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Summer Newsletter 2011 Volume 18, Number 2

O S New Ventura River Steelhead Preserve! pen

On June 17th, the OVLC purchased a 1.3 river mile stretch of the Ventura River which provides perhaps the best refuge for the endangered Southern California Steelhead on the entire river. This section of the river near its confluence with San Antonio Creek has deep, cool, shaded pools that don’t dry up in the hot Ojai summers. As a result, this 65 acre Steelhead Preserve provides a refuge for the endangered Southern California Steelhead as they await flow conditions which allow them to continue their migration.


(See “Steelhead Lifecycle” box on page 4.) July 22, 2011 In addition to steelhead, this STEELHEAD preserve offers a home to 31 other state or federal level special status PRESERVE PARTY. species. This list includes the California Red-legged Frog, Least Bell’s Vireo, Details on page 2. Great Egret, White-faced Ibis, and Southwestern Pond Turtle. With the goal of protecting Ojai Valley’s views, trails, water and wildlife, this scenic place which offers outstanding opportunities for public enjoyment and educating children “checks all the boxes”, and is a marvelous new natural amenity in the Ojai Valley. Our Ojai Valley community Southern California Steelhead population down by 90%. has been and will continue to be defined not by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy. With this purchase, the OVLC has taken a huge step torward protecting the entire 15 mile long Ventura River. Changing hands only once in the last Ojai Valley Land Conservancy 100 years, protection opportunites for P.O. Box 1092 • Ojai, CA 93024 this keystone preserve were rarer than 370 W. Baldwin Rd. A-4 the endangered species it hosts. After Tel. 805.649.6852 • Fax 649.8913 investing years building relationships with the former owners of the property, and with $2 million in grants from the State Coastal Conservancy (restricted to acquisition costs only) and the California Department of Fish & Game’s Board of Directors Roger Essick, President “Fisheries Restoration Grant Program,” Larry Rose, Vice President the OVLC is proud to have purchased this preserve for future generations of Stefanie Coeler, Secretary Cari Guerrero, Treasurer wildlife and Ojai Valley residents. The financial support of our Mary Bergen Jesse Grantham members enabled staff to secure Margot Griswold Brian Holly the funding to purchase the Ventura River Steelhead Preserve, and we Allan Jacobs Don Reed Cricket Twichell Nathan Wallace are thankful. An additional $250,000 Barbara Washburn Deborah Whorf is necessary to prepare the Steelhead Preserve for public visitation. We hope Staff that our members, new members, Greg Gamble, Executive Director and others feel that this protection effort is worth their additional support. Rick Bisaccia, Preserve Manager Darcy Gamble, Development Director Join us on July 22nd at the Marti Reid, Office Manager new Steelhead Preserve for a free Brian Stark, Conservation Director celebration. Members are welcome to Todd Bertola, Restoration Technician bring guests. Join us in celebrating yet another sacred place in the Ojai Valley. Trevor Marshall, Restoration Technician

Photo left: Deep perennial pool on the Ventura River.

New Steelhead Preserve


From Ojai: Take Highway 33 to Oak View. Turn right at Santa Ana Blvd. Continue until it ends at Santa Ana Road, turn left. Continue for about 1.7 miles. You’ll come to a curve in the road and go down a hill. You’ll then see the driveway on your left, marked by an Ojai Valley Land Conservancy sign. From Ventura: Take Highway 33 towards Ojai and exit at Casitas Vista Road. Turn right twice, go under the freeway and continue on to Santa Ana Road. Turn right at Santa Ana Rd., and continue for 1.4 miles. You’ll see the driveway on your right, marked by an Ojai Valley Land Conservancy sign. For a map and additional details go to Future Steelhead Preserve Conservation Center: Possible environmental education hub, meeting place, collaborative science center. Plans to be finalized based on the results of the conditional use permitting process and fundraising efforts.

POTLUCK & BARBEQUE AT THE NEW PRESERVE OVLC members and their guests are invited to a Ventura River Steelhead Preserve celebration. Share this event with your non-OVLC member friends.

