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 »

From the Field / February ’20

By on March 4, 2020 in News

Here at the OVLC rain is a very exciting event—it kicks off the start to planting season for our field crew! We are out and about on all of the preserves, but we are especially proud of our plantings along San Antonio Creek, where native plants have successfully replaced invasive arundo, and at the old Farmont Ranch on the Ventura River Preserve, where native plants are thriving in what used to be an orange orchard! 

Plants that thrive at San Antonio Creek and other riparian habitats include arroyo willow, giant wild rye, mulefat, mugwort, southern honeysuckle, and Western sycamore. These natives help to stabilize the banks of the river by preventing soil erosion, conserving water (which invasive plants greedily extract), and providing native habitat for local wildlife. Things are definitely getting greener here in Ojai and we cannot wait to see what this rain season has in store for our planted saplings near the creek. One volunteer organization that is as passionate as the OVLC about riparian restoration is the Sespe Fly Fishers, and they recently assisted our field crew with planting baby oak trees and companion shrubs at the Ventura River Preserve. Overall, volunteers helped us kick off planting season with over 300 plants and countless numbers of acorns in the ground near San Antonio Creek and the Ventura River. The planting season has not yet concluded and there is still a lot left to tackle, however with the support of volunteers, we will continue these large planting efforts and sustain a greener future here in the Ojai Valley. 

Creature Feature

Mule Deer

With the onset of rain and the changing season, have you noticed things growing? The local mule deer certainly have! Not only are mule deer excited for the new vegetation they can now browse, but the males have fully grown their antlers for mating season. Mating season for these deer begins in the late fall and lasts until mid-spring, where typically a family group of deer consists of one male and a few females. All of the bucks that were not successful in “wooing” females either remain solitary or form bachelor groups. 

So if you’re wondering why there is a group of bucks wandering about without any does, these are the notorious bachelors of Ojai. Each buck aspires to have the largest antlers and will physically challenge one another with their rack. Eventually, the bucks shed their antlers and regrow them come the next mating season. Once spring comes it may become difficult to differentiate between the males and females, so be sure to admire those racks while you can! 

Allan Jacobs Bridge

We hope you’ve been using the new, volunteer-built Allan Jacobs Trail these past few months since it opened in November. If you have used it, no doubt you’ve seen the piles of lumber on the south end of the trail near Oso Ridge Trail. That’s for the new bridge that’s being built. With support from the local Rotary Club of Ojai and Ojai Lion’s Club, we were able to purchase material for an equestrian bridge over Olive Creek. As before, it’ll be all volunteer built, and since we won’t be finished until late March at the earliest, there’s plenty of opportunity to help out. Come on out and build a bridge with us!

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