Sailing on motionless wings over the peaks of Devil's Heart and Topatopa, the California condor could now look down on its "home, sweet home."
The King of the Skies had won a safe home at last!
It was 1951 when the jubilant announcement was made, designating 35,200 rugged acres in Ventura County as a perpetual refuge for some 60 remaining birds of the vanishing species known as the gymnogyps Californius , the largest among North American birds.
This meant the end of a long struggle involving conservationists, oil drilling interests and developers.
The final decision was a compromise that would give the condor a protected home and allow for further oil exploration outside of a 10,000-acre sanctuary core that lay just west of Piru Creek and north of Fillmore in the Los Padres National Park. It also decreed that no oil well would be placed within a half a mile of a known condor nest on sanctuary land.
New concerns surround the condor issue today.
With the condor population reduced to what appears to be only nine of the species left in the wild, developers are eyeing the vast picturesque land with renewed expectations and argue that with so few condors left, why shouldn't restrictions on developments be eased?