A Very Brief Consideration of Monument Management at Giant Sequoia and San Juan Islands National Monuments
Visitors to the Giant Sequoia National Monument in California may notice the roadside signs indicating transitions from national forest to national monument to national forest (again) and then to national park as they wind up the mountain roads through U.S. Forest Service- and National Park Service-managed lands.
Here, Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument itself are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, while Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are managed by the National Park Service. A visit to any of the following links will give you a better idea of management objectives, visitor resources, and area history. Page eight of this PDF has a great map that provides an overview of the connections between these public lands.
Visitors to the San Juan Islands National Monument may also wonder about the mix of Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service-managed lands as they consider area maps and potential travel routes to this year-old national monument, which is located between Washington and Canada’s Vancouver Island.
The monument itself—San Juan Islands National Monument—is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, while San Juan Island National Historical Park is managed by the National Park Service.
San Juan Islands National Monument represents a truly diverse collection of environments and features. Among other locations, monument access and features can be found on Blind Island, Chuckanut Rock, and at San Juan Island’s Cattle Point, along with numerous unnamed small islands, rocks, and pinnacles. Visitors can see woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, and beaches, some accessible by ferry, some on foot, and others only by boat.
Detailed maps furnished by the BLM, NPS, and park-partner organizations describe the mix of features and lands and can provide a bit of perspective on how these agencies work together in this area.
Naturally, there’s a lot to look at and a lot to discover in both of these national monuments. Giant sequoias, for example, may grow to be nearly 300 feet tall, but ask a ranger to show you the seed that gets these great trees started (You’ll be surprised!). Otters play along the shore and in the waters of the San Juan Islands, but if you do see one, you may be surprised to learn that it is very likely a river otter, rather than a sea otter (See this helpful NPS discussion for more).