Condor Talk and Los Padres Winter Storm Update

The Santa Barbara Backcountry

Hello Friends,

It’s been a nice winter so far here in the Los Padres, hasn’t it?  The storms last week were solid, covering the Los Padres in mostly good rain and lots of snow at the higher elevations.  The snow pack around Mt Pinos hasn’t been this good in quite a few years.  In fact, it’s been so good that there have been multiple snow evacuations including a couple and their dogs who were stuck along Alamo Mtn for two weeks due to snow.  In the lower elevations there has been rain caused road closures and trail damage but thankfully nothing as tragic as what we endured last year.  Hwy 1 along the Big Sur Coast has been closed and reopened multiple times and we just heard that Hwy 33 outside of Ojai will be reopened Sunday January 27, although it might not look as clean as usual and expect up to 5min delays here and there due to lane closures.  In total we’ve received about 50% of our average rainfall for the season and most locations are trending at 100-120% of average rainfall to date. We’re looking good for rain but more is certainly needed.  That all being said, the forest is alive and thriving.  Water is flowing in just about every creek, the grass is about as green as it gets and the trails are drying off nicely and mostly ready for you to enjoy.  If you’ve not found your way into the Los Padres of late, be sure to do so soon and please check back in with us afterwards to share a photo or two and update HikeLosPadres.com with what you found.  Have fun…..

Soaring Wild & Free, photo Friends of the California Condor

LPFA UPCOMING EVENTS: Condor Talk, Feb 6

We’re really excited to announce that the LPFA will be welcoming the excellent speakers from Friends of California Condors Wild and Free to the Santa Barbara area to discuss the latest in the world of the condor including updates from around the Los Padres and in particular the condor efforts in the Santa Barbara Backcountry.  The talk will be Wednesday February 6 at the Balboa Building on State Street, Santa Barbara.  Doors open at 6:30pm for a Happy Half Hour courtesy of Topa Topa Brewing Company and the event starts at 7pm.  $10 at the door, no charge for current LPFA members.  See attached flier or Facebook for more details and we hope to see you there. 
Any questions: INFO@LPForest.org

Speaking of LPFA events, moving forward we’ll be sharing all the LPFA volunteer projects and events through our Facebook page. Over the past few years we’ve tried posting events on Meetup, Facebook, other social media sites, Evite, LPForest.org and word of mouth, but after trial-and-error we’ve decided to focus the announcements through Facebook.  Check it out!  And for those of you who choose not to have Facebook, you can still check the site without having a Facebook account.

Devil’s Canyon Downed Tree, It Can’t be Cleared if it’s not Reported, photo Blakley

FOREST 411

• Thanks in part to the recent storms mentioned above, we’re getting a lot of trail reports featuring downed trees or fresh slides covering the trail.  Receiving these trail reports is crucial in order to get the trails repaired.  If you come across any significant trail obstacles, damage, downed trees, slides, illegal activity or anything else worth reporting, please share with the Forest Service, your local trail group, HikeLosPadres.com or send to us and we’ll forward it along.  THANK YOU for your help!
*Note that GPS coordinates, pictures and an object (person, dog, hiking pole, water bottle) in the picture so we can get a sense of scale always help!

• As of today the Government Shutdown is ending, at least for the next three weeks.  You can read elsewhere for specifics and commentary but we believe the furloughed LP FS staff will be back at their desks by Monday morning.  We’ve certainly missed our friends at the FS and look forward to wishing them Happy New Year and hearing more about gate closures, road conditions and other upcoming projects.  We’ll be sure to update you when more information becomes available.

West Fork Cold Spring Trail in the Santa Barbara Frontcountry is currently closed due to a storm related slide. Work is being planned to repair the section of damaged trail and we’ll keep you posted with updates when available.

• Santa Barbara based Hap Freund and Melinda Burns recently released a short documentary about the debris flows that impaled Montecito on January 9, 2018.  It’s available on Vimeo here.

• Speaking of, the LA Times released a very comprehensive article on Los Padres fire history and restoration efforts related to the recent abundance of large-scale fires.  It’s a great read featuring a few locals you might know.  Check it out here.

