- Matia Island
Matia Island is an island in the San Juan Islands of the U.S. state of Washington. The Island's entire 145 acres (159 actual) comes under the protection of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is cooperatively managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Matia Island is actually a National Wildlife Refuge, part of the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge. A 2 acre camping area around Rolfe Cove is managed as a State Marine Park by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission under an agreement dating back to 1959. Pets, wood collecting, and campfires (excluding liquid fuel campstoves) are not allowed on the Island. Except for the Wilderness Loop Trail and the 2 acre campground, all areas above the high tide line are closed to the public. <Ref: Protection Island and San Juan Islands NWRs Comprehensive Conservation Plan, 2010. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service>
Matia was named in 1792 (1791) by the Spanish explorer Francisco de Eliza as Isla de Mata, meaning "no protection". Matia is correctly pronounced "Ma-TEE-ah", but is more often called "May-shahh" by the locals. Matia also has several meanings in Spanish having to do with lush plant growth.
Matia Island was established as " . . . a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife" in 1937 and became a National Wildlife Refuge in 1940. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (formerly the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife) and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission entered into a cooperative management agreement in June of 1959 to use a small portion of the Island (2 acres around Rolfe Cove) as a State Marine Park and campground in response to uncontrolled use by the public with the proliferation of private boats in the years following World War II.
In 1976, all but the 2 acre State Marine Park was disignated as Wilderness under the Wilderness Act of 1964. Island visitors may access a 1.2 mile loop trail through the wilderness portion of the Island which is otherwise closed to the public to provide undisturbed habitat for wildlife. Visitors are required to stay on the trail and are not allowed to access other areas from the trail. The wilderness trail offers a unique glimpse of protected old growth island forest habitat present in only a few places in the region.
The Hermit of Matia Island
For almost 30 years a man, Elvin H. Smith lived in a cabin on a bay in the island's southeast corner (opposite Rolfe Cove). Elvin H. Smith was born in Wisconsin circa 1835. Elvin Smith fought in the Civil War during the 1860s, rising from private to brevet captain in the Union Army. Embittered because Army bureaucrats never recognized his battlefield commission and disappointed by an unhappy love affair, he left home for good and headed west. After a stint as a newspaperman, he worked for years as a traveling passenger agent for the Northern Pacific Railroad until he gave up railroad business in 1890 and came to Bellingham, Washington. Once in Bellingham, Smith joined forces with a lawyer to make some money on land speculation. There were rumors that the federal government was going to open Matia Island for homesteading. The lawyer fronted money to buy out a pair who had acquired squatters' rights on Matia. Smith moved to the island in April 1892 to perfect a claim the partners could sell at a profit. He was later dubbed "The Hermit of Matia Island", and remained there until his supply-laden rowboat vanished on in a storm on February 23, 1921 in route from nearby Orcas Island.
Matia has 20,000 feet (6,100 m) of rocky cold saltwater shoreline on the Strait of Georgia. The tide varies by 14 feet (4 m).
Only 5 acres (2 ha) of the park with 680 feet (210 m) of waterfront are developed for public use. Boating facilities include a 116-foot (35 m) pier, one 45-foot (14 m) ramp, a 14-by-60-foot (4.3 × 18 m) moorage float and two buoys. Facility use is first come, first served, with continuous moorage limited to three consecutive nights. Fees are charged year around.
Facilities include a 1.2 miles (2 km) loop trail, 6 primitive campsites, 1 picnic site and 1 composting toilet. There is no drinking water available and you must pack out your garbage. Pets, fires of any type, and wood collecting are not allowed on the Island although there is an exception for liquid fuel campstoves.
Matia offers primitive camping, picnicking, saltwater fishing, scuba diving, limited hiking and clam digging.
Matia's temperatures are, like much of the Puget Sound area, heavily moderated by the abundance of water around it. Typically, the temperature rarely goes above 80 °F (26 °C) or below 30 °F (0 °C). Snow happens occasionally but is rarely of much account. Matia gets about 29 in (730 mm) of rain a year or about 80% of the rain Seattle gets. Late summer is the local dry season.
