"Aerial view" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Santa Rosa Island

Interpretive Guide

brochure Santa Rosa Island - Interpretive Guide
Channel Islands National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Channel Islands National Park Interpretive Guide timhaufphotography.com Santa Rosa Island EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA Trail Guide 4 Derek Lohuis Contents Channel Islands Pier to Water Canyon Beach Other Points of Interest Vail & Vickers Ranch Area Hichimin, Place Name More Sheep Ranch Vail & Vickers Cattle Ranch Hunting Cowboy Life Horses Boats Pier Rope House, Chute, Pile Driver Corrals Fencing, Water Resources Foreman’s House, Schoolhouse Bunkhouse Horse Barn Blacksmith Shop Barn, Boilers Scale House, Branding Shed Main Ranch House Miscellaneous Structures Hay Fields, Eucalyptus Cypress Trees, Airstrip Water Canyon Native Plants 17 17 17 18 21 22 24 25 29 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 43 46 Skunk Point 48 Torrey Pines Mixing Waters Western Snowy Plover Tidepools Jane L. Stanford Shipwreck 2 INTERPRETIVE GUIDE 48 48 49 52 How to Use This Guide We recommend you begin with the Trail Guide which provides eight interpretive stops along the 1.75-mile walk from the pier to Water Canyon Beach via Cherry Canyon. Then select another area to visit according to your time, interest, and ability. Also, please note that many of the topics covered in the various locations are applicable to any island location. For a more detailed hiking map, please see the “Hiking Santa Rosa Island” bulletin available at island bulletin boards. East Point Abalone Rocks Marsh Qshiwqshiw, Munchkin Dudleya Black Mountain Cloud Forest, San Miguel Island Carrington Point Soft-leaved Island Paintbrush Pygmy Mammoth Lobo Canyon Geology Landbirds Terrestrial Animals Johnsons Lee WW II Army Camp, Radar Post Post-War Military Facilities 53 53 54 55 55 56 56 56 57 57 58 61 66 66 67 th i Sm y H wa igh 1 3 Ranch 2 Road Soledad stal d Roa ho lep Te n n anyo rry C 5 ad o eR Che Coa 8 4 6 7 Wrec k 0.25 miles Beach n o y n Ca Water Bechers Bay N Roa d Map Pier National Park SANTA ROSA ISLAND 3 Tr Pier to Water Canyon Beach N owhere Else on Earth Pier timhaufphotography.com Trail Guide— 1 Channel Islands p ail Sto C lose to the mainland, yet worlds apart, Santa Rosa Island, along with the other Channel Islands, is home to plants and animals that are found nowhere else on Earth. Like on the Galápagos Islands of South America, isolation has allowed evolution to proceed independently on the islands, fostering the development of nearly 150 endemic or unique plants and animals. Santa Rosa Island is home to 46 of these and some, like the rare munchkin dudleya, are found only on Santa Rosa Island. 4 INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Isolation has also played a major role in shaping human activities on the island. While the southern California coastal mainland has seen extensive development, the Channel Islands remain undeveloped. The islands’ separation from the mainland by over 25 miles of an often turbulent ocean has limited and directed human use and occupation for thousands of years. And it continues today, giving us a chance to see coastal southern California as it once was. So step back in time and experience the island’s isolation as you walk from the pier through Cherry Canyon and eventually on to Water Canyon Beach. It’s like nowhere else on Earth. National Park Tr 2 Vail & Vickers Ranch Complex An island ranch is a study in self-reliance. With no stores, phones…everything has to be fashioned from whatever is on hand; it’s the art of making do. Gretel Ehrlich, Cowboy Island: Farewell to a Ranching Legacy No one was better at this than Diego Cuevas, a former ranch foreman, who stated in an oral history that he learned to “fix things by improvising. You had to out there. We didn’t have any stores.” Margaret Vail Woolley, part of the Vail family that owned the island, concurred, “He [Diego] could make anything out of anything. It was remarkable. He was perfect for the island.” Some of Diego’s inventions included shutting off the generator by creating a timer using ice, cables, and pulleys (which didn’t work), or by using a rat trap, string, and an alarm clock (which did work). He also built a motorized cart to haul slop to the pigs and a diesel-hauling trailer with a tank. He installed a truck engine in a boat given to the ranch by the Air Force and devised a cooling system for it that worked with salt water and a kelp knife timhaufphotography.com hile the isolated island offered ranchers several advantages over the mainland, including no predators and the world’s best fence (the ocean), it created special challenges as well. Supplying such a remote outpost was probably the biggest challenge. The transportation of supplies and stock on and off the island was always an adventure—the distance to the mainland, rough seas, and expense made it very difficult. However, ranchers adapted to the challenges of island life through selfreliance and, as one ranch foreman wrote, “learning to make do with what [they] had.” Pier to Water Canyon Beach W Trail Guide— reserving the Past p P a i l St o Unloading cattle, Santa Rosa Island, 1995. to protect the rudder and prop, but soon discovered that fishing still was better from the rocks on the island shore. To be as