• Again, somewhat related, a report was issued in December analyzing the spending and fire fighting tactics involved with the 2016 Soberanes Fire in the Northern Los Padres.  Soberanes was, and still is, the most expensive wildfire to fight in US history.  The article is here and worth being aware of if you’re interested in wildfires.

• Two more condors were released in December in the hills above San Simeon.  It’s great to see how successful the condor recovery program continues to be. Again, shameless plug, come on out February 6 to learn more about the California Condors.

• The Franklin Trail above Carpinteria remains closed at the 3rd mile marker along Phase II due to road construction.

• The Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club will once again be offering their Wilderness Basics Course (WBC) this spring designed to teach hiking and backpacking skills.

• Earlier this month over 225 acres of land along Interstate 5 near Castaic was donated in order to protect wildlife passage between the Angeles and Los Padres Forests.  Check it out here.

• The Los Padres Volunteer Wilderness Ranger (VWR) Training has been postponed due to the Government Shutdown.  The training was initially scheduled for Saturday January 26.  We’ll be sure to share when a makeup date is announced.

Leave it to the Beaver, Back and Doing Well along the Sisquoc River, photo Paul Cronshaw

Getting Your Year End Los Padres Fix

Hello Friends – Happy New Year!

We hope this email finds you either on your way to your favorite trailhead or packing up and leaving work for the last time this year.  Woot woot!  We wanted to send out a few quick notes before the start of the New Year holiday that might help with your Los Padres adventure planning.  Be safe and thanks again for all your support to the LPFA over the past year…….
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Early Contender for the 2020 LPFA Calendar, photo Nikolay Zapreyev
FIRE RESTRICTION CHANGES
On December 18 the fire restrictions across the Los Padres National Forest were downgraded from ‘extreme’ to ‘high’.  What this means for the regular forest-user is that:

  • Campfires are allowed within Designated Campfire Use Sites only
  • No backcountry campfires
  • Portable camping stoves can be used anywhere across the forest, including backcountry
  • No recreational target shooting

There is a chance that the restrictions will be further modified in January, we’ll be sure to keep you posted on any changes.  Oh, and don’t forget your California Campfire Permit, which is needed for having a campfire or using a portable stove, click here, it’s free and takes just a few minutes…….

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The new Matilija Falls Trail is taking shape and one of the LPFA’s big initiatives for 2019!
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or been too involved with the Holidays then you’ve no doubt heard about the latest Government Shutdown which started at 9pm on Friday December 21.  While you can educate yourself on the intricacies of the Shutdown and budget through mainstream media we’ve been getting a lot of questions about how the Shutdown is impacting the Los Padres Forest.  At the moment, other than a large percentage of FS staff not working, there hasn’t been a lot of changes across the Los Padres.  All regular campgrounds and Parks Management Campgrounds remain open and we don’t think there have been any additional gate closures or changes that would impact forest-users.  Now that being said, things could change starting January 2 when select FS employees return from holidays and we’ll be sure to share that with you if and when changes occur.  Until then, lets hope the budget issues are resolved and that access remains open across the Los Padres……
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The LPFA Trail Crew, changing the name “Lost Valley” to “Staying on Trail Valley” one bush and downed tree at a time.
Another LPFA focus for 2019 is continued trail work in the San Rafael Wilderness.  Photo Jason Morris

