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San Nicolas Island

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OPINION
January 23, 2003
Re "Island Test Site Now in High Gear," Jan. 20: My favorite childhood book was "Island of the Blue Dolphins," by Scott O'Dell. I once made my mother take me to the Santa Barbara Mission to try to find the grave of Karana, the fictional name given to the young woman who lived alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island. As a girl, I admired her tenacity in surviving in such a tough environment. It saddens me that Navy missiles with acronyms like SLAM are being fired in this wildlife haven.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2012 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
The yellowing government survey map of San Nicolas Island dated from 1879, but it was quite clear: There was a big black dot on the southwest coast and, next to it, the words "Indian Cave. " For more than 20 years, Navy archaeologist Steve Schwartz searched for that cave. It was believed to be home to the island's most famous inhabitant, a Native American woman who survived on the island for 18 years, abandoned and alone, and became the inspiration for "Island of the Blue Dolphins," one of the 20th century's most popular novels for young readers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 1987
Once again human beings are trying to rectify another of their mistakes in dealing with the animal world by committing an even graver error. I refer to your editorial (June 10), "Another Home for the Sea Otter," which stated the benefits of transplanting "one of nature's most appealing creatures," the sea otters, to nearby San Nicolas Island. The phrase in quotes says it all; namely, our typically preferential and perverse protection of one "cute" species at the expense of the "balance in nature" we should maintain for the protection of all existing species, including ourselves.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2012 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
The problem was daunting: Round up every last one of the who-knows-how-many cats living in the wild on wind-blasted San Nicolas Island, a 33-square-mile chunk of chaparral and jagged canyons off the Southern California coast. And don't get in the way of the missiles that are launched from, and sometimes aimed at, the arid, Navy-owned island. And don't hurt the cats, the seabirds they feast on, the threatened island foxes, the native deer mice or, for that matter, anything else. The solution was something a little more complicated than "Here, kitty kitty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2012 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
The problem was daunting: Round up every last one of the who-knows-how-many cats living in the wild on wind-blasted San Nicolas Island, a 33-square-mile chunk of chaparral and jagged canyons off the Southern California coast. And don't get in the way of the missiles that are launched from, and sometimes aimed at, the arid, Navy-owned island. And don't hurt the cats, the seabirds they feast on, the threatened island foxes, the native deer mice or, for that matter, anything else. The solution was something a little more complicated than "Here, kitty kitty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1991 | GERRY BRAILO SPENCER
The fertile waters surrounding the Navy-owned San Nicolas Island will be closed more frequently to fishing boats and other vessels beginning this week because of intensified missile testing operations, Navy officials said. "During the course of the year, we routinely conduct such tests," said Lt. Cmdr. Gene Okamoto.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 1991 | CAROL WATSON
A 31-year-old man died Wednesday after a 48-foot commercial fishing vessel capsized south of San Nicolas Island, throwing two men and a dog into the water, authorities said. Earl Thomas Butler II probably drowned when the Jeanie M., harbored in Los Angeles County, flipped over and sank, authorities said. An autopsy on Butler, who was from Huntington Beach or San Pedro, was scheduled for today, the Ventura County coroner's office said. The other man on the boat, identified as James A.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 1994 | J.E. MITCHELL
The California Coastal Commission on Tuesday approved a request by the U.S. Navy to test-fire a sophisticated Gatling gun on San Nicolas Island in an area teeming with seals, sea lions and marine birds. The decision came after the commission debated the proposal for more than two hours at its meeting in Los Angeles, said Alan Alpers, a spokesman for Point Mugu Naval Air Weapons Station.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 1994 | J.E. MITCHELL
A study that details how planned missile testing off the Ventura County coastline would affect the environment has been delayed until fall, U.S. Army officials said. The report is the final step necessary before the Army decides which of four sites around the world will be selected to test missiles such as the Patriot--first made famous during the Persian Gulf War when it knocked down incoming Iraqi Scud missiles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 1992 | CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS
Pupping season is now at its peak among the elephant seals on San Nicolas Island, clogging the beaches of the U.S. Navy-owned outpost with sluggish mothers and their newborns. The wind-swept island, located about 60 miles off the Ventura County coast, is populated by about 200 military and civilian residents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
After 24 years of barring sea otters from most Southern California waters and trying to establish a colony for the animals on San Nicolas Island, federal wildlife officials say the effort should be abandoned because it failed to help the threatened species recover. A plan released Wednesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would allow southern sea otters to expand into their historic range off Southern California and officially end a relocation program long criticized as ineffective and harmful to the furry marine mammals.
