Open Spaces - 2022 Spring Newsletter

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The newsletter of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy BOARD OF DIRECTORS Roger Essick President Don Reed Vice President Sandy Buechley Treasurer Bret Bradigan Secretary Bill Brothers Fiona Hutton Phil Moncharsh Tonya Peralta Larry Rose Lu Setnicka Sarah Sheshunoff Cari Shore STAFF Tom Maloney Executive Director Tania Parker Deputy Director

Brendan Taylor Director of Field Programs Dan Pizano Operations Director Xena Grossman Development Manager Vivon Crawford Restoration Program Manager Nathan Wickstrum Communications & Outreach Manager Adam Morrsion Volunteer & Events Coordinator Christine Gau Land Protection Specialist Linda Wilkin Land Steward Lisa Nix Restoration Field Crew Leader Sophie McLean Restoration Field Crew & Nursery Assistant Jonathan LaPearl Restoration Field Crew Ron Singer Nursery Manager Mission: OVLC protects and restores the open space, wildlife habitat, watersheds, and views of the Ojai Valley for current and future generations. STAY CONNECTED WITH THE OVLC: OVLC.ORG FIND US ON FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

Cover photo by Nathan Wickstrum Page 2

Just by including the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy in your estate plans, you can help protect the beauty of Ojai for generations to come. A bequest is a simple way to support the OVLC in the future while retaining control of your assets during your lifetime. By making the OVLC a beneficiary of your will, trust, retirement plan, life insurance policy, or financial accounts, you ensure your values will be passed on after you.

The real beneficiary, ofof course, is is Ojai. The real beneficiary, course, Ojai.

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy


There is a long-standing undercurrent of tension between longtime residents, newcomers, and visitors in Ojai. As a newcomer myself (my wife and I moved to Ojai over two years ago), I have perceived the “oh, you’re a newcomer” perspective. The exurban migration that has occurred over the last several years in Ojai, and other beautiful rural places, has noticeably exacerbated these tensions. As is often the case, these issues often flare up on social media much more forcefully than they ever would in person. Meanwhile, the effects of climate change in the valley are increasingly noticeable. Citrus and avocado farmers are feeling the pressures of heat and drought stress on their crops. The City of Ventura’s water adjudication has heightened the already fraught situation with water. Driving past Lake Casitas serves as a ready reminder of how dire things are looking. Virtually anyone who spends time in Ojai sees rain as a cause for celebration. Sorting through all of these issues can be as hard as making a left hand turn onto Ojai Avenue on a holiday weekend! The stresses from the changing climate, rising real estate prices, and challenges arising from the prolonged drought can engender a sort of tribalism that pits the old guard against the newcomers and residents against visitors. However, this reaction fails to recognize a fundamental truth about the Ojai Valley and the folks who choose to live or visit here. This is that the rural character, open views, and widespread access to nature is at the core of what attracts people to Ojai. The land and views provide a stunning backdrop to the lovely and still Protecting your views, trails, water, and wildlife.

compact city area. Indeed, it was the deeply held conviction by OVLC’s founders to preserve the rural character of the valley that led to the organization’s founding in 1987. They recognized what is still true today—that a thoughtful and engaged effort is needed to preserve the special character of the valley. Investing in those values also preserves the natural capital that sustains all life in the valley. With the seemingly inexorable advance of climate change, land protection serves as a sure-fire investment in our future. Saving watershed lands helps to maintain in-stream flows, and restoring abandoned orchards into oak woodlands makes for a shadier and more livable valley. Eradicating invasive giant reed from the watershed lessens the risk of extreme wildland fire and improves the water budget that is so important to all of us. We’re not the only ones who see land conservation as a safe investment in our future. The federal and state governments have introduced 30X30 campaigns to advance the conserved land base to 30% by 2030. Even the United Nations has a Sustainable Development Goal to protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems. We invite you to join OVLC’s much more local efforts to promote a more sustainable and resilient Ojai that everybody will continue to love and enjoy for generations to come.

