California Resources Corporation wants to put in 19 more oil wells over the next 30 years near the Punchbowls trail. (Photo courtesy of Los Padres ForestWatch)
Kimberly Rivers, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Nineteen new oil and gas wells are being proposed in an active oil field adjacent to the campus of Thomas Aquinas College in the Upper Ojai Valley. The Ventura County Planning Department held its initial public hearing last week; both oil company representatives and citizen groups spoke. Planning Director Kim Prillhart has 40 days to make a decision regarding the project, which will add wells along one of the most popular hiking trails in Ventura County, which leads to The Punchbowls. The area is famous for its waterfalls and swimming holes.