Larsen Applauds $6 Million for San Juan Island's Mitchell Hill in President Obama's Budget</A

May 7, 2009

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) today praised President Obama’s inclusion of $6 million in his annual budget to purchase Mitchell Hill and transfer it to the San Juan Island National Historical Park to protect this land from development and enhance recreational opportunities for visitors. 

“Today’s announcement is great news for San Juan County, Northwest Washington and the over 250,000 people who visit the San Juan Island National Historical Park each year,” said Larsen, who has worked for more than six years to protect Mitchell Hill.  “This news means that the Obama Administration has recognized the importance of this valuable natural and historic landmark and is making Mitchell Hill a priority.” 

Inclusion in the President’s budget is an important step in the process of adding Mitchell Hill to the San Juan Island National Historical Park.  Next, Congress must provide funding for Mitchell Hill as part of their annual Interior and Environment appropriations bill.  Last month, Larsen requested that Congress provide $6 million to complete the acquisition. 

Mitchell Hill is made up of 320 acres adjacent to the English Camp unit of San Juan Island National Historical Park (NHP). It encompasses a portion of the old Military Road that connected English Camp and American Camp during the joint military occupation during the 19th Century. 

The Mitchell Hill property is currently owned by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Making Mitchell Hill a part of the San Juan Island Historical Park has a broad range of local support from local officials to local residents. Supporters include The National Park Service, San Juan County, DNR and the San Juan Island Trails Committee.