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By on June 4, 2014 in News, Press

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC) was the successful bidder at an auction of a 160 acre parcel which is important for the Ojai Valley’s water supply.  The forested parcel in the foothills north of the Ojai Valley is remote, wild, and largely surrounded by national forest.  It is also an important catchment basin that provides water to a number of Ojai Valley residents.

“Safeguarding Ojai’s water is as important to the OVLC as protecting open space and providing places to hike,” said Greg Gamble, OVLC Executive Director. “With the ongoing drought, it was all the more important to protect this water.”

Unlike many other OVLC open space IMG_20140520_092314_406preserves, this property has no legal access and will not have public access.  “The most appropriate thing for OVLC to do for this property is to permanently retire all threats to this part of our community’s water supply, and leave it for the bears and mountain lions,” said Don Reed, President of the OVLC Board of Directors.

The OVLC’s vision for the 160 acres wasn’t shared by their competition at the auction.  Gamble was bidding against an out of state land speculator who was described as being attracted to “difficult properties.”  “I suspect that his ultimate goal for the property was to gain access and profit from residential development.  We all enjoy our homes, but houses in this sensitive location would hurt our water.”

IMG_20140520_091705_485The OVLC’s winning bid was $75,000, although with title insurance and other fees the total cost of the acquisition is about $80,000.  Recognizing the importance of protecting this property for the Ojai Valley, members of the Senior Canyon Mutual Water Company generously donated funds to cover half of the costs.

The OVLC works to protect the views, trails, water and wildlife of the Ojai Valley.  For more information visit or follow them on

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