FOREST 411

  • Some really exciting news came out of Santa Barbara County earlier this month when the first California condor chick fledged in the SB backcountry in more than 35 years.  Awesome stuff!  You can read more about this monumental success here, here, here and here.
  • We’ve been hearing reports from across the Los Padres from Big Sur to Agua Blanca that ticks are out in full force this season.  Yikes!  There are quite a few tricks to avoid ticks but here are a few recommendations from the Forest Service you might want to follow.
  • Thanks in large part to the Montecito Trails Foundation, the Cold Spring and West Fork Cold Spring Trails have been reopened within the Thomas Fire scar above Montecito.  The lower Mountain Drive trailhead remains closed but you can enjoy the trail coming from either Hot Springs Canyon or the Gibraltar trailhead of West Fork Cold Spring.  Cold Spring was the final trail to remain closed as a result of the Thomas Fire.
  • The May 2019 Amgen Tour of California bike race was announced with two stages crossing through the Los Padres.  The exact stage routes have not been announced but it looks like stage 4 will be going through Big Sur along iconic Hwy 1 and stage 5 will be covering some of the Central/Southern Los Padres.  We’ll share more when available.  The Tour of California is always fun…….
  • The road construction along Hwy 33 just above Ojai near the quarry has been completed and the road delays have been removed.  Good news for sure……
  • Cherry Creek, Pine Mtn and Dough Flat roads have been closed in the Ojai Ranger District as part of the regular winter weather road closures.  They should reopen on May 1.
  • A young mountain lion was found in Santa Barbara before being relocated into the Los Padres Forest.
  • The Franklin Trail above Carpinteria is temporarily closed at mile marker 3 along Phase II due to Southern California Edison road construction.
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Devil’s Canyon, not nearly as nasty as its name indicates, thanks to SYWHG, LPFA and SBMTV volunteers, photo Jim Blakley

The LPFA Solution to Holiday Awkwardness

Happy Trails in 2018!  Sisquoc Volunteer Working Vacation, April 2018

Hello Friends & Happy Holidays!

On behalf of the Los Padres Forest Association, our Board, the hundreds of LPFA volunteers and countless thousands of forest-users; we want to thank each of you for your support of the LPFA. Without your contributions we could not have accomplished all that we did this past year – THANK YOU!

As a special thanks we wanted to share with each of you a little LPFA holiday secret that’s sure to solve some of your holiday angst. We all know how awkward holiday conversations can become with extended family and/or long-lost friends who might view the world a bit different from you.  In order to help with your holidays, we’ve come up with four ‘conversation reroutes’ you can use to quickly change the subject when politics, religion and/or other awkwardness makes an unwanted appearance. Try these reroutes and we promise the conversation, mood and holiday cheer will improve immediately:

  • When the conversation gets too political: {It’s funny that you mention Congress……}, did you happen to know that in 2018 the Los Padres Forest Association maintained over 60 miles of trails along 40 different trails within the Los Padres Forest!  The LPFA also led over 80 volunteer projects this past year which accounted for over 10,000 volunteer hours?  That’s the equivalent time of nearly 5 full time workers!
  • When the conversation gets too personal: {Cousin Jamie, there are ways to remove unwanted tattoo’s these days….} but you need to know that between HikeLosPadres.com, the LPFA e-newsletter, LPFA social media posts and the LPFA Visitor Centers at Wheeler Gorge and Big Sur Station that the Los Padres Forest Association assists close to 100,000 Los Padres visitors each year.

  • When the conversation gets too radical: {I agree, the status quo should be challenged……} but the LPFA worked much of 2018 to restore trails impacted by the Thomas Fire and has some new exciting wildfire trail restoration initiatives on tap for 2019 and beyond.  Stay tuned!
  • When the conversation simply needs to change: {I promise Grandma Lucille, your holiday fruitcake has never tasted better….} but were you aware that the LPFA will be building a new trail in 2019 called the Matilija Falls Trail and that the LPFA will also be building a new 1.5 mile reroute along the Cold Spring Trail around the area infamously known as the Mono Jungle?

You might want to print these four humorous ‘conversation reroutes’ out and keep them nearby or better yet memorize them as they are guaranteed to help ease any of the awkward conversations that can come with the holidays.  After all, if there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s our love and support of the Los Padres Forest.

Thank you again for your support and we’d be honored if you’d want to renew your LPFA membership or make a donation to the LPFA on behalf of yourself, your family, your friends or even Grandma Lucille.

Happy Holidays and best of luck in the New Year!

