Tiobe Barron, Ojai Valley News correspondent
A sacred spot for this region’s Native American tribes — and a popular oasis for locals — Matilija Hot Springs has in recent years become a hot bed for illegal and unsavory activity. Vehicle break-ins, trash and graffiti became all too common. But now, "The days of uncontrolled, unfettered use of the land are over," said Gunnar Lovelace, co-founder of Ecotopia, the hot spring’s nonprofit stewardship organization. "We are committed to making that happen."