When: Friday, July 22nd at 4:00 PM, until the party ends Where: Ventura River Steelhead Preserve at 9458 Santa Ana Road SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 4: 00 PM IT’S WONDERFUL! Join us as we acknowledge the im- portant role the State Coastal Conservancy and the California Department of Fish & Game played in purchasing this Preserve. 4:30 PM CHECK IT OUT! Take a self-guided exploration of the Preserve to see what all this excitement is about. 5:00 PM MIX IT UP! Mingle while munching on hors d’oeuvres at the future Steelhead Preserve Conservation Cen- ter. There will be a no host bar. Bring some cash. 6:00 PM COME AND GET IT! The OVLC provides barbeque and non-alcoholic drinks. Those whose last names begin with A-O bring a side dish or salad while those with last names beginning with P-Z bring a dessert. If you have other potluck preferences, just let us know. 6:30 PM

IT’S HAPPENIN’! Hear Greg Gamble, the executive director of the OVLC, talk briefly about the significance and future of the Ventura River Steelhead Preserve.

7:00 pm

SHAKE IT, BABY, SHAKE! Let the music begin and let it end when it ends.


ENTERTAINMENT The Zen Cats The Zen Cats’ sound takes you away to a smooth and peaceful place. 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Three Rivers Band The Three Rivers Band plays classic rock that will rip you out of your peaceful place and get you moving. OVLC’s own Brian Stark is the bassist! 7:01 PM to 9:00 PM

THE OJAI VINEYARD Generously Donated Wine For The July 22nd Party! BECOME an OVLC business sponsor and get recognized at the new Steelhead Preserve party on July 22nd. Call for details.

VOLUNTEER: Help plan this fabulous party? Call Marti at 649-6852 ext 2 today. We need help with set up, take down, food, and parking.

Wildlife and Plants Offer Outstanding Nature Study

Preserve Place


Because of all the water there is more food for animals and plant growth and so there are many more opportunities for nature study. Being out and about as much as I am, I get to see a lot. In April, I came across four Sandhill Cranes with their signature red caps feeding in a field right next to the Ventura River Preserve. This was the first sightLeon Pahle, Jamie Weil, Mike Gourley and Neil Knight ing in the Ojai Valley. People are that several pairs of White- after working at the Ilvento Preserve. tailed Kites are living happily along serve-managers-journal/ New Trails Continue to Wow the river too. Birdlife on the Ojai Meadows Preserve and ConOpening the new Old Baldwin ALERT: At the new Old Baldwin Trailfluence Preserves is especially rich Trailhead with its 2.5 new miles with many species of ducks and of trail had us hopping this spring. head the OVLC will install an automatic gate that will allow entrance to other waterbirds including Green If you haven’t been to check it Herons, Sora’s and Great Egrets. out yet you should go! You might the Ventura River Preserve from 7:30 One day I saw a flock of 14 Whitesee grazing deer and White-tailed AM - 7:30 PM 7 days a week. Until the permits are granted for the gate (hopefaced Ibis at the Meadow pond. Kites and certainly Great Blue With their long white bills and irides- Herons hunting for gophers. This fully very soon) the Preserve entrance will open and close according to the cent brown,purple and green feathsummer there will be a new entry existing gate hours: 7:30 AM to 4:30 ers it made for an astounding site. gate which will enable preserve PM M-F, 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM Sat. and It’s gratifying to know that more and users daily access into the eveclosed Sun. You can walk in even more life is returning to the Meadow ning. We are still working on though the gate is closed. due to OVLC restoration efforts. If the OVLC portion of Kennedy you have never seen Turkey VulRidge Trail and there will be more tures and Egrets hanging out in the trailcrew opportunities on OVLC’s Hike with Rick branches of our Valley Oaks on the new Ventura River Steelhead at the new Old Ojai Meadows Preserve, then you’re Preserve. Baldwin Trailhead in for a treat! on July 28 at 8:30 AM. Details on pg. 5.

