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Presidents Message
June 2015

Fifteen years ago Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation (VCHP) was formed. We are proud of the successes we have had over the years in advocating for the conservation of Ventura hillsides, open space, and the Ventura River watershed.

To understand our devotion to conservation causes, one has only to read the news. Ocean pollution, air pollution from fossil fuels, worldwide drought, unreasonable demands of an ever-growing population on the limited resources of the planet are all damaging the world in which we live.

We must act now to correct polluting activities and habitat destruction that have been status quo for generations. We must act on land to conserve and restore our watershed areas in order to protect our world's oceans— it is all connected. We must prevent deforestation, manage our groundwater and speed up our transition to renewable resources.

We Americans all have a shared responsibility to protect our natural world and make smarter choices in order that we might pass on to future generations the beauty, wildlife, water and natural resources we have today. Especially with the threat of climate change, we should invest in conservation to meet this responsibility.

A reader may ask, “what impact can Ventura make?” Ventura can influence the County, the County can influence the State and when California forges the way, other states and countries tend to follow.

One of my absolute favorite quotes was by US anthropologist, Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

VCHP has worked to protect the Ventura Hillsides, The Canada Larga Valley and as a member of the Friends of the Ventura River coalition, worked to promote the Ventura River Parkway Trail and its designation as a National Recreation Trail.

Our goal is to prevent unnecessary and damaging development of our hillsides, river floodplains and natural open spaces. Development in hillside, watershed and floodplain areas would have significant adverse impacts on the Ventura River, its estuary, and the ocean by creating more urban runoff in areas that today are able to retain and percolate some precipitation.

We need to protect our beaches, rivers, watersheds and wildlife habitat for future generations. Unless we act now to protect these areas now, many of our beautiful natural areas will disappear before our children and grandchildren have a chance to enjoy them.

To illustrate how far our ecological thinking has evolved in just a few decades: in 1971 the Ventura River was declared “dead” and moves were made to channelize it in concrete. Public outcry prevented this disastrous action. Flash forward to 2007 where our Ventura City Council unanimously supported the Ventura River Parkway concept. It is left to us, now, to make the River Parkway and reality and protect this natural asset in perpetuity.

What will our generation's legacy be? Can we rise to the challenge and institute the corrections and protections necessary? VCHP believes we have the moral responsibility to do so.


Diane Underhill, President
Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation

Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation
Ventura, CA 93003

(805) 665-3820

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