We’ve Seen Fire and We’ve Seen Rain

Thomas Fire Engulfs Wheeler Gorge – Early December 2017 – photo USFS

Hello Friends – HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

This will surely be a week of reflection for most of us as we look back at the Thomas Fire, which started just about a year ago on December 4, 2017.   Not only was the Thomas Fire the largest wildfire in California’s history but the timing of the fire also led to the destructive and deadly Montecito debris flows just a few weeks later.  Having wildfire that late in the season validated the now common statement that “Wildfire Knows No Season”.  Unfortunately, we saw the same thing again this year with the Camp and Woolsey Fires starting late in the “wildfire season”.  So far I’m not a very big fan of the new normal.  There is a ton of commentary about why we’re dealing with such large fires, who is to blame and how moving forward we can protect ourselves and our forests against these ever-growing conflagrations.  I’m not going to pretend to know the answers.  I don’t know if anyone knows the answers.  It’s likely that the answers here in the Los Padres are different than the answers in the Cleveland or Santa Monica’s or the Sierra Nevada dead pine tree belt.  While we might not know the answers, Outside Magazine recently created a four-part podcast series covering wildfires that does a really good job of outlining some of the questions.  If you’re interested in the subject of wildfires, I think you’ll enjoy listening to the Outside podcast.  Wildfire is certainly a hot topic of late, not just here in the Western United States but across the world, even grabbing the attention of our President.  Lets hope that sometime in the future we’ll look back at this new normal era with solutions that can prevent all the damage and death we’ve had to endure of late.
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2019 LOS PADRES CALENDAR
Back by popular demand, the LPFA has once again released a Los Padres themed wall calendar.  We went back to the larger size for 2019 and have full color themed months featuring great photos and content from across the Los Padres.  This is the 6th year we’ve done a LP wall calendar and once again we had a lot of fun choosing photos and compiling them into the calendar.  The calendar costs $12.00 with any proceeds going to the LPFA Trail Fund.  Check it out and get one for your friends, co-workers, family, yourself or all the above!  You’ll love em.

AND BIG THANKS TO ALL OUR FRIENDS WHO CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS!  You’ll be seeing yours in the mail soon…… 


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Tent or No-Tent, the First Light Redondo Views are Amazing!

FOREST 411
• The Los Padres is in the midst of our first large winter storm of the 2018-2019 rain season.  Most of the forest is set to see anywhere between 1-5+ inches of rain depending on location.  The rain has fallen hard at times so expect to see some extended road closures and some slides and trees down across the trails.  There is more rain on tap for next week along with some colder temperatures.  If you’re heading into the forest be sure to check the weather in detail before you go and let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.  And if you come across any fresh downed trees or trail slides, take photos and post on HLP and we’ll make sure a nearby trail crew gets the call.  Have fun and be safe…..

• In advance of this most recent storm, the LPNF has begun closing some of their seasonal and wet weather gatesHikeLosPadres.com and the Los Padres NF website are good places to check road closures but we strongly suggest calling your local Ranger Station in advance to make sure of the gate status.  NOTE: The Ojai District plans on closing their seasonal gates on December 15, which includes Pine Mtn.  NOTE: Hwy 1 in southern Monterey County is closing as needed in advance of any larger storm.

• The Front Fire Closure has been lifted and Rockfront OHV is once again open to the public.  This includes the Gifford and Adobe Trails.  That being said, Rockfront was closed this week in advance of the storms but should be reopened once the roads have a few days to dry.  Be sure to check with SLRD if you plan on hitting up Rockfront.

• Reminder that even with this wet weather fire restrictions remain in effect across the Los Padres.  Hopefully the fuel moisture levels will improve so that the FS can safely adjust the fire restrictions.  Usually the restrictions are lifted after the forest has received 2″ of rain.

• Certainly a storm theme to this email….  A privately funded group called The Partnership for Resilient Communities is proposing to install 40+ steel nets across the canyons above Montecito designed to halt the flow of debris and rocks along the canyon.  Their current plan calls for the installation of 13 nets sometime in the coming months, two of which will block trail access.

• In the bummer category of news there have been a few break-ins at some of our trailheads over the past few months.  Total bummer.  We don’t want any successful break-ins as that usually fuels repeat criminal visits.  REI has done a good job of coming up with 10 Tips to Deter Trailhead Theft, read it here.

• There are two proposed Forest Thinning Projects in the Mt. Pinos District along Tecuya Ridge and Cuddy Valley.  Earlier this week the FS released their proposed action for Cuddy Valley, click the link for specifics.  You can learn more here, here and here.

