* A couple of clarifications are required regarding Scott Steepleton's article on Santa Cruz Island ("Storm Claims Historic Scorpion Ranch Buildings," Dec. 11).
First, in the history of the Gherini Ranch, the records indicate that there was never a rainstorm with such intensity that hit the island like the most recent one. The readers need to understand that the layout of the Scorpion Valley, where the historic ranch sits, is very narrow and has all the characteristics of a natural flood plain. The National Park Service took over the property in February 1997 and, unfortunately, did not have enough time to implement all the engineering efforts required to handle a disaster that occurred. Some measures were taken, but a project to handle an event like this is far more complicated than just "clearing a few ditches and berms."
Second, the article refers to Andre Barclay as "a ranch manager who is working for the Gherinis." Andre Barclay never worked on the Gherini Ranch as a ranch hand or as a manager but apparently has befriended Francis Gherini and his daughter, Andrea, who refuses to settle with the park service on his share of the island. Other members of the family have no idea who this person is or what he does for a living.
What we do know is that Barclay continually harasses the National Park Service with inflammatory statements on his Web site and publicly supported an individual who was convicted in Superior Court in Santa Barbara of disturbing Native American burial grounds on the island.
The Gherini family disavows any statement Barclay makes and regards him as a nuisance who wants to interfere with the park service's effort to restore the island to its natural habitat.
Every effort will be made to recover and restore historical artifacts that were damaged in the storm. The tragedy in this event is that in large part it could have been prevented if the National Park Service had more time to implement its plan to restore the property. But the efforts of one family member cost them that opportunity and the result has been tragic.
President, Santa Cruz Island Co.