Fire Protection Projects
The CREW is working with Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District on a grant provided by California Fire Safe Council. The Carpinteria/Summerland Evacuation Route & Community Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project was started in 2013 and will continue into 2014 fire season. This project has created safe paths out of dense neighborhoods in case of fire and has involved the community members by taking the brush residents cleared from their property and turning it into mulch for them to use around the area.
The CREW is continuing its Low Income Senior and Disabled Citizen Residential Fire Prevention Program which has provided household fire clearance for over 650 low income Senior and Disabled Citizen residences and mobile homes in the Ojai Valley. We collaborated with Help of Ojai and Ventura County Fire Agency on this well-received project, which focuses upon the need for timely household fire protection for these householders, many of whom require physical and financial assistance to complete their seasonal fire hazard clearing.
The CREW is recommencing the Last Stand Fuel Break Project that runs adjacent to the city of Ojai working under the Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council.
The CREW has provided fire mitigation clearance on several of Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s sites and on the Big Rock Preserve for the Ventura Hillside Conservancy.
The CREW’s career tracks continue to be successful. Several CREW members will obtain firefighter employment, enter fire academy or enter 2 & 4 year environmental training programs during the year.
The CREW is continuing the work it started with the Libbey Bowl Creek Restoration Project under the auspices of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Foundation & Patagonia Grants. The CREW has removed 52 tons of invasive vegetation and has also planted over 300 plants and trees. The project is being funded with a grant from California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This restoration project will continue Southwest of Libbey Park on the Stewart Canyon Creek and Fox Canyon Barranca. The CREW will be removing non native plants and improve passage and breeding potential for endangered aquatic species, such as southern steelhead trout and California red-legged frog.
Our Arundo Removal Project partnering with the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy on the Ventura River has removed 20 forty-yard roll dumpsters of non native plants at two sites one near Patagonia and another near Foster Park. The CREW seeks to continue this project on the 22 mile stretch from Foster Park to the coast during 2016.
Trail Maintenance and Spikeouts
The CREW continues to provide trail construction and repair services for the Forest Service, Land Conservancies and private trails. Back country work can require crews to hike to the site and camp while working aka “spikeouts”.
In 2011, the CREW finished work on the long neglected Red Reef Trail for the U.S. Forest Service. The CREW did 9 weeks of camp out as part of a major renovation of the badly eroded Red Reef Trail during the spring and summer of 2011. The CREW first revitalized 4 miles of trail in bad condition. They then completely rebuilt 4 miles of washed out trail. Using 400 railroad ties and over 1100 pieces of rebar that were carried in by mule, crews of 15 people completely rebuilt the trail down to 4-5 foot depth. They built over 150 crib walls out of broken rock.