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Santa Rosa Island reopened to visitors after week-long drug investigation

National Park Service
Santa Rosa Island, part of Channel Islands National Park

Starting Wednesday, November 2, visitors will be allowed back to Santa Rosa Island after a week-long drug smuggling investigation closed a portion of the Channel Islands National Park to the public.

Federal, state and local drug agents searched the island by air, land, and sea following the discovery of an abandoned panga boat last week along the Gaviota Coast and bundles of marijuana that turned up on the island.

Law enforcement personnel recovered 44 bundles in total weighing nearly 3000 pounds, according to the National Park Service.

Spokesperson Yvonne Menard said Tuesday that the reopening comes as welcome news.

"Santa Rosa is a popular destination location starting in the spring and all the way through to the late fall," said Menard. "So, there's trips scheduled this coming Saturday, which will be able to land on the island."

Menard said about 75 campers and day visitors who had planned to trips to the island last weekend were affected by the closure.

Menard says the park service in cooperation with other agencies... will continue to monitor the area for drug-smuggling activity. This is not the first time the islands have had problems like this. Menard says previous incidents have been recorded on Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and San Miguel islands.