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Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau announces that camping at Scorpion Valley and all access on National Park Service (NPS) property on Santa Cruz Island will be open to the public starting March 21, 2006. This ends a temporary limitation on camping and access to ensure public safety during the pig hunt on the eastern end of the island.
Scorpion Valley and the east end of Santa Cruz Island will be fully open to day and overnight visitation. The Prisoners Harbor area will be open to day visitation with camping at Del Norte backcountry campsite available Friday through Sunday from May 26, 2006 through to the projected end of the pig eradication project in June 2007. No further restrictions to visitor use are anticipated on NPS property during the remainder of the project.
Feral pigs are believed to be nearly gone from the NPS property on Santa Cruz Island since hunting began there on November 1, 2005. Active monitoring via helicopter will continue until it is determined this area is free of pigs. Currently, over 85 percent of the island of Santa Cruz is believed to be free of the destructive impacts of feral pigs.
“The park and The Nature Conservancy will continue to minimize the impacts of the pig eradication project on park visitors” Galipeau said, “We are already seeing signs of improvement to the condition of cultural and natural resources and the visitor experience on Santa Cruz Island as a result of removing feral pigs.”
Pig eradication is an essential component of an ambitious science-based program to protect archeological resources and preserve Santa Cruz Island’s biological richness for future generations. The NPS and The Nature Conservancy are committed to the ecological restoration of Santa Cruz Island.