Land-Water-Energy→Economy is an educational outreach campaign presenting how land, water and energy resources support our local quality of life and how important it is to keep a reasonable balance between conservation and economic viability. Much of the policy driving the fast paced increase in unnecessary government regulation is based on incomplete information. Our campaign attempts to tell a more complete story, interjecting facts that have been left out of many local environmental arguments. Without public awareness, reasonable solutions to improve our economy will become less and less possible.

This campaign uses a set of colorful slides that are updated regularly with new information. We cover Ventura County land use, water and energy policy and answer questions like “what percent of the land is protected” and “where does your water come from?” We also discuss opportunities in our local energy industries, including oil and gas in Ventura County. To schedule a presentation to your group or organization, please contact Lynn Jensen at (805) 633-2291.

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This campaign harkens back to our Country’s courageous settlers who risked everything exploring for new opportunities, increasing their success by circling the wagons to fend off attacks. An example of the success of this strategy was our effort to oppose the building of a poorly planned recreational bicycle path east of Piru, that dead-ended in the middle of the Camulos Ranch strawberry field.

Ranch manager, Matt Freeman, contacted CoLAB and we went to work to analyze the County Plan and Programmatic EIR. What we found was that this pathway was a small section of a planned recreational trail from Montalvo to historical Rancho Camulos, mostly within a railroad right-of-way, potentially impacting 20 miles of adjacent cultivated prime farmland. Over $1 million in grant funding would have been spent to construct this one mile fragment of the overall trail.  CoLAB, with our agricultural stakeholder partners and the effected farmer, banded together to demonstrate how the project EIR was out of date and did not adequately protect the 800 acre farm. A lawsuit was filed and while we tried to broker a reasonable solution, the project was ultimately abandoned.

CoLAB, Ventura County is a proven resource to combat unreasonable regulation through our powerful members, board members and staff. We attempt to work together with agencies and elected officials, using science, engineering and law to work out solutions with regulators. We implore businesses of all kinds to join with us to circle the wagons, fend off attacks, and promote our mission to enhance Ventura County’s economic vitality while protecting the local quality of life.

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