About This Office
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.
About This Office
Originally established in 1987 as the Ventura Endangered Species Recovery Office for the California condor and southern sea otter, the office became a fully functioning Fish & Wildlife Office in 1993. The Ventura Fish and Wildlife (VFWO) has all or parts of 7 counties in its area of responsibility including: San Benito County and the coastal counties from Santa Cruz County south to western Los Angeles County. The VFWO is part of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Pacific Southwest Region.
The VFWO is located in the City of San Buenaventura, more commonly known as Ventura, which is on the Pacific coast approximately 25 miles southeast of Santa Barbara and 55 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Ventura is far enough from Los Angeles to escape the influence of Los Angeles's large population and associated problems (i.e., traffic, air pollution, crime. etc.) but close enough to take advantage of its incredible social, cultural, and sporting events. Climate is ideal with temperatures rarely exceeding 90 degrees in summer or falling below 40 degrees in winter. Rainfall is in the fall and winter months and averages 15 to 20 inches.
The main industry in the county is agriculture with year round production of lemons and oranges, avocados, flowers for the florist trade, strawberries, artichokes, and a variety of other crops (lettuce, squash, cauliflower, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, onions, radishes, etc.). With a mild climate, outdoor recreational opportunities are available all year. City parks are numerous with several state beaches nearby. Malibu and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, managed by the National Park Service, are less than a 30 minute drive. Channel Islands National Park headquarters is in Ventura with the islands visible from shore and less than 2 hours away by boat. Los Padres National Forest is 30 minutes to the north and comprises the northern half of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and the northeastern part of San Luis Obispo County and southern part of Monterey County. The forest contains the largest wilderness area in the state and is the only location where you can see California condors in the wild in California. The Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert are less than 3 hours away. Public schools offer magnet and gate programs and private schools are numerous. The University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), California State University at Northridge, and California State University at Channel Islands are nearby. UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge have extension campuses in Ventura. California State University Channel Islands is located in the City of Camarillo about 20 minutes away from the office. The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is about 1 1/2 hours away.
Because Ventura County is a desirable place to live, the cost of real estate is high. However, the cost of utilities are low. There is no need for air conditioning in coastal communities and little need for heat. Inland communities such as Ojai, Santa Paula, and Fillmore can get warm in the summer (upper 90s for a few weeks) and cooler in the winter (30s for a few weeks).