To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

Fox Canyon Palm Project Improves Stream Habitats in Ojai

By on September 18, 2013 in Around Our Valley, News

Local Partnership Improves Stream Habitats in Ojai

Usually, the sound of a chain saw coming from a local creek is cause for worry. Recently, however, this sound has been associated with habitat improvements for fish and wildlife. A partnership between the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, the California Conservation Corps, and the Concerned Resource and Environmental Workers (CREW) has just completed a project to remove non-native Mexican palm trees along ¾ of a mile of the Fox Canyon Barranca in Ojai.  The project is a continuation of work previously completed upstream in Libby Park.

Mexican fan palms are not native to the Ojai Valley and they impact local habitats in a variety of ways. First, the palms are capable of displacing the native vegetation upon which local wildlife relies. Over time, they can form dense stands that exclude native vegetation. In addition, the fronds falling from the trees, or remaining on the trees attract higher numbers of rodents. Studies have shown that the increased rodent population increases predation of nests of locally native birds. Perhaps most notable, the piles of dead fronds on the ground, and traveling up the trees, is a severe fire hazard. The fronds on the trees act as ladders for fire to travel from the ground into the tree canopy. This puts the entire stream habitat, as well as nearby homes, at risk. Removal of these trees reduces fire hazards and directly improved habitat for native wildlife.

The project was funded through a Proposition 84 grant to the California Conservation Corps. The grant funded 4 weeks of crew time for the Corps to remove trees on private properties and to remove the piles of palm fronds. The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy assisted with access to properties, completed environmental assessments and documentation, and provided funds for the disposal of the palm fronds. The CREW assisted with landowner contacts, and is currently applying for grants to do follow-up work to manage new seedlings and other invasive weeds.

“The project was a great opportunity to continue valuable work done upstream, and the partnership of three organizations brought together the necessary expertise and funding” – Brian Stark, Ojai Valley Land Conservancy.

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy continues to protect the views, trails, water and wildlife in our valley.  Visit for more information and other upcoming events.

About the Author

About the Author: .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.