To read the complete

Preserve Manager’s


Work With Rick Bisaccia

Working on OVLC’s volunteer trail crew is not for everyone. If you like wind in your hair, bugs in your teeth, and sun on your bug bitten neck, and have an overwhelming desire to cut and move brush, then we need you! As a trail crew volunteer you get to work with like-minded souls led by the Preserve Manager, who is pretty cool. You get to benefit from a workout, a hike, and the satisfaction of helping keep OVLC’s trails open to the public. Old-timers especially appreciate the iced drinks. It’s not a sexy job, the pay is nonexistent, but the people are great and we do real work! Volunteer, Mike Gourley sums it up best, “Personally, I thrive on having clouds of no see-ums swarming around my sweat covered head; it makes me tougher and somehow, quite frankly a better person….” Nuf said? Sign up with or Darcy at 649-6852 ext 6.

Photo documentation of Rick Bisaccia by Brooks Institute student Doriane Raiman.

Gopher snake on Oso Ridge Trail, Ventura River Preserve.

Go to:

Conservation Corner

A Word From Brian Stark, OVLC’s Conservation Director And Musician The Power of One…or Maybe Five

For this season’s newsletter, I want to talk a bit about how important the efforts of a single person, or a small group, can be to the process of habitat restoration. Over my years in the restoration field, I have witnessed small miracles that were brought about simply by the dedication of one person or a small group of people. I’ll call these “micro-miracles”. If all volunteers could see the results of these projects they would feel much more confident in the value they bring. One of these small projects was done this year on the Ojai Meadows Preserve. Those that have seen the restoration of the Ojai Meadows Preserve from the beginning will remember the first big restoration area between Nordhoff High School and the big pond. Most of this restoration area has established very well and created a great deal of habitat. Nestled among all the new natives, however, were several areas that just didn’t take. To meet our project goals, we needed to turn these places around but we didn’t have a budget for the work. This is when the Girl Scouts stepped in to make a big difference! Last fall we partnered with Bonnie Walters, her daughter Crista, and 4 others in Camarillo Troop 107 to focus on 2 weedy areas which would earn them their Silver award. The girls spent 8 half-days over the course of 4 months keeping the weeds at bay and planting native grases. The project was a great success and the area is now all native grasses. The secret of their success was their geographic focus and consistent efforts applied over time. Even if just one person works on a small area consistently, there will be success. These successes last a long time, maybe forever, and provide very tangible benefits to wildlife. I am no longer amazed that one person’s effort can have a lasting impact on the ground. Here’s to micro-miracles!


Field trip

A good looking group of trail volunteers. Thanks!

A New Cutting Edge Bird Checklist For The Ojai Meadows Preserve Go To...

Online Presentation Of The Grand Opening Of The New Trailhead Go To...

Latest Ventura River Preserve Trailmap Available Go To..

at the Meadows included contemplation and fun!


Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are the anadromous form of coastal rainbow trout, spending part of their life in the ocean and part in fresh water. Steelhead spend 1-2 years in the ocean before returning to spawn in southern California streams. Unlike other anadromous Pacific salmonids, steelhead may survive spawning, return to the ocean, and spawn again in a later year. Steelhead typically migrate upstream when stream flows rise during a storm event, typically between January and March, but potentially even later in the Ventura River. In the upper reaches of streams in the Ventura River basin, females dig pits in the gravel and deposit their eggs which are fertilized by males, and then covered with gravel by the female creating a “redd.” Juveniles emerge a handful of weeks later and spend 1 to 3 years in freshwater before migrating to the ocean usually between March and June. Adapting to the unpredictable flow conditions of the Ventura River, some steelhead remain landlocked, for years or generations, awaiting flow conditions which allow their return to the ocean. Steelhead were listed as federally endangered in southern California in 1997 because barriers such as dams blocked steelhead migration necessary for spawning. It is said that the steelhead population has declined more than 90 percent in the Ventura River.


Ben, age 7; a young scientist at the Meadow, and his younger sister Plum, age 4; taking a run.