Tom Maloney, Executive Director

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SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENTS IN MEMORY OF Alyce Gregory from Avery Gregory Brandon Warton from Aaron Beaudry Chip In memory of Harry Oppenheimer’s friend Chip from Rikki Horne Eleanor Smith Land from Eleanorius Fund - VCCF

Sweet Finn, Cadmium “Caddy” Chapman, Sweet Mia, Kachina, Midnight & Brownie from The Peaceful Pup Sweet Polly May her spirit always be part of Ojai from Maren Vertoch Tamara Iwerks from Daniel Webster Ted Reed from Anonymous

Jerome John ‘Jerry’ Garcia, American guitarist, singer and songwriter from Vicki Maloney


John G. Avildsen from Anthony Avildsen

Charla Brown Thank you for the hospitality in Ojai from David Gull

John G. Bee DVM from Susan Bee Sara Roxanne Schneider from Elizabeth & Wayne Ogden In loving memory from Carol Shore

Cathleen Lynch from Anonymous

Daren Magee aka Real Fun, Wow! from BANDITS Bandanas David Paulson Happy 65th birthday! from Chip Paulson

Fiona Hutton with love, the Ojai Girl Gang Lanae Carter Happy Birthday, Happy Hikin’ from David & Katherine Willis Marc Jackson from Beth Hagenlocker Nicholas Weissman’s Birthday from Anonymous Robin Gerber Hoping we’ll enjoy many more years of hiking on these trails. With love, Gillian McManus Rome, the big, black dog Good boy, Sit! Stay! from Paul Rudder Tania Parker from the Vyhnal Family

Acknowledgments: 1/28/22-5/30/22

COMPANY GIFT MATCHES Adobe Inc. Agilent Cardinal Health Jones Lang LaSalle Kaiser Permanente LinkedIn Neiman Marcus Oath Inc Patagonia SiriusXM From: 1/28/22-5/30/22 Thank you for increasing your impact!

NEWEST 100 HOUR MILESTONE VOLUNTEERS Don Jackson Doug Reed Peter Parziale **Volunteer hours since 10/1/2018

Turkish rugging (Chorizanthe staticoides) in bloom at the Ventura River Preserve this spring. Image by Nathan Wickstrum Page 4

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

WELCOME NEW STAFF MEMBERS! Christine Gau Land Protection Specialist Christine grew up in the South and was raised among fireflies on the wooded shores of a lake, which first sparked her love of nature. On a summer vacation, she proudly became a National Junior Park Ranger at Acadia National Park and still has the badge to this day. She obtained her BA in Political Science from Columbia University and went on to pursue a graduate degree in International Relations at the University of Washington. After several years of hating the corporate world, Christine went on to get her law degree at Cornell University and served as a Public Defender with the Legal Aid Society of New York before running away to Hawaii to surf and teach yoga. Along her winding journey back to conservation and to OVLC, she has made stops in the tech, animal conservation, and academia

spaces. She is currently a part-time faculty member at Santa Monica College. After moving to the area with her partner, she fell in love with the magic of the Ojai Valley and has been exploring its natural spaces ever since. She is honored to join OVLC in caring for the land. Most days you’ll find Christine tending to her native garden, biking along the coast, surfing (but only when it’s sunny), or roaming the trails in the region. She’d love to say hello to your dog.

Jonathan LaPearl Restoration Field Crew Originally from Massachusetts, Jonathan attended film school at Hofstra University and once upon a time worked in digital media distribution in New York City. He moved to California to advance his screenwriting career, but instead fell in love with the wild places of the American West. After thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Jonathan resolved to pursue a career in conservation, following in the footsteps of his personal hero, John Wesley Powell (but without losing the arm). After relocating to northern California, Jonathan began working for Lassen National Forest as a wildland firefighter. His time in the Forest Service gave him an appreciation for public service, handson forestry experience, and a greater Protecting your views, trails, water, and wildlife.

understanding of the effects of human encroachment on the environment. Having most recently worked for Los Padres National Forest, Jonathan is excited to be taking the next step in his career by joining OVLC’s restoration program. He looks forward to applying his professional experience to the position, while expanding his knowledge of environmental science, geographic information systems, and other scientific disciplines.


Your Impact TAKE ADVANTAGE of your company’s matching gift program. A matching gift means your contribution will go twice as far. Many companies will double (or sometimes triple) the value of their employees’ gifts to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. These matching gifts provide valuable funds as we work to protect the views, trails, water, and wildlife of the Ojai Valley. Some companies will still match your gifts even after you retire. To see if your company will match a gift to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, contact your company’s human resources department.

