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California Island Set To Re-Open, After Used As Bombing Range

Dorathy Gass

After two long years, San Miguel Island, one of five that makes up the Channel Islands in California, is set to be re-opened this month to the public. The island has been closed the past two years, because the U.S. military deemed it unsafe.

The island was bombarded by military in World War II, all the way to the ‘70s. The park was closed two years ago, while the Navy embarked on a reviewed of the entire island; from the close to 18 miles of trails, to campground facilities, and beaches – as there was a concern over explosives.

CNN reported that the good news is, no exploded items were found on the island. Still, approximately 125 lbs of munitions were located and taken off the island.

Visitors should note, there are some new procedures put into place, when visiting San Miguel Island, which is located 55 miles from the California coastline. Firstly, people will have to fill out a liability waiver, and require an access permit.

Still, overall, the re-opening of access to the public is good news for outdoor enthusiasts in the area, or looking to visit. San Miguel is a great spot where experienced snorkelers and divers can have some fun, and the park also participates in a live underwater ocean cam, and bald eagle cam activities. Visitors can travel to the island by boat, or chartered flights through National Park Services or the Channel Island Aviation.

For those animal lovers out there, San Miguel also acts for a home (part-time that is) to over 100,000 sea lions and seals, who are able to rest, molt, and breed on the island’s beaches all during the year.

It’s important to note, while the Channel Island is run d by the National Park Service via an agreement, it is still owned by the United States Defense Department.
The island is set to re-open on Tuesday, May 17th.