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By on November 29, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter

Vivon Crawford promoted to Restoration Program Director! 

Vivon gets photo-bombed by a striated caracara (Phalcoboenus australis) in Argentina

In recognition of her critical role in the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s growth and success, Vivon Crawford has been named Restoration Program Director. We welcomed Vivon as Restoration Program Manager just over a year ago in August 2021. During her time as Restoration Program Manager, Vivon reignited our restoration programs, developed new initiatives, and oversaw staff growth. In just one year, Vivon has secured $1 million in grant funding for climate resilience. Funded projects include the removal of giant reed (Arundo donax) from the Ventura River Watershed, a continuation of oak woodland restoration at the Ojai Meadows Preserve and Ventura River Preserve, and upgrading our nursery to meet the growing needs for native plants in the Ojai Valley. 

One of Vivon’s most admirable qualities is her devotion to her team and her desire to provide better opportunities for aspiring youth and early career workers in the environmental field. Vivon has increased our restoration staff’s capacity by placing an emphasis on implementing science. Utilizing a mix of her Master’s of Environmental Science and Management from the UCSB Bren School and the expereince she gained from working in Argentina with the Wildlife Conservation Society to develop a drone-based wildlife monitoring pilot program, Vivon has pushed her staff to get GIS training and use science-driven methods to expand their skill sets and improve our restoration efforts. This includes flying drones to map restoration sites! 

Vivon also hosted four interns at OVLC this summer. Two of the interns are early-career biologists with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Watershed Stewardship Program, and the other two students are Mantell Fellows from UC Santa Barbara, Vivon’s alma mater! Vivon also serves as a Board of Director for the Upper Ventura River Ground Water Agency. We are incredibly proud of Vivon for the impact she’s making at OVLC and in our community. 

Looking ahead, there is a mountain of giant reed to conquer in Vivon’s future, but we have no doubt she’ll summit that peak at full-throttle. 


The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy recently received a grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire (Cal Fire) for $777,414 to complete the eradication of invasive Arundo (Arundo donax) from the Upper Ventura River Watershed. Over the next four years, funds will be used to obtain all necessary permits to eradicate the 69 acres of Arundo remaining in the upper watershed and remove 14.3 acres of Arundo from the County’s Foster Park. 

The Upper Ventura Arundo Eradication Project is a collaborative effort between OVLC, the Ventura County Resource Conservation District (RCD), and Pax Environmental, Inc. OVLC will work with RCD and Pax to obtain programmatic permits and environmental reviews to expedite eradication. Arundo removal has multiple benefits that are important in the Ventura River Watershed—a priority watershed for Steelhead recovery where the high-profile removal of Matilija Dam is planned. In support of this watershed-scale effort, California Department of Fish and Wildlife has agreed to take an advisory role in guiding partners through the streamlined permitting pathways available for restoration projects through California Natural Resources Agency’s Cutting the Green Tape Initiative. 

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