan Island. The historical importance of the Pig War is only matched by the outstanding beauty of the San Juan Islands. The expansion of San Juan Island National Historical Park will help preserve this site of natural and historic significance for residents and visitors today, and for future generations. I am pleased to have helped secure the funding that makes this expansion possible. I applaud the work of local leaders, the Webb family, the National Park Service and The Conservation Fund for making this vision a reality.”

LWCF is one of the nation’s premier conservation funding sources, which has been protecting forests, natural resources, state and local parks and recreation areas since 1965. An additional $400,000 is needed for the NPS to be able to purchase the remaining 36 acres of adjacent forest and wetland property from The Conservation Fund.

Formerly owned by the late Bill and Doree Webb, the property was once the site of the Webb Camp-School, a summer camp for boys. “Our parents would be pleased with our decision to sell our family land to The Conservation Fund so that it could become part of English Camp,” said the Webb sisters. “We and our parents have worked hard to keep this land natural and open and to support a healthy and clean Westcott Bay. We are grateful that the land will continue in its natural state for years to come and that others will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy it as we have.”

“In 2010, we worked with the State and County to help the Park Service protect the 320-acre Mitchell Hill property along the southern border of English Camp, preserving a trail network of 2.9 miles and a remnant of the 19th century military road linking English Camp to American Camp,” said The Conservation Fund’s Senior Vice President of the Western Region, Mark Elsbree. “The amount of open space available to the public is limited on the island, and the addition of the Webb property will further allow the Park Service to preserve and enhance the outstanding historical, natural and recreational resources offered at San Juan Island NHP.”

San Juan Island NHP was established in 1966 by Congress to commemorate the peaceful resolution of the San Juan Boundary Dispute, or “Pig War,” between Great Britain and the United States. Military forces from both nations jointly (and peacefully) occupied the island from 1860 to 1872 following a crisis over a slain pig in 1859. The Webb property – along with Roche Harbor proper – was part of the military reserve charted by Captain George E. Pickett of the U.S. Army and Captain George Bazalgette of the British Royal Marines in 1860, following a low-key dispute over lime deposits at Roche Harbor.

“We’ll be engaging in careful planning for the use of this beautiful property in the coming year, and there will be opportunities for islanders to weigh in on what they would like to see happen,” said Taylor.

About The Conservation Fund At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.

Contact: Mike Vouri Chief of Interpretation & Historian San Juan Island National Historical Park (378) 2240, ext. 2227 FAX: (360) 378-2615



February 26, 2013

Park and Partners To Trap, Neuter/Spay and Release Feral Cats at American Camp

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA--San Juan Island National Historical Park and two partner organizations will soon move to reduce the feral cat population at American Camp through a trap-neuter/spay-release program scheduled to begin in March, announced park Superintendent Lee Taylor.

The Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) program, operated in concert with the Animal Protect Society of San Juan Island and the Ray of Hope Animal Sanctuary, will begin February 19 at American Camp, Taylor said. The traps will be set at dusk at feeding points established by the park over a 10-day period in areas known to be frequented by the feral cats. They will be checked each dawn.

Entrapped animals will be taken to the animal shelter where they will be examined, spayed or neutered vaccinated and, if inappropriate for adoption, returned to the park. The also will be tested for feline aids and leukemia as a safeguard to domestic cats in the area.

Tens of millions of feral and stray cats are annually reported in rural and urban communities throughout the United States. They have been a constant presence in the park, especially at American Camp, from its founding in 1966. They are most often abandoned pets that manage to survive and breed. It is unlawful to introduce any animal in a national park, Taylor said.

Feral cats cannot be adopted because they have been raised in the wild and have survived by avoiding humans. Stray cats will welcome contact even if timid at first. Feral cats live from three to five years and eat mostly rodents, but will also take ground nesting birds. Through periodic monitoring and employing the TNR protocols, the park hopes to permanently reduce the number of these cats at American and English camps.

“Our ultimate objective is to reduce the feral cat population to zero throughout the park in a humane manner,” Taylor said. “This approach is experimental and may take several years.”

The Whale Museum, through Ray of Hope, trapped and altered 27 cats, according to Jessica Ray, co-founder of Ray of Hope. Ten socialized cats were adopted, while among the remaining 17 several with feline aids had to be euthanized. The balance were vaccinated and released. As of this writing Ray of Hope reports that only four or five have been spotted in the vicinity of the museum.