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F R I D AY, S E P T E M B E R 1 6

A FUNDRAISER FOR OVLC AT THE VENTURA RIVER STEELHEAD PRESERVE Join us Friday night at Under the Open Sky—a locally sourced farm-to-table dinner by Lorraine Lim Catering, beer provided by Topa Topa Brewing Co., wine donated by Bonny Doon Vineyard, Lapis Luna Wines, The Big Red Monster, and Bubble Butt Rosé Seltzer, live music, a virtual auction, and a paddle raise. When the sun sets we will enjoy a collection of films selected for this special event that will not be shown on Saturday night. All attendees will also receive a complimentary ticket to Saturday night’s Mountainfilm on Tour. This event will sell out. Please purchase your tickets early.



The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

Join the OVLC for an intimate, locally sourced farm-to-table dinner on Friday, September 21. When the sun sets behind the historic Ventura River Preserve, we will enjoy a collection of Mountainfilm films specially selected for this evening. With special guests from the films, this is a night you won’t want to miss. All attendees will also receive complimentary tickets to Saturday night’s Mountainfilm on Tour.


5:30 Cocktails & Starters


Films & Desserts

Eight years ago, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy first brought the original films and the experience of the Mountainfilm Festival in All food, wine, and drinks are included. Telluride to Ojai. Each year the event has grown in size, reaching over 2,000 attendees in 2019. Then for the last two years Covid-19 left us no choice but to adapt. This year we are excited to announce the big event will again take place under the stars at Ojai Valley School! Dig out your low-back chairs and blankets and join us on the field at OVS for another fantastic year of films and fun!

LIVE MUSIC ·­ OPEN BEER GARDEN ·­ FOOD TRUCKS All proceeds will protect the views, trails, water, and wildlife of the Ojai Valley.

TICKETS • General Admission - $35 • Current Supporters - $25*


• Day of - $40*


• Children under 12 - $10, our website,, or contact Tania Parker: Visit our website, or contact Adam Morrison:, (805) 649-6852, (805) 649-6852 x 208

*There will be no donor pricing or pre-sale on September 17

BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY BEFORE THEY SELL OUT Protecting your views, trails, water, and wildlife.

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CREATURE FEATURE WESTERN POND TURTLE This spring, we received several reports of western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) sightings on the trails at the Ventura River Preserve. While western pond turtles are typically found in a variety of freshwater resources, they also rely on suitable terrestrial habitat to search for food, find a mate, lay their eggs, and find a better place to live. The western pond turtle spends upwards of 200 days out of water, and recent studies have even found that they can live out of water for almost 400 days. This is a remarkable feat, but troubling when considering that the western pond turtle is fasting when out of water. This is due to the fact that the western pond turtle must ingest its prey in water because it cannot swallow air. As the climate changes, and prolonged drought coupled with rising temperatures becomes the norm, western pond turtle populations in Ojai are likely to decline. The western pond turtle is the only remaining freshwater turtle species native to California, which is one of the many reasons why we need to protect riparian habitats.

IT’S UNBELEAFABLE! OVLC nursery staff and interns collected red maid (Calandrinia menziesii) seeds at the Ojai Meadows Preserve this spring to use for future restoration projects. Harvesting the seeds was laborious, and in the process our team gained a greater appreciation and understanding of the indigenous people’s connection to the land. The Chumash name for red maids is khutash and the seeds are highly valued in their culture. Prior to European arrival and the introduction of invasive plant species, red maids used to grow much more abundantly on Chumash land, coloring the hills with a vibrant magenta hue. Red maids are a common fire follower and the Chumash once managed the land with fire specifically to encourage the growth of red maids for harvest. The seeds were one of the most expensive commodities in Chumash trade and so highly sought after that people from the islands would come to the mainland just to trade for them. Twelve quarts (3 gallons) of red maid seeds were found associated with a burial site on one of the Channel Islands. The fruit capsule of each red maid flower produces roughly 10-20 seeds, so you can imagine how much work went into filling 12 quarts with seeds the size of a pen tip. There is no doubt red maids used to grow much more extensively prior to European contact, and our restoration efforts will purposefully include red maids, as they are naturally a first succession plant. Page 8

