BURTNESS, George (b. 1931), Santa Barbara native and member of the Santa Cruz Island Foundation Advisory Council. Burtness first visited Santa Catalina Island in the 1940s when he served parts of several summers as a counselor at Camp Cherry Valley for the Boy Scouts.
After a long hiatus, the next island he visited was Santa Cruz Island in 1988, the year after Carey Stanton died, thus he never got to meet him. During the decades since, Burtness has been on Santa Cruz Island perhaps more than 100 times, volunteering for The Nature Conservancy, the University of California Santa Cruz Island Reserve, Channel Islands National Park, and the Santa Cruz Island Foundation.
At various times Burtness was on Anacapa, San Miguel, and Santa Rosa Islands, mostly in volunteer roles. Eventually he made the long voyage to Santa Barbara Island (a 5-hour trip back then). More recently, Burtness added the two Navy islands, San Clemente Island and San Nicolas Island, doing work with the Channel Islands Restoration group for the Navy, and thus completing visits to all eight California Channel Islands.
George Burtness' decades of service to the California Channel Islands is unparalleled among volunteers.