Neutered or spayed feral cats are readily identified by ear tipping, a procedure that involves removing about a quarter inch off the tip of the cat’s ear while the cat is anesthetized during the TNR process. This helps distinguish between ferals and strays and avoids unnecessary surgery, confinement, or euthanasia. The park will utilize “Have A Heart” traps that weigh about 17 pounds apiece. Ray of Hope is providing the traps while the Animal Shelter through a grant will pick up the funding for sheltering, surgeries and vaccinations.

“The best way, obviously, to treat with this problem is not to abandon a pet in the park,” Taylor said. “If this humane approach doesn't work, then we may have to consider other options.”

In available photo: A number of feral cats have been spotted in the vicinity of Grandma's Cove at American Camp. (Sorry, we don't have any decent images of the cats. Unlike the foxes, they don't hang around long enough for a shot.)

Contact: Mike Vouri Chief of Interpretation & Historian San Juan Island National Historical Park (360) 378-2240, ext. 2227 FAX: (360)378-2615



February 26, 2013

San Juan island NHP Tourism Creates $18 million in Local Economic Benefit

Part of $30 billion impact that supports 252,000 jobs nationwide

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA -- A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011shows that the 266, 717 visitors to San Juan Island National Historical Park spent $18 million in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 251 jobs in the local area.

“San Juan Island National Historical Park is a wonderful place to learn about America’s story,” said park superintendent Lee Taylor. “We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world who come here to experience the park and then spend time and money enjoying the services provided by our neighboring communities and getting to know this amazing part of the country. The National Park Service is proud to have been entrusted with the care of America’s most treasured places and delighted that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state, and national economy.”

Nearly 261,139 visitors were counted in the park in 2012, slightly down from 2011, although those are not factored in the current report.

The information on San Juan Island NHP is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service. For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.

Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent.)

To download the report visit and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Washington State and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to

Contact: Jerald Weaver (360) 378-2240 ext. 2224 [email protected]



February 25, 2013

Friday Harbor Film Festival presents "Stories from Around the Pacific Rim," October 11 - 13, 2013.

FRIDAY HARBOR -- The Pacific Islands Research Institute (501c3) and Telluride Mountain Film are proud to announce the 1st annual FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL October 11-12-13, 2013

The FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL will present quality and award winning documentaries around the diverse Pacific Rim. The FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL will feature a variety of films about island cultures and the marine environment of one of the largest features on earth; the Pacific Ocean. Directors and Producers of many of the Films will be on hand throughout the event to introduce their films, give workshops on documentary film-making, mingle with film-goers and answer questions. To view three sample trailers of the types of films that will be considered and shown, visit

Currently three venues have been reserved; both of the theatres at the SJI Community Theatre and the Grange, for showings and events throughout the weekend. The FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL cumulates Sunday afternoon at the SJI Community Theatre with the announcement of the audience favorite, a wrap party with food and beverages, followed by a final showing of the award winner.

There will be an opening party on Friday for the Producers, Directors, Sponsors and Captain tickets. There will be 3 levels of tickets: a Deckhand day pass; a Fisherman ticket, which includes all the films and the Sunday wrap party; and a Captain ticket, which is a special sponsorship and includes all the films, a special Opening Party and as well as the Sunday wrap party.

Lynn Danaher is spearheading this event. She was inspired to bring a Film Festival to Friday Harbor after attending Banff Film Festival 5 times and Telluride Mountain Film Festival last Spring. The films are educational, inspiring and insightful, worthy of sharing with Friday Harbor, residents and visitors alike. The focus of the films on the Pacific Rim seemed so appropriate because we all live on a small island in the Salish Sea and are part of the entire Pacific Rim eco system.

The purpose of the FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL is to not only to raise our visitor count on the shoulder season, but to raise awareness of our Pacific Rim neighbors and the world. Plus, it will be an opportunity to have professional film makers educate and inspire our island populace and visitors, both young and old in the art of film making.

Telluride Mountain Festival offers a traveling Film Festival, one that is easy to present, already coordinated with sponsors, filmmakers and has a catalogue of over 500 films.

