By Chuck Graham 06/17/2010
Anacapa Island closed to the public indefinitely
The narrowest volcanic isle in the Channel Islands National Park has been shut down indefinitely, possibly through the summer. More than 150 stairs are the only access to the island, but over time the moist, salty air has corroded the metal, much as this has the weather-beaten cliffs of the island.
Until further notice, the islet is closed to the public. An inspection conducted on Thursday, June 10, uncovered hazardous conditions of the staircase structure, and a quick determination to close public access to the island was made.
The National Park Service concessionaire Island Packers has been notified of the closure. It plans to reroute its scheduled trips to Anacapa Island as non-landing, north-shore wildlife cruises, or as landing trips to neighboring Santa Cruz Island.
The rusty steel staircase was scheduled to be replaced this past April. The new staircase has been constructed, but installation has been delayed because the crane at the top of the staircase is currently not operational.
The park service shut down the crane following an inspection last March that identified mechanical, structural and electrical problems. The NPS is assessing whether to repair or replace the island crane.
“This regrettable closure is necessary to ensure public safety,” said Channel Islands National Park superintendent Russell Galipeau. “The National Park Service will work diligently to conduct repairs in order to reopen the island as soon as possible.”