T oo l s T o M i n i m i z e Y o u r T a x e s Minimizing Taxation Using Charitable Bequests July 12, Tuesday, 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM Charitable remainder trusts can allow you to sell appreciated assets tax free, receive a charitable giving tax deduction, and provide you with income for life. Charitable lead trusts, gift annuities, and other tools also provide options for tax wise estate planning. Come to this session to understand your options. Speakers: Howard Smith and Vicki Breen Minimizing Taxation Using Life Insurance July 14, Thursday, 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM Whether you currently own life insurance or not, this is an important session. Life insurance can be used to add liquidity to your estate, pay estate taxes with discounted dollars, and to make charitable bequests. Come learn about the significant benefits of an irrevocable life insurance trust and more. Speakers: Vicki Breen and Howard Smith.

Ventura River watershed is Ojai Valley’s only source of water!

Howard J. Smith is a vice president & wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. He focuses on asset management for risk adverse and high net worth individuals, foundations, and non-profit organizations. He served for 3 years as board chair of the Ventura County Economic Development Association, and has been honored multiple times for community service. Smith is an active member of the Estate Planning Council of Ventura County as well as the Planned Giving Advisory Council at California State University Channel Islands.

Howard Smith

RSVP by July 8th for one or both of the estate planning events. Held at the OVLC headquarters located at the old honor farm off Hwy. 150. Victoria Breen

Victoria Breen is owner and president of Derby & Derby, Inc., a California Registered Investment Advisor since 1986, located in Ojai. Since 1992 Victoria has served on the board of directors of Pacific Global Investment Management Company. She served on the board of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy for 4 years and the Rotary Club of Ojai for 8 years. Derby & Derby, Inc. specializes in wealth management, retirement planning, estate preservation, and legacy planning.

OVLC Calendar of Events MinimizeTaxation Using Charitable Bequests, RSVP Minimize Taxation Using Life Insurance, RSVP New Steelhead Preserve Party, 4:00 pm, RSVP Hike w/ OVLC’s R. Bisaccia, 8:30 AM, RSVP by 7.21 Wild About Ojai, Healing Our Watershed,10:00 AM, RSVP

July 12 July 14 July 22 July 28 July 30 August August August August

6 6 11 27

Ojai Meadows Preserve Tour, 8:30 AM Ventura River Preserve Tour, 8:30 AM Ventura River Preserve Docent Training,8:30AM, RSVP Ojai Meadows Preserve Tour, 8:30 AM

September 3 Ojai Meadows Preserve Tour, 8:30 AM September 3 Ventura River Preserve Tour, 8:30 AM

Wild About Ojai Environmental Learning Series Healing Our Watershed July 30, 2011, Saturday 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

In 2000, American Rivers named the Ventura River the 3rd most endangered river in America. Today, the river is on its way to recovery, and the prospects for the future of the entire watershed, the Ojai Valley’s only source of water, are positive. Join us for an informative panel discussion about protected areas, dam removal, steelhead restoration efforts, and more. OVLC Conservation Director, Brian Stark, will be joined by other Ventura River watershed experts. The panel will be held at our new Ventura River Steelhead Preserve and will be followed by a hike. Don’t miss this chance to learn about current Ventura River protection efforts. This event is the first time that the Steelhead Preserve will be open to the general public! Wild About Ojai events are free for OVLC Members and $10 for non-members. Become a member today! Please RSVP to Marti at 6496852 ext 2 or

October 1 Ojai Meadows Preserve Tour, 8:30 AM October 1 Ventura River Preserve Tour, 8:30 AM 

What do the Local plants and animals have to say about the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s new Ventura River Steelhead Preserve? “We have been waiting for this day since human settlement!” - Anonymous Threatened and Endangered Animal Activists “We’re so excited; we can taste the pollen already!” - Ojai Butterflies Local 33 “The acorns are the future.” - Val E. Oak-Tree