To view three trailers from the type of documentary films the festival hopes to attract, visit:

To date the FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL has received three sponsor commitments for a total of $10,000 in cash and two more commitments of services totaling another $12,000. More donations are needed. The FHFF also seeks Board members that want to get involved and two part time staff members to help in the coordination, to generate local sponsorships and a volunteer coordinator. FHFF hopes to include any service clubs that want to be involved in a variety of tasks that will need to be completed.

Contact: Lynn Danaher P.O. Box 2627 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 (360) 298-1939 [email protected]



February 8, 2013

Whale Museum Re-Opens with expanded Exhibit Hall

Friday Harbor, Wash. – After a six weeks’ closure for renovation and exhibit installation, The Whale Museum will re-open on February 14, with daily hours 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Whale Museum exhibit hall has been expanded to the 1st floor to increase exhibit space as well as accessibility. Operations manager Julie Hanks is redesigning the Gift Shop to include stewardship messaging. Visitors will have two options when visiting the exhibit hall: turn left to see the new gallery on the ground floor or turn right to head up the stairs to the Gallery of Whales. On the ground floor, visitors will have the opportunity to see the newly unveiled exhibit on Sooke (L-112). Sooke is the 3-year old Southern Resident orca found washed ashore at Long Beach, Wash. in February 2012. While the investigation is on-going, the cause of her death was overall blunt trauma. The necropsy showed that she was a healthy whale otherwise. Without this tragedy, she most likely would have lived a long, productive life which would have helped the recovery of the endangered Southern Resident orcas. After The Museum learned of her death, we requested her body come “home” to San Juan Island. We hope that by telling her story people will be motivated to become more active stewards, thereby helping Sooke’s family. In this way, we hope her death will not have been in vain. We are working with a team of professionals including Albert Shepard, Matthew Gray Palmer and Peter & Zach Chan, on the exhibit. Danielle Dean Palmer is creating a time-lapse video of the process. The new exhibit on the 2nd floor focuses on Gray Whales, telling their story from birthing to feeding grounds. The artistic talents of Eberhard Eichner of the ReStore in Bellingham were engaged to create the exhibit stand from re-purposed materials.

The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. In addition to providing exhibits, the Museum conducts programs, including Marine Naturalist Training, Orca Adoptions, SeaSound Acoustics, Soundwatch, San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline. The Whale Museum can be found on-line at

Attached: Photo of Sooke (L-112) exhibit installation. Photo caption – Bill Pike, Albert Shepard and Matthew Gray Palmer suspend Sooke’s skeleton in the exhibit case. Photo credit – The Whale Museum/Jill Berger Additional images available.

Contact: Jenny L. Atkinson Executive Director The Whale Museum P. O. Box 945 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 (360) 378-4710 ext. 26 FAX: (360) 378-5790

Our mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research.



Life with Martha: Hear the story of Washington's oldest working sailboat

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA - Robert d’Arcy (Captain and project manager for Martha’s restoration) will share stories of the history, rebuilding and racing career of this remarkable 106-year old schooner. Martha is Washington state's oldest working sailboat, and serves as a sail training vessel when not winning races (first in her division and second overall in the Orcas Island Yacht Club 2012 Round the County race).

Join us on Sunday, February 24 at 4:00 p.m. at the Orcas Senior Center for what promises to be a memorable event and help celebrate a wonderful wooden boat. Refreshments will be served.

The program is a joint benefit for the Wooden Boat Society of the San Juan Islands and Sail Orcas. Admission is free but donations to support the work of these non-profit organizations are encouraged.

The Wooden Boat Society of the San Juan Islands is a nonprofit that promotes the restoration, use and enjoyment of wooden boats. Sail Orcas is a nonprofit that seeks to share the joy of sailing with youth and adults by providing high quality instruction and easy access to boats and facilities.

Contact: Mike Smalders [email protected]



February 8, 2013

Sierra Club Announces Haro Strait as One of 10 Places to Explore in 2013

“A new year means new adventures. So empty your bucket lists and fill them with these 10 travels destination for 2013,” so begins Sierra magazine’s February 8 announcement of their world exploration list. The list, which features an international mix of very specific and somewhat obscure locations, includes “Haro Strait—U.S. Canadian Border” (

The article entreats readers to, “Come experience marine life combined with water activities that will leave you breathless at the beauty of the stillness of the ocean before and after it is ruptured by whale and dolphin sightings.” “Part of our mission at the Visitors Bureau is respecting and sustaining the Islands’ unique and diverse ecosystems, environments, lifestyles and cultures,” said Carl Silvernail, board chairman of the

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau. “In light of our mission, receiving an endorsement of this magnitude from the Sierra Club’s magazine is a distinctive honor and consistent with our goal of sustainable tourism.”