-  PI and SJI NWRs Completed Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Wilderness Stewardship Plan (PDF )
- Matia Sate Park, StateParks.com
- Matia Sate Park moorage, Washington State Parks
Protected Areas of Washington FederalNational ParksNational MonumentsNational Recreation AreasNational Wildlife Refuges
Columbia · Conboy Lake · Copalis · Dungeness · Flattery Rocks · Franz Lake · Grays Harbor · Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer · Lewis and Clark · Little Pend Oreille · McNary · Nisqually · Pierce · Protection Island · Quillayute Needles · Ridgefield · Saddle Mountain · San Juan Islands · Steigerwald Lake · Toppenish · Turnbull · Umatilla · WillapaNational Wilderness
Alpine Lakes · Boulder River · Brothers · Buckhorn · Clearwater · Colonel Bob · Glacier Peak · Glacier View · Goat Rocks · Henry M. Jackson · Indian Heaven · Juniper Dunes · Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Ridge · Mount Adams · Mount Baker · Mount Rainier · Mount Skokomish · Noisy-Diobsud · Norse Peak · Olympic · Pasayten · Salmo-Priest · San Juan · Stephen Mather · Tatoosh · Trapper Creek · Washington Islands · Wenaha–Tucannon · Wild Sky · William O. Douglas · Wonder Mountain
Alta Lake · Anderson Lake · Battle Ground Lake · Bay View · Beacon Rock · Belfair · Birch Bay · Blake Island · Blind Island · Bogachiel · Bottle Beach · Bridgeport · Bridle Trails · Brooks Memorial · Cama Beach · Camano Island · Camp Wooten Environmental Learning Center · Cape Disappointment · Centennial Trail · Clark Island · Columbia Hills · Columbia Plateau Trail · Conconully · Crawford · Curlew Lake · Cutts Island · Damon Point · Daroga · Dash Point · Deception Pass · Dosewallips · Doug's Beach · Eagle Island · Fay Bainbridge · Federation Forest · Fields Spring · Flaming Geyser · Fort Casey · Fort Columbia · Fort Ebey · Fort Flagler · Fort Okanogan · Fort Simcoe · Fort Townsend · Fort Ward · Fort Worden · Ginkgo Petrified Forest · Goldendale Observatory · Grayland Beach · Griffin Bay · Griffiths-Priday · Harstine Island · Hope Island (Mason County) · Hope Island (Skagit County) · Ike Kinswa · Illahee · Iron Horse · James Island · Jarrell Cove · Joemma Beach · Jones Island · Joseph Whidbey · Kanaskat-Palmer · Kinney Point · Kitsap Memorial · Kopachuck · Lake Chelan · Lake Easton · Lake Sammamish · Lake Sylvia · Lake Wenatchee · Larrabee · Leadbetter Point · Lewis and Clark · Lewis and Clark Trail · Lime Kiln Point · Lincoln Rock · Manchester · Maryhill · Matia Island · McMicken Island · Millersylvania · Moran · Mount Pilchuck · Mount Spokane · Mystery Bay · Nine Mile Recreation Area · Nolte · Ocean City · Olallie · Olmstead Place · Osoyoos Lake · Pacific Beach · Pacific Pines · Palouse Falls · Paradise Point · Patos Island · Peace Arch · Pearrygin Lake · Penrose Point · Peshastin Pinnacles · Pleasant Harbor · Posey Island · Potholes · Potlatch · Rainbow Falls · Rasar · Reed Island · Riverside · Rockport · Sacajawea · Saint Edward · Saltwater · Scenic Beach · Schafer · Seaquest · Sequim Bay · Shine Tidelands · Skagit Island · Skull Island · South Whidbey · Spencer Spit · Squak Mountain · Squilchuck · Steamboat Rock · Steptoe Battlefield · Steptoe Butte · Stretch Point · Stuart Island · Sucia Island · Sun Lakes · Tolmie · Triton Cove · Turn Island · Twanoh · Twenty-Five Mile Creek · Twin Harbors · Upright Channel · Wallace Falls · Wanapum Recreational Area · Wenatchee Confluence · Westport Light · Yakima Sportsman
Admiralty Inlet · Badger Gulch · Bald Hill · Barker Mountain · Bone River · Camas Meadows · Carlisle Bog · Castle Rock · Charley Creek · Chehalis River Surge Plain · Chopaka Mountain · Clearwater Bogs · Cleveland Shrub Steppe · Columbia Falls · Columbia Hills · Cypress Highlands · Dabob Bay · Dailey Prairie · Davis Canyon · Entiat Slopes · Goose Island · Gunpowder Island · Kahlotus Ridgetop · Kennedy Creek · Kings Lake Bog · Kitsap Forest · Little Pend Oreille River · Marcellus Shrub Steppe · Methow Rapids · Mima Mounds · Monte Cristo · Niawiakum River · North Bay · Oak Patch · Olivine Bridge · Pinecroft · Point Doughty · Riverside Breaks · Rocky Prairie · Sand Island · Schumacher Creek · Selah Cliffs · Skagit Bald Eagle · Skookum Inlet · Snoqualmie Bog · Spring Creek Canyon · Trout Lake · The Two-Steppe · Upper Dry Gulch · Washougal Oaks Natural Area · Whitcomb Flats · Willapa Divide
Cattle Point · Clearwater Corridor · Cypress Island · Devils Lake · Dishman Hills · Elk River · Ellsworth Creek · Granite Lakes · Hat Island · Hendrickson Canyon · Klickitat Canyon · Lake Louise · Loomis · Lummi Island · Merrill Lake · Morning Star · Mount Si · Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area · Shipwreck Point · South Nemah · South Nolan · Stavis · Table Mountain · Tahoma Forest · Teal Slough · Washougal Oaks Natural Area · West Tiger Mountain · White Salmon Oak · Woodard Bay
OtherFormer state parks
Lyons Ferry Park · Mukilteo Lighthouse Park · Wenberg County Park
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