self-sufficient as possible, island ranchers grew and raised much of their own food, importing deer, elk, quail, pigs, and rabbits. They would make many of their own supplies such as ropes, saddles, candles, and soaps. They often salvaged what they could from shipwrecks and from abandoned military establishments from World War II and the Cold War. And they had specialized boats constructed to transport supplies, cattle, and staff to and from the island. Ranching began on Santa Rosa Island in 1844 shortly after the island was granted to the Carrillo family by the Mexican government. Then from 1858 to 1901 the More family ran one of the largest sheep ranches in the state, with up to 80,000 sheep. They moved their center of operations from Old Ranch House continued on next page SANTA ROSA ISLAND 5 continued Tr Vail & Vickers Ranch Complex timhaufphotography.com Trail Guide— Pier to Water Canyon Beach 2 Channel Islands p ail Sto Historic Vail & Vickers ranch house built in the late 1800s. Canyon to Bechers Bay, where they constructed a pier and built the clapboard ranch house, horse barn, and blacksmith shop barn that are still found here today. These buildings, built in the 1860s and 1870s, are some of the oldest wood buildings in Santa Barbara County. For almost a century after the Mores, Vail & Vickers operated one of the largest and most productive beef cattle ranches in Santa Barbara County, with up to 9,000 head of cattle. Three generations of family members managed the ranch in the traditional system of vaqueros (Spanish for “cowboys”), tending cattle on horseback. The end of ranching in 1998 brought a close to the last working island cattle ranch in the continental United States and an end to a truly unique way of life. 6 INTERPRETIVE GUIDE This commitment to ranching traditions preserved a historic landscape that came under the protection of the National Park Service (NPS) with the federal government’s purchase of the island in 1986. Today, the NPS is preserving the historic area so visitors will always have the chance to remember and understand this unique part of the islands’ past. For more detailed information on ranching history and the historic buildings, please see pages 17–42. eturn of the Natives 3 Soledad Road—Bridge over Cherry Canyon Creek A What was once an island covered with coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak scrub, oak woodland, and native grasslands, has given way to nonnative, European grazing grasses and an assortment of weeds, including oats, bromes, foxtails, thistles, and mustard. Today, nearly 25 percent of the plant species found on Santa Rosa Island are nonnative, consisting of approximately 70 percent of the ground cover. Native plants that develop in isolation are often vulnerable to competition from nonnative species. Many of these nonnative plants have evolved with grazing pressure, whereas the native island plants have not coexisted with grazers since the pygmy mammoths, nearly 12,000 years ago. During the 1800s up to 80,000 sheep severely overgrazed the island, eliminating most of the native vegetation and creating open, disturbed, and eroded soils that allowed nonnative plants to flourish. Once established, these nonnatives out competed the natives for limited soil and moisture due to their longer germination and growth cycles and continued grazing and browsing by cattle, horses, and pigs. Pier to Water Canyon Beach s you walked through the ranch you may have noticed the over 100-year-old eucalyptus grove that runs along the length of the ranch area. Yes, those are eucalyptus. They have been wind pruned by the island’s constant northwest winds, causing them to grow horizontally rather than vertically. This grove was planted by the ranchers for use as a windbreak for farming the adjacent field. Fortunately, the spread of these nonnative trees can be controlled. Many other nonnative plants that reached the islands during the ranching period, however, are not as benign. Trail Guide— Tr ail Sto p R National Park continued on next page Plants Endemic Only to Santa Rosa Island 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Soft-leaved paintbrush Santa Rosa Island live-forever East Point dwarf dudleya Hoffmann’s slender-flowered gilia Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine Santa Rosa Island manzanita SANTA ROSA ISLAND 7 Tr Pier to Water Canyon Beach Trail Guide— 3 Channel Islands p ail Sto continued Soledad Road—Bridge over Cherry Canyon Creek The restoration of the island’s native vegetation is the goal of the NPS. Special focus is being placed on the 36 plants endemic to the islands, those occurring only on the Channel Islands and nowhere else in the world. Six of these occur only on Santa Rosa Island. Today, eight of these endemic plants are listed as endangered species. To ensure the survival of these unique species and encourage the recovery of the island’s native vegetation, cattle (1998), pigs (early 1990s), elk (2012), and deer (2012) have been removed and native plant recovery and nonnative weed control are currently underway. The recovery has been remarkable. Many native plants are now spreading beyond the buried seed banks and steep canyon walls and cliffs, where they remained protected from grazing for over 150 years, and are reestablishing themselves throughout the island. Like most of the island’s drainages, this