Match of $10,000: Making The Meadow Accessible To All Two anonymous Ojai angels will match any gifts made up to $10,000. This Meadow fund will enable the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy to build and maintain the long awaited bridge across the outlet of the pond on the Ojai Meadows Preserve. The absence of a bridge has made it difficult, and often impossible, for people to complete the beautiful interpretive loop trail at the Preserve. If you want to help make access to all a reality on the Ojai Meadows Preserve, simply send in a check with the word “bridge” on it or submit a gift online and in the comments write “bridge.” Some people have been

Membership renewals and giving levels will be acknowledged at the end of 2011 and will be based on cumulative giving. New members and gifts in honor or in memory will be listed quarterly. New Members

waiting for more than 5 years to more safely access the entire Ojai Meadows Preserve which is teaming with wildlife! Individuals, clubs, and other organizations are encouraged to make a contribution. The bridge’s project budget includes the cost of building the bridge and a maintenance reserve to ensure the bridge is maintained in good condition. To meet the budget, service club contributions and in kind contributions will be necessary beyond this $10,000 match. Now that the Meadow has benches, interpretive panels, and healthy natural areas, it is time to build a bridge so that everyone can enjoy this jewel of Ojai. The bridge project on

Lucila E Arango Sunny Cross Robin & Dominique Daniels Roy Hooper Amber Kramer Lisa S Marshall Trevor D Marshall Karen Palm & Michael McLenaghan Judy Mize The Ojai Valley School - 100th Birthday Douglas Reed Marti & Dan Reid Susie & Patrick Williams

by wheelchairs. Contribute to the bridge project and you will be thanked at a celebration on the Meadow when the bridge is unveiled. The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy staff is committed to making sure that everyone who wants to attend, no matter what their physical challenges, can attend.

Gifts in Honor or Memory

the Ojai Meadows Preserve has been given new life thanks to these anonymous donors. The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy wants to make its preserves as accessible as possible to everyone in the Ojai Valley. The new bridge will be crossable

“I love the smell of wildflowers in the morning; it’s almost as sweet as carrion.” - Turk E. Vulture “You’re going to do WHAT?” - Invasive Mustard and Wild Radish Coalition

OVLC member for 20 years, Barbara McClay Rambo Watson , October 16, 1915 - September 19, 2010

From Joann Moses In honor of Harry Oppenheimer’s Birthday From Susan Bee in Memory of John G. Bee, DVM

SEE WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OVLC Today’s trip was AMAZING! The kids loved (OVLC docent) Bill (Fox) and said, “It was the best field trip of the year!” They want to hike again. Let me know when you have an opening for a trip to the Meadows sometime after the first week of May. We would love to go with Bill again. Thank you again! Bill was GREAT - so patient and open minded. He developed a great relationship with the kids and his knowledge on the biome was incredible and inspiring. Thank you again! Best, Terri Hooson and the Kids in Room 7.Ventura Charter School These are the birds and other animals that my grandson...saw at the Ojai Meadows Preserve today...We enjoyed ourselves and will no doubt visit there again! Judy Mize

Thank You!

Well, I became a member because I moved to the area from Maine a year and a half ago. My favorite places to run are Sulphur Mtn and the Ventura River Preserve. I am thankful to have such a well maintained and special place to run and enjoy. I spend a lot of time in areas that are protected and I wanted to be a part of that. I love the Ojai Valley. Anonymous

Dad and I finally experienced your ADA trail. It was BEAUTIFUL and you should be so very proud of all the work and thought that went into it. Dad, being a wonderful handyman, really admired all the wood bracings along the concrete path. It’s a little taste of heaven out there and we lucked out on a beautiful day! Thanks for a lovely time! Carrie & Don from T.O. I am an avid hiker and mountain biker. Your Conservation efforts improve the quality of life for all of us that live in the outdoors. I have done some trail maintenance with Rick. He is a wonderful asset to the conservancy. However, his job is too big for one man and the trails are in great need. Thank you for preserving this land for all of our enjoyment. Anonymous

