State Sen. Kevin Ranker’s letter, co-signed by hundreds and urging President Donald Trump not to roll back any of America’s national monuments, is only the latest of many letters sent from Washington state over Trump administration actions.

Share story

OLYMPIA — Letters of concern to the Trump administration from Washington state are piling up.

The latest in the stack: Washington Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, sent a letter Monday urging President Donald Trump not to roll back the designations of America’s national monuments.

Ranker’s letter, co-signed by hundreds of other lawmakers from around the country, comes in response to an April executive order by Trump to review lands recently designated under the U.S. Antiquities Act.

At least two sites in Washington state appear to be at risk: Hanford Reach and San Juan Islands national monuments.

Cattle Point Lighthouse, a scenic spot on San Juan Island, is part of San Juan Islands National Monument.  (Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)
Cattle Point Lighthouse, a scenic spot on San Juan Island, is part of San Juan Islands National Monument. (Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

“While we are confident that any review will expose the robust public process, strong scientific justification for boundaries, and overwhelming support of the American public for each of the existing monuments, we urge you to conclude … that each of these existing designations is warranted,” wrote Ranker in the letter.

The letter is co-signed by 324 lawmakers from 44 different states.

About 40 other Washington Democratic lawmakers co-signed the letter, including House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, and Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson of Maury Island. No Washington state Republicans signed on.

Covering 304 square miles of sparse landscape in Central Washington, the Hanford Reach National Monument is home to rare flowers and the remains of plutonium reactors from World War II. It is among the sites explicitly mentioned for review.

San Juan Islands National Monument, in Ranker’s legislative district, includes about 1,000 acres of land scattered across the islands. It also may fit the criteria for review.

An email seeking comment Monday afternoon from the White House press office did not immediately receive a response.

Ranker’s letter comes after similar appeals sent last week by Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Both of those, regarding the review of monuments, were addressed to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Inslee’s letter, dated Friday, came as part of the review’s public-comment process.

Ferguson’s letter, meanwhile, invited the president and Zinke to visit — and also threatened to sue them if Washington’s national monuments were revoked or reduced.

Inslee has sent several other letters to Trump officials.

Among them, the governor and Ferguson wrote a February letter asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to change policy to undermine Washington’s marijuana laws. In their letter, the two Washington officials asked to meet with Sessions.

In April, Inslee and three other governors sent a letter asking that the Trump administration “engage with us” before making changes to marijuana policy.

The governor’s office has not heard back from Sessions on either of those, according to Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith.

The president has also received mail from, among others, Washington’s community college leaders urging him to preserve an executive action that lets some undocumented young people to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.