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South Fork, Bring on the Rain!  photo Beeman

2019 Los Padres Calendar

HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2019 – The LPFA is once again producing a Los Padres wall calendar featuring some of the spectacular sights from around the Los Padres Forest.  We’ve got themes for each month ranging from wildlife to wildfires covering the Los Padres from Pfeiffer Beach to Mt. Pinos.  Waterfalls, snow covered peaks, redwoods, yucca, birds and bears – we’ve got just about all the Los Padres flavor packed into the 2019 calendar.  If you’re a fan of the LP, you’ll dig the calendar…..

Each calendar (fullsize 17″ x 11″) is printed on high quality stock with full color photos and special date information within the calendar dates.  It’s great as a gift for the LP lover in your life or for yourself to help inspire your next Los Padres adventure.

The Los Padres Calendar will be printed in early-December and shipped as soon as they are available.  Each calendar is $12.00 + tax, shipping is included.  Any proceeds will go to the LPFA Trail Care Program.  You can purchase the calendars one of three ways:

1) Online at the PayPal link below

2) Send a check to the address mentioned below

3) They will be available at Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers across the Los Padres.

Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays!




Los Padres Forest Association – 6750 Navigator Way #150 – Goleta, CA 93117

LOS PADRES: Fall in Love, Lovin the Fall

Golden Fall Colors of the Upper Sespe, For the Taking

Hello Friends,

While most of the country is preparing for a long winter’s nap, here in the LP we’re just waking up! Our long summer is fading and the weather is finally cooling down. We’re dreaming about our next trip into the forest and busy planning a season’s worth of Los Padres adventures. We’re certainly loving the fall more than ever, filled with anticipation, excitement and stoke. That being said, autumn isn’t all waterfalls and rainbows, it’s also harvest time for marijuana growers. A report was released a few weeks ago indicating that over 100,000 marijuana plants were eradicated in the Los Padres over the past year. Regardless of your views on marijuana, no one should be excited about discovering an active grow site during their LP adventures. While the odds of stumbling across one of these sites are slim, be aware of your surroundings and watch for signs of grow activity. These signs might include irrigation lines, discarded seedling trays, human trails where human trails shouldn’t be, makeshift camps and loads of trash. If you happen to find yourself in an active grow site you should leave quickly the same way you came in and once clear of the site report your findings to your local LP Ranger Station. Again, chances are you won’t find yourself in an active grow site but it’s always good to stay aware of your surroundings. Another hazard we’re seeing of late is oak trees falling up and down the Los Padres. Even healthy looking oak trees can topple over or drop their limbs without any indication or immediate cause. We’ve seen green oaks fall without a gust of wind. Be mindful and pay attention where you park, camp, picnic or rest. That’s all for Debbie Downer, get out and enjoy your forest, pile of the trail miles, takes tons of photos and have a great time – after all, our season is just beginning…….

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It’s not called a Working VACATION for nothing. Toejam Soaking in the WBP views, photo CWatson

POPLAR TRAIL UPDATE
The LPFA just completed a very successful Working Vacation along the Poplar Trail in the upper Indian Creek watershed, Dick Smith Wilderness. Thanks to the help of 34 volunteers we cleared and restored over 3 miles of some of the most overgrown trail the Los Padres can dish out. The trail progress (Working) was terrific and everyone had a great time (Vacation) in the process. In fact, we had such a great time that we’re going to be heading back! In case you missed this past Working Vacation you have another chance on November 9-12 to continue the good fight against the downed trees and encroaching brush. We’ll be once again car-camping at Bluff Cabin and working down the Poplar Trail towards Pens Camp. We’d love to have you come along. To sign up or learn more please email: INFO@LPForest.org

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Gimme Five, Santa Paula Canyon Style

USED GEAR SALE: 11/4 @ 11am
The 4th Annual LPFA Used Gear Sale is on for this weekend, Sunday November 4, 11am at Tucker’s Grove Site #2 in Goleta. We’ll once again have a gigantic selection of gently used backpacks, sleeping bags, stoves, tents, camping knick-knacks, books/maps, ultralite & car-camping gear and much more…. all at super discounted prices. Our super-volunteers Rik Christensen and Paul Cronshaw have worked their ‘bee’hinds off getting the gear cleaned, organized and ready for this weekend. The sale is headlined by Gossamer Gear who generously donate many of their returned backpacks for the sale. We love them! All proceeds go towards the LPFA Trail Care program and this is a great way for Gossamer to give back to the trails. Very cool! We’re also looking for any used gear you have that might be in need of a new home. If you have any used packs, boots, gear or anything else camping related we’d love to play match-maker and help find it a new home. Email us at INFO@LPForest.org if you’d like to donate or bring it early to the sale on Sunday. It will be a great time, everyone leaves happy and we hope to see you there……..