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

FROM THE FIELD Holy cow! There are cattle on the Venture River Preserve! No – they aren’t supposed to be there; rather they should be next door on Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) lands. If you look at the OVLC map of the Ventura River Preserve (west of the Ventura River and on the north side of the preserve), you’ll see that Rice Canyon Trail actually travels off of OVLC land and onto LPNF land. If you’ve been out on this trail, you might recall the 2 green vehicle/pedestrian gates that you have to pass through. When you are between these two gates, you are not only on LPNF land, you are in the midst of a cattle grazing allotment. For many years now, there has been a small grazing operation in this area. From springtime through the summer, you can often see a herd of cattle in this area. Even when the cattle aren’t around, you can still see signs of them, from the cow pies on the trail to the “Cows Only” water trough. Should you encounter the cows, don’t be alarmed. They are fairly docile animals and will likely walk away from you as you pass by on the trail. Still, it’s best not to approach them directly and we encourage you to give them a comfortable amount of space. As for that “Cows Only” trough of water, that water has to be trucked in as the cattle have no other reliable source of water available to them back there, so please make sure your dogs and horses aren’t drinking that water. Of course, we’ll just have to hope the deer know how to read and can police themselves.

they were caught red-hoofed lounging and browsing in our sensitive oak woodland restoration area. The cattle will wander where they will, so we can’t blame them. However, you can help us by keeping all gates closed! In fact, go ahead and close any gates you see open, even if you didn’t open the gate! If all of our trail users are careful to close the cattle gates in and around Rice Canyon, then we can keep up a happy relationship with our cattle grazing and National Forest neighbors. Thank you for this help!

Unfortunately, the cattle sometimes wander out of their assigned area, especially when one of the green gates is left open. While Brendan Taylor they often venture down into El Nido Meadow, they sometimes wander as far down the canyons as the river bottom. Recently, Director of Field Programs

Protecting your views, trails, water, and wildlife.

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Anthony Avildsen started volunteering in the midst of Covid. Over the past year and a half, he has logged more than 160 hours of volunteer work and recently became one of our Volunteer Trail Crew Leads. We are proud to highlight Anthony’s contributions to the OVLC, in an interview he had with Land Steward, Linda Wilkin. Anthony thank you for being such an invaluable and dedicated volunteer. Can you tell me a little about yourself? Hi, my name is Anthony Avildsen. I’ve been doing independent filmmaking, editing, and graphic design since about 2000. Before that I worked as a personal fitness trainer for about eight years in the 90’s, and prior to that I did some work in the film industry proper, doing set lighting. That was after going to the Rhode Island School of Design to study film and video. As far as hobbies go, I think I was one of the last people to still be rollerblading in the 2000’s and that was my favorite way to get exercise. Living in Ojai, the bike path is awesome for bikes, but it’s not really smooth enough for skating. Once I discovered OVLC’s trails, I rented a mountain bike and immediately fell in love with mountain biking. labor. You can actually see how you made the trailer easier to Since then, my skates have been gathering dust. navigate and look cleaner. On my first volunteer outing, we were making a check step—digging up this giant rock and somehow How did you hear about volunteering with OVLC and what moving it with a rock-bar. Initially, I didn’t see what the point of motivated you to start volunteering? this was, but once I did it in a few other locations, I could see how I was poking around on the OVLC website to get a map of the it was going to help make the trail more sustainable. What had me Ventura River Preserve so I could explore the mountain bike trails coming back was the camaraderie amongst the volunteers. It’s there, when I came across a sign-up for volunteers and thought, the best group of people, whether it’s the staff or the volunteers. “oh yeah-that would probably be fun.” Unfortunately, this was Is there a section of trail or specific feature you worked on that right before Covid shut everything down. Once outdoor volunyou’re most proud of? teer events restarted, I signed up and volunteered with Brendan Taylor (Director of Field Programs) out on Gridley Trail. I had no I’m most proud of what we are working on right now: Luci’s Trail. idea what I was doing, but I met some awesome people, did what I It’s been the most impressive project thus far because we’re makwas told, and it all made sense at the end of the day. ing some comprehensive changes. The trail is being rerouted to make it more resistant to rain (when we get it) and to make it last What were your initial impressions of trail work. Did anything longer. There’s nothing more satisfying than having people say surprise you and what had you coming back? to you, “thank you, the trails have never looked better.” Another I was into it! Even though I was a first timer to trail work, the perk of volunteering is you get to be up on these trails early in the OVLC staff and the more experienced volunteers are all excellent morning and you get to witness some spectacular views. instructors, super patient, and they do a really good job of explaining what we’re doing and why. Volunteering is a great way My second favorite project was the benches we put in; although getting all of that concrete, water, and wood to the work sites was to give back to the community. It’s also very satisfying to put in three or four hours of hard work and then see the results of your some of the hardest work I have done! Page 10