one where you are standing used to be almost completely devoid of vegetation except for nonnative grasses and weeds. Today, it’s a thriving riparian habitat with willows, toyon, lemonade berry, lupine, buckwheat, and a variety of other native plants. Below are a series of photos taken from the same location in Lobo Canyon over a period of 17 years. These photos show the recovery of native vegetation as nonnative grazing animals were removed from the island. Lobo Canyon in 1995 when cattle, horses, deer, and elk grazed the island. Lobo Canyon in 2007 after cattle were removed in 1998. Deer and elk still grazed the island. You can actually help with this recovery by cleaning your boots and other possessions, such as backpacks, before you visit to make sure you don’t accidentally introduce nonnative species to the island. Together we can ensure the return of native plants throughout Santa Rosa Island. Lobo Canyon in 2012 after cattle, horses, deer, and elk had been removed from the island. 8 INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Tr 4 Large Oak Tree Just Before Switchback to Top of Ridge P The island fox is the largest native mammal on the Channel Islands, but one of the smallest foxes in the world. It is nearly 20 percent smaller than its closest relative, the mainland gray fox. It’s about the size of a house cat, averaging from 12 to 13 inches in height, 23 to 27 inches in length (including tail), and three to six pounds in weight. Similar in appearance to the gray fox, the island fox has a gray back, rufous sides (reddish-brown), and white undersides. There are distinctive black, white, and rufous markings on the face. Unlike the nocturnal gray fox, which hunts at night to avoid predators, the island fox is active during daylight hours. As a “generalist omnivore,” it eats almost all available foods on the islands, including fruits, vegetation, insects, mice, and crabs. Mating takes place in February and March, with pupping usually in April or May. Average litter size is two. The adult males play an important role in the raising of young. Pier to Water Canyon Beach erhaps by now you have been lucky enough to cross paths with an island fox. They are frequently seen in Cherry Canyon as well as around the campground area. The island fox (Urocyon littoralis) lives on six of the eight Channel Islands—San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Santa Catalina, San Nicolas, and San Clemente. Each island has its own subspecies, and it is found nowhere else in the world. Trail Guide— ack from the Brink ail Sto p B National Park The fossil record for the island fox dates back at least 6,400 years. Since the Channel Islands were never connected to the mainland, scientists currently have two theories on how the fox arrived on the islands. However, due to the scant fossil history, significant questions still remain on the exact mechanism of the initial arrival. continued on next page SANTA ROSA ISLAND 9 Tr fox photo Steve Smith The island fox has recovered from the brink of extinction. Bald eagles have been reestablished on Santa Rosa Island and the other Channel Islands. One theory is that the island fox’s ancestor, the gray fox, “rafted” to the islands on driftwood, propelled by a storm or currents. During the last ice age, 10–20,000 years ago, ocean levels were up to 400 feet lower than today, narrowing the channel between the islands and mainland to perhaps just four to five miles across and grouping the northern islands together into one large island we call Santarosae. The other theory is that gray foxes were transported to the northern Channel Islands, like they were to the San Nicolas and San Clemente Islands, by American Indians. freshwater, the island fox did not inhabit Anacapa Island. The foxes adapted to their new island home, evolving into a dwarf, or smaller, form of the gray fox. Environmental and ecological factors such as overcrowding, reduction in predators, food limitations, and genetic variations could have contributed to the natural selection for a smaller size. As the climate warmed and ocean levels began to rise, Santarosae was divided into the islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Anacapa. Because of a lack of permanent 10 continued Large Oak Tree Just Before Switchback to Top of Ridge timhaufphotography.com Pier to Water Canyon Beach Trail Guide— 4 Channel Islands p ail Sto INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Between 1994 and 1999, island foxes almost disappeared on San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz Islands. Predation by nonnative golden eagles caused over a 90 percent decline in the population with just 15 foxes left on Santa Rosa, placing the island fox on the brink of extinction. By 2004, the island fox was listed as a federally endangered species. A successful recovery effort included captive breeding of island foxes, relocation of golden eagles, and the reestablishment of bald eagles (a natural competitor of the golden eagle). In all, on Santa Rosa Island nearly 100 foxes were released over a six-year period with the final fox set free in 2008. Today, with the population at close to predecline numbers, the recovery effort has been recognized as one of the quickest and most successful recoveries of an endangered species. eographical Isolation 5 Top of Ridge N The islands’ first shoreline was created