Walking Santa Rosa

by Ethan Stewart

Capps%20Vail%20Johnson%20Santa%20Rosa.jpgFaced with a Republican-led scheme to
convert Santa Rosa Island into a private hunting reserve for past
and present military personnel, Congresswoman Lois Capps recently
crossed the Channel to take a tour of the historic island. On
Friday, August 4 — one day after the Senate passed a voice-vote
resolution in opposition to San Diego Republican Congressman Duncan
Hunter’s controversial bill — Common%20Dolphin.jpgCapps went to the 54,000-acre island to
bear witness to Santa Rosa’s varied ecosystems, dozens of
endangered species, pristine wildlands, and the seemingly endless
amount of Chumash artifacts and other archeological wonders. Joined
by Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Chumash expert Dr. John
Johnson and Tim Vail — of the island’s famous Vail and Vickers
Cattle Ranch — Capps commented frequently throughout the day about
the island’s environmental significance and the importance of
maintaining public access to “one of the Central Coast’s true

Island%20Fox%20Wild.jpgThough the current incarnation of
Hunter’s bill seems to be dead in the water, he appears committed
to hunting on Santa Rosa, as this year’s effort marks the third
time he has proposed such legislation since 2004. Ironically, the
Paralyzed Veterans of America toured the island earlier this summer
and concluded that it was a less-than-desirable location for the
kind of hunting preserve Hunter is advocating. Deer.jpgAs it stands now, deer and elk hunting
is offered on the island by its former owners for a portion of the
year, though the hunts are set to stop in 2011.Island%20Fox%20Cage.jpg


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