The public is invited to participate in a naturalist’s view of San Nicolas Island, considered the most remote and mysterious of the Channel Islands.

The Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society and Solvang Library welcome William Hoyer, natural resources manager of San Nicolas Island, on Thursday, Feb. 8.

Hoyer, of the U.S. Navy, will review botanical, animal and biosecurity programs, as well as some of the land-use history of the island. The lecture, presented at the Solvang Library on Mission Drive, starts at 7 p.m.

San Nicolas Island is filled with carefully managed and diverse natural resources but is controlled by the U.S. Navy and is not accessible to the public. The island is classified as “uninhabited” — but don’t tell Hoyer. The natural resources manager spends four days a week on the island and has done so for five years. He also serves on the board of directors for the California Invasive Plant Council, and is a member of the Islands of the California Botanical Collaborative.

Hoyer, who lives in Santa Barbara, spends his free time outdoors and practices wildlife photography. Before his career with the Navy, Hoyer earned his Bachelor of Science degree in plant science from Cornell University and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu, working on sustainable agriculture and marine resources projects.

Island foxes

San Nicolas supports three endemic vertebrates, including the San Nicolas Island Fox, a host of mollusks, three native plant communities and important seabird colonies. The island is surrounded by a spectacular marine and intertidal environment teeming with harbor seals, California sea lions, southern sea otters and northern elephant seals.

Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society lectures are free and open to the public. A list of upcoming lectures and field trips sponsored by the society can be found at www.syvnature.org.

For more information, email synature@west.net, or call 805-693-5683; or contact Carey McKinnon, 805-688-4214.

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