New Board Members And Staff

We welcome Barbara Washburn back to the board of directors. A New England transplant, Barbara moved to Los Angeles 22 years ago. As she became aware of the rapid development up and down the California coast, she developed a passion for land preservation. Drawn by the unspoiled beauty of the Ojai Valley she and her husband Deric Barbara Washburn, Returning to Board moved to Ojai in 1998. Barbara immediately became Don Reed, New to Board involved with the Ojai Valley Land ConserDon is a retired teacher and headvancy as a volunteer and joined the board master. Don initially taught in New of directors the first time in 2004. Barbara England, but he moved to Ojai in is the chair of the docent group and can 1970 to work at the Thacher School. often be spotted walking her leashed stanAt Thacher he taught physics and dard poodle, Charley, on the Ojai Meadastronomy, served in several adminis- ows Preserve. trative positions, coached gymkhana, Todd has worked and led trips in the Sespe backcounat his father’s try. Don left Thacher in 1985 and for orchards and 21 years worked as headmaster at for Churchill four independent schools located in Orchards in Illinois, California, Colorado and VirOjai. He also ginia. In 2008 he and his wife Susan worked for twenty fulfilled their life long dream of retiring years as a social in Ojai. Don maintains his interest in worker with at education and board governance by risk teenagers. serving as treasurer of the Monica He likes creating Ros School and chair of the scholart and visiting arship committee of the board of the Santa Bardirectors for the Rotary Club of Ojai’s bara Museum of Educational Foundation. Natural History with his children ages 18, 14 and New Restoration Tech.,Todd Bertola 9. Trevor has worked as a volunteer for OVLC once a week for the past 8 months. He has helped out substantially with trail maintenance, plantings, and other physical projects. Trevor will be working with Todd Bertola on the Ventura River Confluence Preserve and the Ventura River Preserve. He is an environmental studies student preparing to transfer into the university system. He worked for 10 years as a heavy equipment operator at Damar Construction, and is married to Monica who is the daughter of Lynn Hebenstreit and Suza Francina of Ojai. New Restoration Tech.,Trevor Marshall Rabobank, N.A. Cari Guerrero Vice President Branch Manager



SAN ANTONIO LEVEL Euterpe Farms 667 South Rice Road

Channel Islands Sportfishing

Law Office of Thomas E. Malley

The Oaks at Ojai

Riverview Ranch (805) 290-5724

Shanbrom, Casey and Associates

Vintage Production California


Barnhart & Barnhart Insuance Services, Inc. Grove Care, Inc. Index Fresh Meiners Oaks Ace Hardware Oso Ranch Rains Rogers, Sheffield, & Campbell LLP (Phil Moncharsh) Waite, Jacobs & Atkinson, Attorneys

Wildland Fire Specialists, LLC



bitVision Ojai Phone Book Ojai Valley Directory Bostrom & Associates The Ojai Vineyard

PO Box 1092 Ojai, CA 93024

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 351 Ojai, CA


Become an OVLC docent! Docent training for the Ventura River Preserve takes place August 11, 2011 at 8:30 AM at the Riverview Trailhead off Rice Road just south of El Roblar. Call Marti at 649-6852 ext 2 to save your place today. See docent praise for Bill Fox on page 6 of this newsletter. OVLC needs a late model pickup truck for work on Preserves. Please email Brian Stark at if you have one that you would like to donate or sell for a great price. Please do not forget to RSVP for the Steelhead Preserve party on

July 22nd.

A holding pool on the Ventura River like the ones at the new Ventura River Steelhead Preserve. These pools provide a sanctuary for the steelhead when other parts of the river are dry. When the river fills the fish continue upstream to propagate. Partner of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and Arts Alive grant recipient, Dianne Bennett sells her lovely Meadow inspired art. Some of the proceeds go to OVLC.

RENEWED YOUR MEMBERSHIP? Please renew before the Steelhead Preserve party on July 22, 2011. Call 649-6852 to check your status.

OVLC Open Spaces Newsletter - Summer 2011  
OVLC Open Spaces Newsletter - Summer 2011