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The freshly cut Tinta Motorcycle Trail, Looking Good thanks to a LPFA NFWF Trails Grant!

FOREST 411
• The LPFA will once again be printing a Los Padres Calendar for 2019. If you have any great photos of the Los Padres that you’d be willing to share, we’d love to include them in the 2019 calendar and will trade you a calendar for using your photo. Email INFO@LPForest.org to share photos or ask questions.

• Remember that even with the cooler weather there are fire restrictions across the Los Padres National Forest. No campfires. And stoves are only permitted at designated campfire use sites. More information here.

• The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians have recently unveiled plans for a Tribal Museum and Cultural Center in the Santa Ynez Valley. Check the link above for more information. In case you didn’t know, there is already a really cool Chumash Museum in Thousand Oaks – check it out!

• November is going to be a super busy month for LPFA volunteer help! We’ve got projects ranging from deep backcountry trail work to encouraging cyclists along Fig Mtn Road and everything in between. Check here or look at the Upcoming Events below.

• The Los Padres Forest was found to have 15 toilets that no longer comply with EPA cesspool standards. The older style pit toilets have been closed and plans are being made to replace most of them with a vault style toilet by the end of 2020. Ventura County Star wrote an article covering the story and you can see the specific camps here.

• Quick update on the proposed removal of the Matilija Dam: Prop 3 on the November 6 ballot could authorize $80 million for the removal of the dam. Check the above link for more information and remember to VOTE on 11/6!

• The Mt Pinos Ranger District is looking for volunteers to assist with painting trailhead signs and some light road work along Alamo Mountain. Date and time of the work will be dependent on the volunteers availability. To learn more please email Caroline at: cquintanilla@fs.fed.us

• Carpinteria loves the Franklin Trail and thanks to some fantastic volunteers they will once again be organizing a ‘Turkey Trot’ to raise money to help restore and maintain the Franklin Trail. The 4th Annual Franklin Trail Turkey Trot started today and lasts all November. Check it out, participate and three cheers to Carp for all the trail love.

• CalTrans has plans to proactively close Hwy 1 at Paul’s Slide and Mud Creek this winter in advance of larger storms. Both slide areas were closed most of 2017-2018 and CalTrans is hoping to keep people off the road in case of another future slide event. Hopefully you won’t be driving the Big Sur coast in a large storm but just in case you are, there might be some delays.

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Finishing Touches on a Poplar Trail Crosscut Session, photo CWatson

Get Your Los Padres Forest Update

Romero Trail Thomas Fire Damage, Before & After, Compliments of Multi-Use Trails Coalition

Hello Friends,

We were fortunate last week to have an early season storm roll across the Los Padres bringing with it precipitation ranging from around a tenth of an inch in the inland areas to over an inch along the coastal mountains.  That’s a great start for the season and if nothing else should bring some green color to some of our hills soon.  Depending on what happens from here on out we could enjoy a nice long green season, which we haven’t had very much of over the past decade.  Fingers crossed for a nice series of slow and steady storms ahead…….