Other Sierra Picks to Explore in 2013: Farm Sanctuary—Orland, California White Sands National Monument—New Mexico Nihiwatu—Sumba, Indonesia Yasuni National Park—Ecuador North Kaibab Plateau—Arizona The Subway, Zion National Park—Utah Fires Creek Basin—North Carolina Munduk Moding Plantation—Indonesia Polish Primeval Forest—Poland

Media contact: Barbara Marrett (888) 468.3701 ext. 6 [email protected] San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, Washington State



February 5, 2013

WaterWorks Gallery Opens with New Northwest Artists

Just in time for Valentine's Week and President's Weekend, WaterWorks Gallery is open. Stop by and see works by Jaime Ellsworth, Melinda Hannigan, Danielle Dean Palmer, Georgia Gerber, Tom Small and Catherine Skinner. Jewelry by Dianne Coe, Tana Acton, and Peggy Hunt and other artists is also featured. Hours are Wednesday through Monday, February 13th to 18th, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

The WaterWorks Galley is San Juan Island’s première gallery for contemporary artwork. Established 1985, showcasing artists based in the the Pacific Northwest and the San Juan Islands, the work of the gallery’s painters and sculptors reflect the unique Northwest experience. A recent addition is art jewelry.

Contact: Ruth Offen WaterWorks Gallery 315 Argyle St. PO Box 28 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 (360) 378-3060 (360) 317-8262 cell



February 2, 2013

NPS to Present Plan for Expanded Equestrian Use of Park

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA – San Juan Islanders and visitors will have an opportunity learn about and comment on the park’s plan for expanded horseback riding in San Juan Island National Historical Park at public meeting scheduled at 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, February 13 in the conference room of the San Juan Island Library.

In response to requests for increased access for horses, the park staff conducted a thorough analysis of park trail networks at English and American camps. The result was that some new areas will be added to those already viewed as considered appropriate for riding, according park Superintendent Lee Taylor. Corridor clearance, maximum grade, switchback radius and drainage were key factors in the decision-making. Impacts on areas with significant historic or cultural resources also weighed heavily in the process, Taylor said. The park’s 2008 General Management Plan classifies the park landscape into different zones, and indicates that equestrian uses are not appropriate in the cultural zone.

“I believe there are trails in the park that are well suited to horse use, and that we can allow horses on those trails without causing damage to park resources or degrading the park experience for other visitors,” Taylor said.

Taylor will present detailed information of the park’s analysis and findings on the following trails:

Back Side of Young Hill English Camp Service Road Sandwith Orchard to Mitchell Hill Connector Trail Frazer Homestead Trail from American Camp to park boundary Mount Finlayson Trail Connector Trail from Mount Finlayson Trail to Jakles Lagoon Trail Jakles Lagoon Trail

Existing horse use in the Mitchell Hill area of the park will continue. Anyone riding a horse in the park, including Mitchell Hill, will be required to have a permit. Horse use permits are free of charge, valid for one calendar year, and will be available at the meeting.

Contact: Mike Vouri Chief of Interpretation & Historian San Juan Island National Historical Park (360) 378-2240, ext. 2227



February 2, 2013

The San Juan Islands’ Wedding Show is Back for 2013

Isle Be Wed, the only wedding show in the San Juan Islands, is back and bigger for 2013

Friday Harbor, WA - A collection of San Juan Island vendors teamed up to launch the first annual Isle Be Wed wedding show, celebrating island wedding fare available to brides and grooms throughout the San Juan Islands in 2012. Now, the show has grown to encompass all of the San Juan Islands and will also showcase three hosting venues on show day. The show’s coordinator, Felicity Milne, of Cakes by Felicitations, is thrilled with the growth of the event thus far, saying “Because of the overwhelming growth of destination weddings in the San Juan Islands, we literally ran out of room! Showcasing the many talents of our local vendors available for special events on our beautiful islands meant that we needed three venues on two islands!” The San Juan Islands are a truly special place to celebrate your most special day and this year’s show will be no exception. The show will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 9, 2012 and be hosted at three venues simultaneously.

