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Edited wills and board resignations, Catalina Conservancy implodes (photos)

catalina boats

Photo by lpotatol via Flickr Creative Commons

Catalina boats.

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Photo by Daniel Peckham via Flickr Creative Commons

Sky above Catalina.

catalina in the distance

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Ventura pier with a view of Catalina in the distance.

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Photo by Automania/Mike via Flickr Creative Commons

Sun over Catalina.

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Photo by brewbooks via Flickr Creative Commons

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Photo by Automania/Mike via Flickr Creative Commons

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Photo by Monica's Dad via Flickr Creative Commons

Jonathan Moore/Getty Images

The beach at Avalon Harbor has made Heal the Bay’s "Ten Worst Bummers” list for more than a decade thanks to ancient clay and metal pipes in the Catalina Island city’s sewage system.

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A view from Catalina Island, looking over Avalon.

File picture dated May 17, 2008, of Aval

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

Avalon on Santa Catalina Island, California, from a helicopter of the Island Express company.


The L.A. Times reports three board members of the Catalina Conservancy —  a 15-member organization that manages nine-tenths of Santa Catalina Island — resigned last week, bringing the total to 10 officials and scientists who've recently jumped ship.

The departed parties point to Executive Director Ann Muscat's "controversial leadership style and differences over the direction she is taking the 40-year-old Catalina Island Conservancy." Some members are also concerned over Muscat's salary and expenses.

Muscat, a marine biologist hired a decade ago, is pushing development of new tourist attractions to bring badly needed revenue to the conservancy and the island's tourism-oriented businesses. The conservancy manages most of the island's wild lands, operating on $12 million a year from donations and earned revenue.

At least some of the conflicts stem from a disagrement about the emphasis of tourism over conservation. To the displeasure of some of the board Muscat has been promoting plans to fund conservation programs by creating a gift shop and upgrading destination spots.

Ex-board member Roy Rose says he's made a $10 million revision to his will and written out the Conservancy.

MORE ON CATALINA ISLAND FROM KPCC

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