Bateman Island is an island located on the Columbia River between the cities of Richland and Kennewick, Washington. It is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) long and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide (160 acres (65 ha)) and is part of the city of Richland.
Lewis and Clark mentioned Bateman Island in their journals in 1805. William Clark and two other men made their way towards the mouth of the Yakima River, but due to the time the farthest they got was Bateman Island.
|“||…I took two men in a Small Canoe and assended the Columbia river [10 miles (16 km)] to an Island near the Stard. Shore on which two large Mat Lodges of Indians were drying Salmon,…there is no timber of any Sort except Small willow bushes in Sight in any direction - from this Island the natives showed me the enterance of a large Westerly fork which they Call Tâpetêtt at about 8 miles distant, the evening being late I deturmined to return to the forks, at which place I reached at Dark…||”|
Lewis and Clark never made it past Bateman Island; it was the furthest upstream they traveled on the Columbia.
The island has suffered damage from wildfire, most recently on August 8, 2001. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental, as opposed to still smoldering leftover debris from just five days prior.
Presently, the island is open to the public for numerous activities. It has recovered significantly from the 2001 fire, though there are still signs of it. The island is home to many different species of wildlife, including deer, birds, carp in the wet season, and numerous small animals. Common recreational activities include fishing, bird watching, and hiking.
- More on the background of Bateman island and relation to Lewis & Clark[dead link]
- A short description of the wildfire that plagued Bateman island in 2001[dead link]