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

Has being a mountain biker changed your perspective on trail work? Are there any aspects of trail building that you incorporate from your bike riding experience? It can be a challenge to make certain sections of trail viable for all users. You want to keep everyone happy, and I think for the most part OVLC does a good job of that. I know sometimes mountain bikers, especially the more experienced riders, prefer the trails to be a little more challenging. However, that’s not always feasible since the trails need to be safe for everyone. What are your favorite trails to ride and why? My favorite route is at the Ventura River Preserve. I like to ride up Rice Canyon, down Wills Canyon, up “Heart Attack Hill”, and then down Allan Jacobs Trail. It’s got a good mix of steady climbing, technical stuff, and some fun downhill switchbacks. What would you say to someone, especially a mountain biker, who is thinking about volunteering? I highly recommend volunteering with OVLC! It’s an excellent way to learn more about the trails and actually have a hand in maintaining them. You’ll also meet some like-minded people who you may end up hiking and/or biking with someday. Why did you decide to be a Volunteer Crew Lead and what have you been enjoying the most about leading? I was honored to be asked to lead. It’s definitely an added level of pressure, but I’m enjoying it. I’ve been fortunate to have amazing volunteers on the days I’ve been leading and hopefully that will continue. Volunteering on the trails can be hard work, but it’s so

Protecting your views, trails, water, and wildlife.

rewarding and certainly worth the effort! Everyone at the OVLC is awesome, and the volunteers are amazing, helpful, and friendly. Thank you, Anthony, for all your hard work, your awesome mentality, and always offering to carry the rock bar!

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National Trails Day was a success! This year 55 volunteers joined OVLC on National Trails Day in partnership with the American Hiking Society. Our volunteers worked on five different projects, and clocked in 179 hours of work for the day! We are incredibly grateful for the support of the community and our wonderful volunteers. We intend to protect and restore the open space of the Ojai Valley forever, and this goal is only made possible with the support of the community. Thank you!

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The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy




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National Trails Day® Protecting your views, trails, water, and wildlife.

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Topa Topa Sponsor Dr. David L. Garber, D.D.S Las Palmas de Ojai Patagonia Topa Topa Brewing Company

Ventura River Sponsors BANDITS Bandanas Henry Land Surveying High on Kennels REI Sespe Creek Collective

Ojai Meadows Sponsors


James Gull

Patrick Leibach

Aimee & Daniel Heimbinder

Jerri Smith

Patty & John AbouSamra Kearney

Aja Preliasco Alex Murdock Amy Mitrany

The Glass Man Professional Window Washing Company, Inc. Herring Law Group Laughing Dog Ranch LLC The MOB Shop Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company Rotary Club of Ojai Tonya Peralta Real Estate Team

Anastasia Von Sonn

San Antonio Creek Sponsors

Bob Simon

Aqua-Flo Supply Baleen Broken Spoke Challenge/Fast Green Racing Channel Islands Sportfishing Firestick Pottery Kerry Miller Designer & Builder, Inc. Latitudes Gallery McDaniel Insurance Services Move Sanctuary Ojai Playhouse Raindrop Pool & Spa SC&A Insurance Services LLC Shelter Social Club/Rancho Inn Timbre Books Tobias Parker - General Contractor West Coast Air Conditioning

Bonnalynn Dean

Sulphur Mountain Sponsors

Charles Morrey

ALCO Plumbing Bohéme California Solar Electric Couch Guitarstraps Don & Cheree Edwards ~ RE/MAX Gold Coast Realtors Euterpe Farms Native Plants and Music Heritage Financial Move Sanctuary Ojai Pub Soul Body Ojai Healing Arts & Yoga Center Spa Ojai Ventura Spirits

In-Kind Sponsors bITvision California 101 Guide Custom Printing Hutchinson and Bloodgood Jim and Rob’s Fresh Grill Lorraine Lim Catering, Inc Ojai Quarterly Ojai Valley Directory

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Anne Laval Barbara Fuchs Betty Iwerks Bob & Judy Billett

