Baker Island was acquired by the USA in 1857, and its guano deposits heavily mined by both American and British companies for the following half-century. There was an attempt to colonise the island in 1935, but World War II interrupted it and it was abandoned. It became an NWR in 1974.
I have awarded it 10 marks on the For side, for reasons that are self-evident: no humans, and natural life protected. It may not be immediately obvious why I have awarded one mark against, but then it may not be immediately obvious why islands in the Pacific Ocean, more than 3,000 miles from Honolulu, 4,400 from the nearest land-point on the mainland of America, and only 3,700 miles from the nearest land-point in Australia, an island whose nearest significant neighbour is actually Papua New Guinea, should belong to the United States at all.
Marks For: 10
Marks Against: 1
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