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Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
The U.S. Navy (Navy) and National Park Service (NPS) announce that San Miguel Island will reopen to public visitation on May 17, 2016, in time for the summer season.
In April 2014, the Navy closed the island in the interest of public safety due to concerns of possible unexploded ordnance. San Miguel Island was an active bombing range during WWII through the 1970s.
Over the past two years, the Navy has conducted surveys for possible unexploded ordnance and developed plans to ensure public safety.
The surveys were conducted over 18 miles of marked trails and high-use areas and included a search for surface and subsurface unexploded ordnance. No high explosive items were found and 125 pounds of munition items, such as practice bombs, bomb fragments, and fuses, were removed.
To visit San Miguel Island visitors must now signan access permit and liability waiver. Access permits are available at the boat and air concession offices and at a self-registration station at the Nidever Canyon trailhead on San Miguel Island.
The island will not be open when there is no ranger or other NPS personnel available to escort visitors. The longtime practices of escorting all visitors beyond the ranger station and limiting visitors to the established trail system will remain.
Visitors may now fly to San Miguel Island via Channel Islands Aviation located in the Camarillo Airport. Channel Islands Aviation is authorized to fly visitors to the island on a trial basis. This service was identified in the 2015 General Management Plan for Channel Islands National Park.
About San Miguel Island
San Miguel is owned by the U.S. Department of Defense and, under a memorandum of agreement, is managed by the Park Service. San Miguel Island is the westernmost of the Channel Islands, lying 55 miles from Ventura. It is eight miles long and four miles wide, covering 9,376 acres. More than 100,000 seals and sea lions breed and haul out each year on the island beaches. Over a dozen plant species that are endemic to the Channel Islands occur on the island, along with the endemic island fox and deer mouse. San Miguel Island and its associated islets support one-third of the breeding seabirds in the Channel Islands.