Cardinal Health Carla Harting Carolina Zapata Carol Johnson Carol Norton Carol S. Kostik Carri & Mark Jacobs Carrie Mullen Catherine Nguyen Christine Gau Christopher Golson Douglas Creel Drew Smith Duncan Sanford Eileen Hawkes Ochsner Eugene Vander George Thacher Greg & Denise Stafford Helena Pasquarella Holly Johnson

Joel Fox & Jennifer Day John Van Etten Jones Lang LaSalle Joseph Fosco Joshua Rogers Joyce & Charles Bowen Joy Golbere Judith Shelton Judy Cheske Julie Mazman Katherine Duncan Kathryn Carlson Kathryn Meacham-Shirley Kathryn Scheinert Ken Davis

Reed Thompson Richard Mylius Robert Kyle Robert Wagner Robyn Beck Ron Pruitt Sarah Self Scott Adams Seana Shiffrin Shell Family Fund SiriusXM Stephanie Lopez Steve & Maria Feig Steve Battaglia Steve Bly Stu Lennox

Lauren Cree Lauren Rueda Lesley Foster Lindsay McAllister Lucinda Mittleman Lyn Summer Maria D Redin Marina Recio Matthew Tunin Megan Connolly Michael Callahan Michelle Laird

Susan Hillman Sustainable Law Group Inc. Syndy Grennan Teresa Braun Tessa Enright & Benjamin Squires Tiffany Owens Timbre Books Tina Musto Tracy, Greg & Murphy Hout

Mike & Carol Roberts

Ventura County Resource Cons. District

Mikki & Stan Coburn

Zachary Scurrah

Nann Kyra Neiman Marcus

Ian Costello

Nina Toumanoff & Tony Winecoff

Jake Mushaben

Patrick Broughal

From: 1/28/22-5/30/22

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

OJAI SADDLE TRAILS Starting in 2017, OVLC has managed the Ojai Saddle Trails which are located on Krishnamurti Foundation of America (KFA) lands, just south of OVLC’s Ojai Meadows Preserve. This partnership has been widely celebrated as a boon for the valley: providing the public with access to additional open space and improved access to the Ojai Meadows Preserve. The KFA allowed public access to a critical trail connection between the Ojai Meadows Preserve and the Ojai Valley Bike Path, and through a beautiful oak woodland at the top of the saddle. In exchange, OVLC was able to provide its wealth of land management experience, care for the trails, perform fire clearance work, and manage use on the land. KFA witnessed the overwhelmingly positive response to opening access to their trails. Therefore, we are very pleased to report that KFA has decided to take on the land and public access management responsibilities – including keeping their trail system open to the public! For anyone who uses the KFA trails, nothing is changing other than the signage.

OVLC is quite confident that our partners at KFA are going to be excellent stewards. It was wonderful partnering with them these last few years and we know they have the skills and desire to be a great community asset. Though our formal agreement has reached its end, KFA and OVLC remain committed to partnering to continue providing invaluable community resources on our neighboring lands.

CALOCHORTUS ALBUS — FAIRY LANTERN Sometimes we who walk on two feet forget that the ground beneath us is as alive as we are. It is indeed an expansive land, and when the temperature and water is just right, glad expressions of bulbs below show us the soil’s library. This year I got to witness Calochortus albus, with given names of globe lily or fairy lantern, come to life. In mid-spring, Calochortus albus dripped beneath oak woodland’s dappled light. The flower itself is unlike

its gleaming Calochortus sisters (mariposa lily and late-flowered mariposa lily). Shy—a glowing white—the petals twist in three to hold the developing stamen and pistil. They hold close and blush towards the ground. As I hiked through Wills Canyon this season, the flowers lit my path. Each time I returned to the specimens, I could witness the growing changes. First leaf, bolt with green blades on slender stalk, bud, and flower. The flower dries to a twist, the sepal crown adorned in reddish stripes. Then seed pod fattens, stretches, and rests. It is a three chambered lair, with the children of lanterns to come. This story is a long breath, one waiting to happen all year. It is a wonderful way to tell time—by counting steps of bulbs in forbearing spring.

Sophie McLean Restoration Field Crew & Nursery Assistant Protecting your views, trails, water, and wildlife.

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Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 351 Ojai, CA PO Box 1092 • Ojai, CA 93024 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Current donors receive a discount code for Saturday’s Mountainfilm on Tour tickets.


This year we are excited to announce the return of the big event on the sports field at Ojai Valley School!