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FROM THE DIRECTOR / NOVEMBER 2022

By on November 22, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments

“Despite its immensity, the Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it ’s clear we’ve exceeded its limits. But it ’s also resilient. We can save our planet if we commit to it.” —Yvon Chouinard 

Having spent my professional career in conservation nonprofits, I was deeply moved and encouraged by the Chouinard family’s recent decision to dedicate nearly all of their wealth from Patagonia to conservation and climate advocacy. The stunning news broke in September that the family was giving their company shares to two separate entities: the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective. Together, this represents a truly unprecedented commitment to the company’s mission of being in “business to save our home planet.” 

The visionary nature of the Chouinard’s dedication to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe aligns perfectly with OVLC’s strategic vision. OVLC sees protecting open space, the Ojai Valley’s natural capital, as a no regrets strategy to adapt to our changing climate. OVLC aspires to lead our community in investing in land protection and restoration as nature-based solutions to foster a more resilient community and combat climate change. 

What the Chouinard family has decided to fund on a global scale, OVLC donors are already supporting at the local level in our community. It is notable that Patagonia is an influential advocate for the restoration of Matilija Canyon (by removing the dam!) and the family consistently supports protection of the Ventura River and its tributaries. Ventura County has the dubious distinction of being the fastest warming county in the US. This sobering statistic reveals the importance of redoubling our efforts to protect and restore the lands and waters that make the Ojai Valley a special place. 

Few of us have the opportunity to display the Chouinard’s level of transformative philanthropy, but if you are reading this it is likely that you are already doing your part. Thank you! For me, their example has inspired reflection about how I am working to “save our home planet.” 

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