Ojai Wildlife League Questions Lake Casitas Fence with Barbed Wire

by Suza Francina on June 10, 2010

The subject of fences in our modern era and their impact on wildlife, especially along roads with speeding cars, is one that deserves close scrutiny.  Ojai Wildlife League (OWL) members attended the May 26, 2010,  Casitas Water Board Meeting where increased fencing with barbed wire on top was approved.  (see link below to minutes) Here is the first of a series of Letters addressing this issue.

Subject: Lake Casitas Fence

Dear Ojai Wildlife League supporters,

An important issue has come to our attention. The Lake Casitas Water District board has voted to put up a six- foot fence with barbed wire at the top along the lake, starting at the motor home storage area to the damn. They are leaving only a few very small and inadequate areas in which larger animals can access the lake.

After looking at this situation, and speaking at their May 26, 2010, board meeting against the proposal to no avail, we are going to contact Mr.  Jack Collins, e-mail jwcollins@usbr.gov , the Bureau of Reclamation*. We feel that they have in no way provided adequate access to the lake for wildlife and are creating a very hazardous situation for both wildlife and people using the road adjacent to the proposed fence.

Their claim of protecting the lake from potential boaters avoiding inspection does not hold water, excuse the pun, as boat access in that area would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Their real motivation is to prevent anyone from getting into the lake area without paying a fee. We ask, does their small amount of missed fees warrant the harm this will cause to our wildlife?

We don’t think so.

Please write Mr. Jack Collins at   jwcollins@usbr.gov  a quick email expressing your concern for wildlife access to Lake Casitas, and your opposition to this fence. The power is in numbers, so please take a few minutes to write a short note.

OWL is also writing a letter, but numbers count. Individual letters are crucial.

Remember, this is our drinking water. We are also requesting that the current practice of allowing the use of LEAD sinkers be prohibited at the lake.

Thanks for your help.

Sue Williamson

Phone: 805-640-0187
Email: sue@ojaiwildlifeleague.com

Lake Casitas Water Board: http://www.casitaswater.org/boardofdirectors/boardofdirectors.htm

May 26, 2010 Lake Casitas Minutes: http://www.casitaswater.org/boardinformation/min10/5-26-10min.pdf

*Bureau of Reclamation http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=32285  To voice your concerns contact Mr. Jack Collins, Bureau of Reclamation, South-Central California Area Office, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at 559-349-4544 or 559 487-5933, or e-mail jwcollins@usbr.gov

Contact: Sue Williamson sue@ojaiwildlifeleague.com or go to www.Ojaiwildlifeleague.com

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Suza June 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm

A correction from Sue Williamson:

Two important things. It’s the Bureau of Reclamation, NOT Land Management and the e-mail goes to Jack Collins.


Suza Francina June 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Thanks, Sue. I made the above correction.


Emerald June 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

Get ahold of Officer Greg Randall, a wildlife specialist for LA Animal Services. He gives talks on co-existing with wildlife-lions, coyotes, bears,etc. He talks about safety for people and pets, humane deterrents vs. trapping, existing laws and policies at city, county and state levels.


Suza Francina June 14, 2010 at 10:31 am

Thanks, Emerald, I passed your suggestion on to Sue Williamson who is doing much of the work right now on behalf of the Ojai Wildlife League. We are doing alot of background checking on the fence issue and need all the help we can get.


linda Harmon June 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I’m shocked. I have walked at the lake for years and no one has ever stopped me from walking in. I used to buy permits when I used the area for camping and picnicking with my kids but didn’t know they wanted to stop pedestrians from walking in. Walkers are very low impact as opposed to motor homes that require sewer and make water demands. I’m writing an email right now. Thank you.


Suza June 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I forgot to press reply so hope Linda sees my message.


Suza June 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

This comment is to clarify my previous message below. I think this is the part that Linda was responding to.

“Their real motivation is to prevent anyone from getting into the lake area without paying a fee. We ask, does their small amount of missed fees warrant the harm this will cause to our wildlife?”

I think the way this point was worded is somewhat misleading. I’m hoping people will read the actual Letter to the Bureau of Reclamation to understand Ojai Wildlife League concerns over the fence.


Suza June 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Linda, as far as I know, you can still park outside and walk in (past the regular check points) at no charge. My daugter belongs to a rowing team and that’s what I did last time I watched her.

I’ll review the Letter to see what we wrote that might have given the impression you can no longer walk in.


Lisa June 14, 2010 at 4:18 pm

You can also tell them you are having breakfast or lunch at the restaurant. And since I posted that, it’s probably not a bad idea to grab a cup of coffee there!


Robo Cop October 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Isn’t that the purpose of a fence?!?!?! To keep things in or out?!?!?!? Sounds like it is doing its job.


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