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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 »

FROM THE DIRECTOR / NOVEMBER 2021

By on November 3, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments

In her outstanding 2015 best seller The Invention of Nature, Andrea Wulf notes how in the late 1700’s Alexander von Humboldt identified the idea of human induced climate change and some of the first notions of what we now refer to as “natural capital” or “ecosystem services.” Of course, in those days, his observations were largely forgotten in the flurry of the amazing discoveries of the natural world. 

Fast forward 200 years to the first Congressional hearings on climate change when climate scientists warned of worsening droughts, extreme heat, and more frequent and severe hurricanes and wildfires. With the extremes in weather globally, there can be little debate that these predictions have been borne out! While meaningful action on climate has been lacking, perhaps the fact that the predicted effects are now being felt first hand will inspire meaningful action from citizens and leaders? 

Local conservation organizations like OVLC struggle with how to address the global phenomenon of climate change. What can a small group do to ameliorate threats that affect the very things that we are trying to save but are governed by global scale factors? The discussion can focus on mitigation versus adaptation and resilience. Mitigation comes in the form of investing in forests and other natural systems that effectively store carbon for hundreds of years. Adaptation and resilience measures seek to protect and enhance the local ecosystems in response to anticipated changes. Sometimes, the best approach is both. 

While local land trusts will not solve the global climate crisis, the old adage “Think global, act local” provides a direction. As we live through drought and heat stresses from a changing climate, more investments in our local natural capital are critically needed. Protecting and restoring land is a no regrets endeavor since the spectrum of benefits are so far reaching. Protecting and restoring the Ventura River will provide one of the best chances for the steelhead trout to thrive and also offer a place for solace from the heat. Working to protect the shady north-facing slopes of Sulphur Mountain will preserve a climate refuge for species like the endangered CA red-legged frog. OVLC’s work to restore oaks to the Ojai Meadows Preserve will enhance biodiversity and shade and cool the local environment. 

To meet the challenges, we’re excited to have three new staffers join the team! In this newsletter we introduce Vivon Crawford, OVLC’s new Restoration Program Manager, who will be taking a more comprehensive approach to restoration in the Ojai Valley. We also welcome Lisa Nix to our field crew. She will be joining the team on the ground that makes these restoration efforts possible. 

We’re also looking to grow and expand our opportunities to involve the community in our work. To that end, we’re thrilled to announce that Adam Morrison will be OVLC’s first Volunteer & Events Coordinator. Adam will restart our All About Ojai series of environmental walks and talks. We look forward to seeing you at one of these events and exploring these topics of resilience with you. 

Thank you for your generous support—you make everything we do possible. 

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