around five million years ago, when compressional forces, caused by the ramming of Baja California into southern California, resulted in folding and faulting of marine sediments and volcanic rocks (deposited between 15–30 million years ago) and the eventual uplift of the islands. These compressional forces are still ongoing, making this area geologically active today. Earthquakes are quite common. A major fault that runs east-west through the center of Santa Rosa Island has moved nearly 10 miles, and all the islands continue to be uplifted. Ever since these compressional forces caused the islands to emerge from the sea, they have been separated from the mainland. For decades, scientists assumed that the two were connected by a land bridge, but as bathymetric information (or topography) of the sea floor improved, it revealed that even during periods of lowest sea levels (about 17,000 years ago), the islands still remained isolated by at least four miles of ocean. It is this continuous geographical isolation that has shaped island life. Pier to Water Canyon Beach ow that you have reached the top of the ridge, take a moment and rest. As you look across Bechers Bay, you may notice the broad, elevated coastal plain. Geologists call these marine terraces—ancient shorelines carved flat by wave action and exposed through changes in sea level and tectonic uplift of the land. Remnants of this and older marine terraces can be found around much of the island’s coastline. You’re actually standing on an older marine terrace right now while a future marine terrace (called a wave-cut platform) is being created by wave erosion at the base of the sea cliffs below you. Trail Guide— Tr ail Sto p G National Park Although never connected to the mainland by a land bridge, the four northern islands were once part of the Pleistocene “super island” known as Santarosae, nearly four times as large as the combined areas of the modern Channel Islands. The dark-shaded area on the map depicts the ancient coast of Santarosae and California around 20,000 years ago when sea level was approximately 350 feet lower than it is today. As the ice sheets and glaciers melted and the sea level rose, only the highest parts of Santarosae remained as modern islands. (Adapted from a map by geologist Tom Rockwell) SANTA ROSA ISLAND 11 Tr T orrey Pines Ridge Halfway to Campground timhaufphotography.com Trail Guide— Pier to Water Canyon Beach 6 Channel Islands p ail Sto A s you continue along the ridge, look out toward the east and you will see a grove of the rarest native pine in the United States and, possibly, the rarest pine in the world—the Torrey pine. It only grows naturally in two places in the entire world. One is here on Santa Rosa Island and the other is near San Diego. Thousands of years of isolation have made this island version of the pine distinct. It is genetically and physically different enough from the mainland trees that it is considered a separate subspecies and given its own common name—the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine. As the climate has changed, the pines most likely survived here because of the cool, moist air from the persistent island fog and because of the limited competition from other plants—due to the island’s isolation, a smaller number of plant species exist on the island as compared to the mainland. 12 INTERPRETIVE GUIDE The Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine has a very limited range on the island, occurring only in two locations. Along with its limited individual genetic variability, this makes the Torrey pine very vulnerable to extinction. To ensure the survival of this unique pine, the park closely monitors its health. So far, all studies have indicated that the pines are doing very well. In 1888, when the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine was first described, the grove was highly impacted by sheep grazing, and the population was estimated to be about 100 trees. Today that number has grown to over 4,000 trees along with many young trees. Some of the oldest trees are in the heart of the grove and have been dated to approximately 250 years old. Please refer to page 46 for more information on the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine. Window into Their World 7 On Ridge Overlooking Campground Entrance I Spanish mission records indicate that up to 1,200 Chumash lived in eight villages distributed around the island’s coast, including a village here in Bechers Bay (near the ranch area). On the terrace above Southeast Anchorage there is a prehistoric village site dating back at least 7,500 years ago, where depressions in the ground mark individual thatched hut locations. These midden sites offer us a window into the Chumash world. By examining these sites, archeologists can piece together a picture of their ancient island life. The Island Chumash were skilled crafts people and seafarers with a vast knowledge of the world around them and how to use it for their survival. The predominance of shells and fish bones within the midden reveal that although the islanders exploited terrestrial plant resources, such as acorns and cherries, timhaufphotography.com Archeologists identify this as a “midden,” a debris pile containing remnants of those societies who came before—the Chumash and their ancestors. This midden is just one of over 700 