BLM veteran Mottice named director of Washington, Oregon region

Longtime Bureau of Land Management official Mike Mottice has been named acting director for Oregon and Washington.

As such, the 32-year BLM veteran will manage the more than 16 million acres of public land administered by the agency in the two states until a permanent director is named, probably next year after the Presidential election.

Mottice will be the regional focal point for efforts by San Juan Islanders to protect more than 1,000 acres of land in the San Juan archipelago as a National Monument.

Local Congressman Rick Larsen and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell have introduced legislation to designate the numerous small islands and plots of land on Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands as a National Conservation Area, but that effort stalled in Congress.

Now, supporters of the idea, at the urging of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, have petitioned President Obama to issue an Executive Order declaring the lands a National Monument, a designation that does not require approval by Congress.

That petition was supported by the San Juan County Council in a letter recently sent to Salazar.


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