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The Thomas Fire roared through Ventura County on December 4, 2018, forever changing lives and landscape in its wake. The damage was widespread and the road to recovery is a long one but we are confident that over time, our community and our lands will heal.
The Ventura Land Trust's Big Rock Preserve suffered extensive damage and 80% of the 1,000 trees we had planted over the past three years were scorched. Habitat recovery at Big Rock is already underway and in the coming months and years, we will continue to coordinate habitat restoration work until every tree is replanted, every trail is repaired and every tool is replaced.
Fire restoration takes time, money and manpower. We encourage you to donate in the way that makes sense for you and also encourage you to participate in an upcoming VLT volunteer event. Keep an eye on our Events Page - we are adding more opportunities to get involved all the time. Working together, we will replant, rebuild and make Ventura's open spaces beautiful once more.
BIG ROCK PRESERVE REMAINS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC WHILE WE MAKE MUCH-NEEDED REPAIRS AND ALLOW THE LAND TIME TO HEAL NATURALLY.
A bird's eye view of the Thomas Fire damage at Big Rock Preserve
On January 18, 2018, more than 300 people joined us tonight at the Poinsettia Pavilion to hear Dr. Sean Anderson, Chair of the CSUCI Environmental Science Dept., speak about the Thomas Fire's impacts on wilderness and wildlife. Dr. Anderson's talk was the first in VLT's 2018 Environmental Speaker Series. Dr. Anderson shared a great deal of interesting data about why the fire started, why it burned so large and hot, how it has affected creatures both large and small and how he predicts the landscape and wildlife will eventually recover. According to his data, climate change and land management policies set the stage for the largest wildfire in California's history. Unlike other areas in the state, Ventura County has been in a continuous drought for the last 8 - 9 years. The drought, combined with the winds, past suppression of fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara and a shift in the jet stream all contributed to the "perfect fire storm." According to Anderson, continued dry conditions will mean that plants will take longer to recover which, in turn, degrades the habitat of small animals. Slowly the animals will return but it will take time and patience. Dr. Anderson was so popular that we have invited him back next January to give a "one year report card" on Thomas Fire Recovery!
Click on the link to watch Dr. Anderson's entire lecture.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the Ventura Land Trust.
We need you support now more than ever!