One of the first localities to begin planning for its peak-oil survival was Willits, a town I’ve driven through many times on the northbound Redwood Highway, about 90 minutes north of San Francisco. Willits has a name for its post carbon frame of mind: Willits Economic LocaLization or “WELL” (which is about as big a stretch to fabricate the same acronym as we once used with Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link).

The WELL Vision An enduring local economy that provides health and security for our community.

The Mission of WELL To foster the creation of a local, sustainable economy in the Willits area by partnering with other organizations to watch for opportunities and vulnerabilities, incubate and coordinate projects and facilitate dialogue, action and education within our community.

Willits’ history began as a logging town, but it has transitioned into just as much a center of Mendocino County wine country over the past couple of decades. This weekend it’s hosting the third annual Regional Localization Networking Conference (RLNC).

The theme this year, “Reaching Across the Community” is about talking to those parts of the community that we may not be reaching. We have invited a panel of community leaders from a broad spectrum of our community to share their thoughts on 1) how their organization enhances Community Self Reliance; 2) how they mend fences and relationships within their organization, and 3) how they want outsiders to their organization to seek to influence them.