NEWS
January 20, 2004
Since building the Good Skiff in 1991, I have spent more than 500 nights anchored at desolate places, pursuing underwater photography. Jan. 7 was perfect, so I ran out to Cortes Bank and dove on that incredible shipwreck. Thursday I made the run to San Nicolas Island and had a fabulous time free diving -- even saw an orca on the way home. Brad Mongeau Long Beach
OPINION
January 23, 2003
Re "Island Test Site Now in High Gear," Jan. 20: My favorite childhood book was "Island of the Blue Dolphins," by Scott O'Dell. I once made my mother take me to the Santa Barbara Mission to try to find the grave of Karana, the fictional name given to the young woman who lived alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island. As a girl, I admired her tenacity in surviving in such a tough environment. It saddens me that Navy missiles with acronyms like SLAM are being fired in this wildlife haven.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2001 | MATT SURMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Its ships thrashed by wild weather and hindered by thousands of seals and sea lions, the Navy wants to build a $13.7-million pier on remote San Nicolas Island. Navy barges now land--when they can--on a beach on the south end of the island. But the sandy shore teems in the winter with seals and sea lions that sometimes slip around barriers, crowd over each other and make a difficult, windy landing even more of a challenge.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 1998 | GARY POLAKOVIC and HILARY E. MacGREGOR, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moved a colony of threatened southern sea otters to San Nicolas Island more than a decade ago local fishermen said it would never work out. And it hasn't. Only 16 of the 139 otters remain on the remote island 60 miles off the Ventura County coast. And fishermen say the federal agency has long reneged on its promise to keep the otters from straying into bountiful fishing beds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1997 | SCOTT STEEPLETON and JOHN COX, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Three Ventura County men were found dead after spending up to six hours in the Pacific Ocean when their Ventura-based commercial fishing boat sank off San Nicolas Island early Thursday. Crew members of the Lindy Jane were fishing for rockfish seven miles west of the island when the boat began to take on water. At 3:30 a.m., crew member Tam Duong, 29, of Oxnard put out a distress call via marine radio that was picked up by the Coast Guard in Long Beach, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Dan Tremper.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 1994 | J.E. MITCHELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Navy is seeking permission from the California Coastal Commission to test-fire a sophisticated Gatling gun on San Nicolas Island near areas teeming with seals, sea lions and marine birds. The proposal comes just weeks after the Navy incurred the wrath of environmental activists with a plan to detonate underwater explosives to test ship hull strengths about 20 miles away. That testing, which has been put on hold temporarily, is expected to kill or injure a small number of marine mammals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 1992 | GARY GORMAN
The captains of two fishing boats were convicted Tuesday of using illegal fishing nets off San Nicolas Island, 70 miles off the Ventura County Coast. But the captains and two crew members were acquitted of another charge that they were fishing illegally in waters protected for endangered California sea otters. The four men were arrested in October by wardens of the state Department of Fish and Game, who said the men were using gill nets in waters less than 20 fathoms deep.
NEWS
January 30, 1996 | KENNETH R. WEISS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A jumble of airplane body parts lies corroding next to huge mounds of contaminated soil. Plastic barrels of toxic waste stand nearby, quarantined behind a fence to protect humans from escaping fumes. This is the "Island of the Blue Dolphins," known to thousands of young readers as the lonely spot where a young Native American girl was left behind to fend for herself. It was also, for years, a Navy dumping ground.
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