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Poplar Trail, in Need of a Shave,  photo Aaron Songer, October 2018
BLUFF – POPLAR WORKING VACATION
The LPFA will be hosting our next Working Vacation starting next week from October 19-28.  We’ll be base-camping at the Bluff Administrative Cabin and working down the Poplar Trail in the Dick Smith Wilderness along the upper Indian Creek drainage.  Due to fire related road closures and poor access, the Poplar Trail has become extremely overgrow in recent years with some people calling it the “worst trail in the Santa Barbara Backcountry”.  Our focus over the Working Vacation will be to clear downed trees, remove choked brush and attempt to push the “worst trail” moniker to someplace else.  If you have some free time between the 19th and 28th and are interested in volunteering on the trail we’d love to have your help.  We are asking that people volunteer for at least 4 days.  This is a car-camping style project since we have the luxory of driving the 90-min dirt road in to Bluff Camp.  If you don’t have a dirt road worthy vehicle, don’t worry, we should have plenty of space in other trucks for you to carpool along.  As usual, all food, tools and PPE will be provided for the volunteers.  For more information or to sign up please email project leader Mike Smith at TrailSmith@LPForest.org.  Hope to see you out there…..
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Morning Moment of Truth, How Hot is it Gonna be? photo AQuinn
FOREST 411
• The LPFA will be putting on our 4th Annual Used Gear Sale on Sunday November 4 at Tucker’s Grove in Goleta.  As usual, we’ll have literally hundreds of gently used camping gear supplies, tents and other odds and ends highlighted by dozens of Gossamer Gear backpacks.  If you have any used camping gear you’d like to donate, we’d be happy to take it off your hands in exchange for a donation receipt and a high five.  Proceeds from the sale go to the LPFA Trail Care program.  For more information or to donate your camping gear email: INFO@LPForest.org.

• General hunting season ended a few weeks ago for most of the Los Padres (A Zone South) but general deer season opens this weekend for Zone D13, which covers most of the Mt Pinos Ranger District and a large portion of the Ojai District.  Click here for a map of D13.  D13 opens October 13 and lasts through November 11.

• A coalition of local Southern Los Padres trail organizations, including the LPFA, have combined forces to raise needed funds to restore the trails impacted by the Thomas Fire.  You’ll be hearing A LOT more about the Thomas Fire Trail Fund in the coming weeks/months but we have released a PDF update on the Thomas Fire trail restoration efforts, check it out here.

• Two California Condors have been found dead in recent months as a result of gunshot wounds.  One condor was found near Porterville and the other in Kern County, just outside the Los Padres.  Currently there is a $15,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for these tragic deaths.

• The LPFA will once again be printing 2019 Los Padres calendars just in time for the holidays.  We’re looking for any great photos you might have of the Los Padres that we could include in the calendar.  Email us (INFO@LPForest.org) for more information.

• The Ogilvy Fire was declared 100% contained.  The fire chewed up 172 acres and burned from September 1-4 in the Mono drainage in the Santa Barbara Backcountry.

Sycamore Canyon Road, which is used to access Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, is closed to the public Monday – Friday lasting through November 30.  The road is currently being repaired after sustaining major damage in the 2016-2017 atmospheric river storms.

• Don’t forget to check HikeLosPadres.com before your next adventure into the Los Padres.  Great place to read about water and trail conditions.  And don’t forget to share your findings when you get back…..

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The Wander-Full Southern Views Across the Chumash

National Public Lands Day! NOT TOO LATE…..

Getting Pumped for National Public Lands Day!
NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY
TOMORROW – SATURDAY – SEPT 22
It’s not too late!  Last reminder!  2018 marks the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day! NPLD is a nation-wide day dedicated to bringing volunteers into public lands and helping restore, maintain, clean and/or improve those public lands. The LPFA has been hosting NPLD projects for the past 6 years and NPLD has been a great avenue for bringing together volunteers to help the Los Padres Forest and having a great time while doing it!  This year there are four Los Padres based NPLD events spread out between Santa Barbara and Mt Pinos:

WHEELER GORGE RESTORATION & CLEANUP
SEPTEMBER 22, OJAI

See attached PDF for more information.

SB THOMAS FIRE TRAIL RESTORATION
SEPTEMBER 22, SANTA BARBARA

See attached PDF for more information.

SEPTEMBER 22, SANTA BARBARA

MT PINOS RANGER DISTRICT CLEANUP
SEPTEMBER 29, FRAZIER PARK
Scheduled for September 29, call 661-245-3731 for more information.

Or you can visit the NPLD website and search for another volunteer project near you, there are no shortages of projects around the country!  Go find yours and VOLUNTEER:
https://www.neefusa.org/event-locator

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LOS PADRES FOR $500 ALEX
For those of you in the Greater Goleta area, don’t forget to come out to Draughtsmen Aleworks Tuesday night September 25 for a special outdoors themed trivia night hosted by LPFA and DA.  It’s being MC’d by Trivia Whizz William and should be a lot of fun.  Hope to see you there and remember to order Mas Machos!


