Spieden Island is a privately-owned island in the San Juan Archipelago in the U.S. state of Washington. It has a land area of 516.4 acres (209.0 ha) and no permanent resident population as of the 2000 census, although several structures are present on various parts of the island. The island was purchased by James Jannard, founder and major shareholder of Oakley, Inc. in 1997; however its current owner could not be identified using public records.
Approximately two miles long and 1/2 mile across at its widest point, it is less than a mile north of San Juan Island, across the Spieden Channel. The highest point of the island is approximately 374 feet above sea level. The north side is heavily forested but the south side is largely barren due to overgrazing of non-native species introduced for a failed big game hunting venture decades ago. The south side features many (glacial erratics), large boulders deposited by glacial activity in the past.
In the 1970s and 1980s the island was used for big game hunting; non-native game animals such as Mouflon sheep from Corsica, fallow deer from Europe, and Sika deer from Asia – along with approximately 2,000 exotic birds from distant parts of the world – were brought to the island. A hunting lodge, airstrip, and small hangar were built to accommodate visitors. The venture was short-lived, however, partially due to environmental concerns and also due to the risk of errant shots reaching nearby San Juan Island, which is relatively populated. The imported species continue to survive on the island.
The Island Institute, an environmental education camp run by Jane Howard, was once located on the island. It is no longer in operation.
- Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3.
- "True rumors about Spieden Island". King5.com. 2 August 2005. Archived from the original on November 5, 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
- Spieden Island: Blocks 4001 and 4002, Census Tract 9603, San Juan County, Washington United States Census Bureau
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