The 1970s were times of great experimental creativity at Wilbur. Home birthing seminars, medical seminars, poetry seminars, and gestalt therapy seminars and my own Cokenders Alcohol and Drug Program.
Then along came Homestake Mining with interest in digging for gold in “them thar hills” in what would become Wilbur’s Nature Preserve. The miners were good people and we cooperated in placing decibel meters around our property in order to ensure that their work did not impact our important quiet. They found gold but at $800/oz it was not worth their effort and they left.
In 1979, The Sun Oil Company and their geothermal subsidiary, Sunedco, were caught attempting to do “whip stock drilling” on our property line. They slanted their drills at an angle in order to mine Wilbur’s geothermal source. This led to a major historical environmental battle. In the court case, led by Wilbur’s 25 volunteer lawyers, Sunedco was forced to create the first Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in the history of Colusa County. This volume contains many interesting facts about the flora and fauna at Wilbur.
During the environmental fight we felt like Samson fighting Goliath in a battle for health over money. Sun offered me an initial check for $200,000 to back down which I declined and we prevailed. Sundeco left!
Next time I’ll tell you more about Cokenders Alcohol and Drug Program at Wilbur. This was the world’s first chemical dependence program to incorporate nutrition, aerobics conditioning, yoga, meditation, vocational counseling and group therapy, while utilizing only Wilbur’s natural hot medicine waters, instead of medication, for detoxification.