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Last Section of the Fuelbreak Road Trail Protected Forever

By on April 21, 2015 in News, Valley View Preserve

Ojai’s front country trails got another “leg up” this month with a donated easement to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC) for the final section of OVLC’s Fuelbreak Road Trail. Most of the popular trail had been put into a trail easement in the late 1990’s—connecting the U.S. Forest Service’s Fuelbreak Road and Gridley Trail. The newly donated portion is the final link to the mile-long trail which affords beautiful views of the valley and mountains.

When Boyd Dron passed away last November, his wife Karin wanted to give a lasting tribute to his memory. “Boyd loved standing on the trail and looking down at the beautiful valley he so loved. Giving access to others is a fitting memory to him,” said Karin who feels very strongly about keeping public access open to Ojai’s mountains and trails.

Boyd Dron, John (Jack) Dron, jr., Dorothy Dron (Rail), John A. Dron, Sr. (“the Major”)

Dron Family (left to right): Boyd Dron, John (Jack) Dron, jr., Dorothy Dron (Rail), John A. Dron, Sr. (“the Major”) taken in 1942, Yermo, California. Photo courtesy Dorothy Dron-Smith.

Though Boyd was born at Cottage Hospital in 1932, his parents brought him home to the very property the trail runs through. It was the Depression then, and the family was building a stone house on the then four-acre property and living in a tent. The house became known as “Dronhame” reflective of the Drons’ Scottish heritage. Boyd’s father was John A. Dron, Sr., known locally as “the Major.” He had heard about Ojai after a chance meeting on a Sierra camping trip with local architect Austen Pierpont. In 1931, the family moved to Ojai. The Major was a civil engineer and well known local surveyor. He received the first portion of the property in trade for doing engineering work on the Foothill water system. The three Dron children grew up connected to nature and with a poetic appreciation for beauty—Boyd had a particular affinity for the chaparral and oak woodlands of coastal southern California.

Boyd and Karin Horseback Riding

Karin and Boyd Dron


A graduate of Happy Valley School, Boyd studied Conservation Education at Humboldt State University and earned his teaching credential. In 1963, after living several years in Siskiyou County with his first wife Pat, where daughter Barbara was born, he returned to Ojai, where he lived on his property at the bottom of the Topa Topa Bluffs. In 1975, he married his wife Karin and they lived in their mountain idyll where they raised bees, goats, chickens, and two daughters Alena and Heather. The family would often ride on horseback “over the hill” into the Sespe, and go on camping trips in their VW van. Boyd was a warm, enthusiastic and spirited man who had a strong and abiding spiritual connection to the natural world.

Boyd Dron

Boyd Dron

Following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease five years ago, he and Karin returned to Dronhame. There, Boyd would often sit quietly on the front porch looking down at the greenery of the orange groves below, and smelling the aroma of sage. He had at last finally come home.

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy works to protect the views, trails, water and wildlife of the Ojai Valley. Since its founding in 1987, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy has permanently protected over 2,000 acres. On that land every year, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy maintains dozens of miles of trails, guides hundreds of visitors, and hosts thousands of guests—hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, school children and others. To learn more, visit

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