Government Island is an island in the Columbia River between the East side of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. It is crossed by I-205.
The island is fairly small, probably around 300 to 400 acres, although its size changes depending on how high the Columbia River is. It is covered by thick stands of poplars, and had from time to time, been grazed by herds of cattle and sheep.
There is no access to the island by automobile, but anyone with a boat could get out there without too much trouble. Since the island is right in the descent path of PDX, I have flown over it many times, and seem to have seen a house there.
Some adventurous people have sneaked from the bike path in the middle of I-205 over the lanes of the freeway and onto the island. The only reason to do this is the lure of the forbidden, the island itself isn't any more interesting then any other wild beach front in the Portalnd area.
About five years ago, a helicopter flying over the Island found a growth of Cannabis growing on the island. Someone had the rather clever idea of planting some marijuana where there wasn't much of a chance of anyone finding it. Since that incident, however, the agricultural economy of the island has become much less lucrative.
As for the origin of the name, when I was a child, I was told that it was called that because the island, being inbetween Oregon and Washington was the property of neither, but of the Federal Government. While I know for a fact that this isn't true (the island lies wholly in Oregon), I have never heard an explanation for the island's name.