Hosting venues are: The San Juan Yacht Club in Friday Harbor the Orcas Hotel at Orcas Landing, and The Outlook Inn in Eastsound on Orcas Island. Brides, grooms, planners, and close friends and family will have the chance to interact with nearly forty different vendors throughout the show covering everything a couple will need to make their destination wedding a dream come true. Confirmed vendors include: Cakes: Cakes by Felicitations and Sugar Baby Cakes; Floral: Robins Nest, Nest and Patina Floral Design & Planning; Lodging: The Island Inn at 123 West, Wanderlust Hospitality, Lakedale Resort, Friday Harbor House, Longhouse B&B, West Beach Resort, Orcas Island Lodgings, Orcas Hotel and Outlook Inn Venues: Pelindaba Lavender Farm, San Juan Vineyards, San Juan Island Yacht Club and Red Rabbit Farm; Photography: Tim Dustrude Photography, Satya Curcio Photography, Steve Horn Photography, Weddings San Juan Video; Catering: Cask and Schooner Restaurant, Happy Place Sushi, Deb Nolan Custom Catering, Deer Harbor Inn, Vinny’s Ristorante; Music: Mary WillAllen – harp, San Juan Jazz Quintet, Transportation: Schooners North, Eclipse Charters, Orcas Island Classic Cars and Event Transportation; Everything Else: Archie Brooks, Orcas Event Rentals, San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce, Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce, Event Success.

Brides and Grooms may learn more about the Isle be Wed wedding showcase by visiting the show’s Facebook page at , and website at

Contact: Scott Hale

Wanderlust Hospitality

[email protected]



February 1, 2013

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Awarded Gold for Excellence in Promotion

The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau was awarded gold for “Excellence in Promotion” for their October “Savor the San Juans” marketing campaign. The award is part of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) national annual awards competition. Winners were announced January 30th ( The category the Visitors Bureau won was: “Social Media or Marketing Campaign – Marketing Budget Less than $400,000.” “With our marketing budget of less than $18,000 for our” Savor the San Juans” campaign, we feel very proud to have won this category,” said Deborah Hopkins Buchanan, Executive Director of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau—the destination marketing organization for San Juan County and Friday Harbor. “We’ve learned to leverage our funds by partnering with other organizations, in this case Seattle Met magazine, to run very effective social media and marketing campaigns with the help of our marketing firm, The Communications Group. In addition, our marketing savvy members supported the effort with their own specials, packages, marketing and social media campaigns. It’s amazing what can happen when we coordinate our efforts.” As part of the competition, awards were given to publications, travel writers, photographers, convention and visitors bureaus, PR agencies and destination marketing organizations, whose work was represented in print and electronic media from October 2011 through September 2012. Now in its 21st year, the competition honors the “best of the best” of travel writing, photography and promotion that cover all aspects of the travel industry worldwide.

In other Visitors Bureau news…

County lodging tax increased +15.3% in 2012 compared to last year. Friday Harbor lodging tax increased by +12.3%. Regionally, San Juan County fared very well in 2012 according to the latest report on the Department of Revenue’s website. When compared to 12 other tourism-centric counties, San Juan County (including Friday Harbor) lodging tax had the largest growth at +14%. Whatcom County came in second at 11%, King County at 9%, and Grays Harbor County at 8%. The Visitors Bureau is largely supported by lodging taxes.

The San Juan Islands were the featured location for the spring 2013 Eddie Bauer catalog. The first page states…“And whether you’re sea kayaking…or taking a seaplane to Friday Harbor, the Northwest spirit comes alive in the San Juan Islands…” Mentioned throughout the catalog--along with Kenmore Air who supplied the float plane for the shoot--it is a great endorsement for the outdoor lover to visit the Islands. The Visitors Bureau, as the official County film liaison, helped with permitting and location scouting. Contracting with many island services for support, this shoot helped the local economy during our shoulder season.

Contact: Barbara Marrett 888.468.3701 ext. 6 [email protected] San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, Washington State