archeological sites on Santa Rosa Island that have been discovered, ranging from small temporary camps to larger villages. In fact, the oldest human remains yet discovered in North America came from Santa Rosa Island’s remote northwest shoreline and date back over 13,000 years. Pier to Water Canyon Beach f you were to walk along the edge of the marine terrace below, you would discover tiny fragments of broken shells glittering in the soil and piles of shells falling out from the cliff edge. How did these shells get there? Must be the ocean at work—or is it? Trail Guide— Tr ail Sto p A National Park they subsisted primarily on fish, shellfish, and other marine organisms. They often plied the channel in search of this rich variety of marine food, traveling in tomols (canoes) made of redwood or pine planks caulked with tar from natural seeps. The midden also reveals that other items not available in this isolated island environment had to be obtained from villages on the mainland or other islands. One of the principal products manufactured and traded by the islanders were shell beads, which were the currency of trade in the Chumash area and throughout California. Chert microdrills were used to bore holes in pieces of olivella snail shells to produce these beads. continued on next page SANTA ROSA ISLAND 13 Tr Pier to Water Canyon Beach Trail Guide— 7 Channel Islands p ail Sto Not only did the islands have an abundance of olivella shells, but also, even more importantly, Santa Cruz Island (which lies to the east) had considerable natural deposits of chert, a hard durable silica rock. Eastern Santa Cruz Island was the center for manufacturing chert microdrills, as this location had chert of the proper type and quality for such tools. One particular site contains evidence of the highest density of microdrill production in North America. Other sites on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands have been labeled by archeologists as “bead factories,” with amazing amounts of discarded drills and bead debris. Santa Rosa Island was not isolated enough to protect the Chumash from the diseases the Spanish brought with them as they began colonizing California in the late 1700s. By the early 1800s, the island Chumash had been devastated by measles, other introduced epidemics, drought, and the disruption of their tradebased economy. The last of the Chumash 14 continued On Ridge Overlooking Campground Entrance INTERPRETIVE GUIDE islanders would leave their traditional island home in 1822. Although much has been lost, enough remains to remind us of this unique part of the island’s past. These midden sites, along with today’s descendants of the Island Chumash, remind us on another level how important and sacred these isolated islands are. Taking from or disturbing archeological sites or artifacts is a violation of state and federal law. The archeological sites around the Channel Islands are a testament to the importance of the Chumash and other American Indians. Archeological sites are sacred to Chumash peoples today, are protected by federal law, and are a vital nonrenewable scientific resource. Please help us in protecting and preserving this rich part of California’s heritage. n Ocean Park and Sanctuary 8 Water Canyon Beach F Within this ocean realm one often sees harbor seals or other pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). The island’s expansive and isolated beaches offer sea lions, harbor seals, and elephant seals an ideal combination of safety from predators and freedom from human disturbance, making the beaches an ideal place to rest, breed, and pup. These pinnipeds, along with a variety of other marine species, also depend on the extensive kelp forests found in these cold waters. While urban and industrial development has altered much of the southern California coastal mainland, the isolated islands contain the most undisturbed stretches of coastline in this region, providing some of the best conditions for kelp forests and their inhabitants. Kelp is a type of alga that, under ideal conditions (cold, nutrient-rich water), is one of the fastest growing organisms on Earth—it can grow two feet per day. This foliage provides food, shelter, and protection for over 800 different species— from foraging nudibranchs, to grazing snails, to fish seeking refuge, to whales feasting on plankton. But we must not forget about ourselves. Not only do we feed upon some of the animals that depend upon the kelp forest, but also those of us who eat ice cream, salad dressing, and even use toothpaste are all using a little bit of seaweed as well. Kelp is harvested for a natural ingredient called algin, which is used as a suspending, stabilizing, emulsifying, gel-producing, and film-forming additive in more than 70 commercial products. In addition, marine algae and plants such as kelp provide Earth with 80 percent of its oxygen. Pier to Water Canyon Beach rom this incredible two-mile stretch of white sand beach, one has the opportunity to gaze upon another part of the park—the marine environment. One nautical mile of water around each island in the park is part of Channel Islands National Park, and six nautical miles around each island form Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Trail Guide— Tr ail Sto p A National Park Despite these benefits, the kelp forest and its inhabitants are in