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 »

Restoration after the Thomas Fire

In December 1,500 acres of the OVLC’s 2,300 acres burned in the Thomas Fire. Much of our open space will recover on its own after a fire. There is a large native seed bank already in our soils just waiting for the first rains to sprout. However, there are some areas that may need our help to come back. The OVLC lost approximately 1,500 newly planted oak trees and over 3,000 other plants in our restoration areas. There also may be areas around bulldozer lines, areas where the fire burned unusually hot, or areas of steeply sloped trails that need a little extra attention to recover as well.

The biggest threat to the natural recovery of our open spaces comes from invasive non-native weeds. These were mostly suppressed before the fire by the older and larger native plants. The open areas left barren by the fire provide space for non-natives to get a foothold. The invasive weeds are dangerous as they can quickly colonize bare areas and prevent the establishment of the native plants upon which local birds and wildlife depend. It will be critical in the first year to prevent these plants from getting established and reproducing. The best way to combat these plants by manual means such as hand pulling or with common garden implements. A substantial force of volunteers will be needed as we set priorities for this work. Volunteering is much more than just work though. It’s a great opportunity to get outside for exercise, help nature, and make new friends (people who volunteer are the best type of friends). Join the OVLC volunteer crews today, and help us protect our natural areas.

No time to volunteer? Consider becoming OVLC Member or donating to our recovery efforts today. Thank you!!