jeopardy. Pollution and over-harvesting of marine species have altered the kelp forest ecosystem. Kelp forests in southern California today cover less than half the area they covered at the turn of the 20th century. However, with the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs), improved pollution controls, fishing regulations, research, and public education, some of these problems have been corrected. Within the park and sanctuary a network of MPAs provides a refuge for sea life and opportunities for recreation, education, and science. In 11 marine reserves (including two on Santa Rosa Island— around Carrington and Skunk Points), recreational fishing and commercial harvesting are prohibited; limited fishing and harvesting are allowed in two marine conservation areas. The MPAs total 318 square miles, the largest such network off the continental United States and part of a larger effort throughout the world to conserve natural, historic, and cultural marine resources. SANTA ROSA ISLAND 15 continued Tr Water Canyon Beach Protecting the Islands I Trail Guide— Pier to Water Canyon Beach 8 Channel Islands p ail Sto n 1980 Congress established Channel Islands National Park to protect, preserve, and teach us about the islands’ fragile resources and unique past, including the Island Chumash and those who came after them, the island fox that recovered from the brink of extinction, the restoration of the islands’ native plants, the complicated geologic story, the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine that occurs nowhere else on Earth, the kelp forest and its inhabitants that depend on these isolated islands for survival, and the wide variety of other natural and cultural resources not mentioned in this trail guide. By understanding these resources and the role isolation plays on these islands, we can help preserve them for future generations to study and enjoy. The National Park Service needs your help as well. We encourage you to explore and learn more about Santa Rosa Island and the rest of the Channel Islands. But don’t stop there. In recognizing the importance of these islands, take your awareness to the action level. Make every effort to safeguard—to preserve—the plants, animals, and artifacts found not only within this park, but also throughout the world as well. timhaufphotography.com santa rosa photos 16 INTERPRETIVE GUIDE National Park Hichimin The second largest historic Chumash village on Santa Rosa Island, Hichimin, was located within the Vail & Vickers ranch area near the mouth of Ranch House Canyon. Current research and radiocarbon dating suggests that this site was first occupied 650 years ago. At the time of European contact (Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s voyage in 1542) the village was home to approximately 75 Chumash, including many high-ranking families, a powerful chief, and tomol (plank canoe) owners. Given all this, it’s probably best just to follow island rancher Al Vail’s advice to Marla Daily: “Either one works, but I’ve always called it Bechers and spelled it that way.” Although Chumash occupation of Santa Rosa Island ended in the early 19th century, many individuals today can trace their ancestry to specific villages on the island and retain a lively interest in the preservation and management of their heritage. Between three and ten thousand Chumash live in California today. Marvels of the New West, published in 1888, reprinted a long article from the San Francisco Call about the “mammoth” sheep ranch of A. P. More: More Sheep Ranch Ranching began on Santa Rosa Island in 1844 shortly after the island was granted to the Carrillo family by the Mexican government. From 1858 to 1901 the More family ran one of the largest sheep ranches in the state on the island with up to 80,000 sheep. Place Name According to Channel Islands historian Marla Daily, Bechers Bay, as we know it today, has had a variety of different names throughout history. The island is divided into four quarters by fences running clear across at right angles; and the sheep have not to be herded like those ranging about the foothills. Four men are employed regularly the year round to keep the ranch in order and to look after the sheep; and during shearing time fifty or more shearers are employed. An 1871–72 US Coast Survey map lists it as Mores Harbor. An unpublished US Coast Survey map by Stehman Forney from 1873 simply lists it as N.W. Anchorage. Yet another US Coast Survey map from 1882 labels it as Bechers Bay. News accounts in 1877 and 1910 and a 1952 US Geological Survey Map describe it as Beechers Bay. However, the 1974 and 1993 US Geological Survey maps list it as Bechers Bay. These men secure forty or fifty days’ work; and the average number of sheep sheared a day is about ninety, for which five cents a clip is paid; thus, $4.50 a day is being made by each man, or something over $200 for the season, or over $400 for 90 days out of the year. Although the shearing of 90 sheep a day is the average, a great many will go as high as 110; and one man has been known to shear 125. The Santa Barbara historian Clif Smith speculated that the bay was named for explorer and naval officer Sir Edward Belcher (who was stationed off the west coast in the 19th century), and the name was just misspelled. Although no herding is necessar

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