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DON’T FORGET, BLUFF CABIN WORKING VACATION OCTOBER 19-28
LOTS OF OPTIONS FOR DRIVE IN AND DRIVE OUT TIMES
INDIAN CREEK, TRAIL WORK, LOTS OF FRIENDS, AWESOME!
EMAIL: INFO@LPFOREST.ORG TO SIGN UP!

Oh So Nice, Oso Nice

Cheers to Oaks! Cheers to Trails!

The Iconic Los Padres Oak Tree
Hello Friends,

I was fortunate to spend a few weeks outside the Los Padres this summer traveling with my family.  We visited the heart of the Rockies in Colorado, explored the multi-colored canyons of Utah and backpacked the granite peaks of the Sierras.  It was great!  Hopefully many of you had similar experiences this summer.  Like all vacations, it had to come to an end and we were excited returning home on our final leg back from Colorado.  It’s always nice coming home to familiar mountains, familiar roads, a familiar bed and cursing slow California drivers who don’t move out of the fast lane?!!  But what I wasn’t expecting was how happy I’d be seeing the California oak trees.  They were different than anything we’d seen over the previous weeks, they were beautiful, they were familiar and they were home.  Oaks are everywhere across the Los Padres and I think many of us take them for granted – I’m guilty.  I sometimes wonder what outsiders think of when they think of the Los Padres?  Is it the iconic condor, our numerous hot springs or just that break in traffic between LA and the Bay?  I’d never thought of it before but perhaps it’s our familiar oak trees that best represent the Los Padres?  What do you think?

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It’s Five O’clock Somewhere – Draughtsmen Aleworks
LPFA KARMA TAP
Ready for some great news?  The LPFA has been selected as the Karma Tap at Draughtsmen Aleworks for the month of September!  Woot woot….  Draughtsmen chooses a different non-profit each month for their Karma Tap and $1 from each beer sold from the Karma Tap goes towards that non-profit.  Very cool.  The beer on tap this month is a super tasty Mexican amber lager called Mas Macho, you’ll love it, perfect for late summer!  Draughtsmen Aleworks is just a short jump off Hwy 101 in Goleta.  Be sure to come in for a Mas Macho if you live nearby or make a stop if you’re driving through (designated driver of course).  We’ve also got two events scheduled at Draughtsmen in September:

  • September 6 – 6:00pm: Karma Tap Party

    • Nothing formal, nothing organized, just come out to enjoy a Mas Macho, bring some friends, meet some friends and lets talk trails.  We’ll be upstairs.
  • September 25: LPFA Trivia Night
    • Second annual Trivia Night.  This one will be a little different than last time, more details to come….

We hope you can find some time to visit Draughtsmen Aleworks and cheers a Mas Macho over the coming weeks.  See you there……..

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Before & After, #BeforeandAfterLP – LPFA Trail Crew
THOMAS FIRE TRAIL UPDATE
One of the questions we hear most is what is the status of the trails within the Thomas Fire?  While we don’t have the space here to write about every trail impacted by Thomas, there has been some great progress made and much more on tap for the coming months:

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY: Spearheaded by Montecito Trails Foundation, the LPFA Trail Crew along with SBMTV, SBCTC and the Multi-Use Trails Coalition have been working on some of the trails above Montecito including Romero, McMenemy, Girard, Cold Spring and Buena Vista.  Most of the Thomas Fire trail work in Santa Barbara is being focused on the lower portions of the mountain mainly below the Edison Roads.  People are using and enjoying most of the trails but there is still substantial damage to upper Franklin and San Ysidro trails.  Lower Cold Spring and West Fork Cold Spring remain closed.

VENTURA COUNTY: Most of the work accomplished along the Ojai trails have been thanks to a dedicated semi-volunteer crew headed up by Mike Gourley.  Pratt and Gridley Trails have been cleared and Howard Creek is on deck.  LPFA has led a few projects in the Matilija drainage but lots more work is needed across the Ventura portion of the Thomas Fire.  Good news is that the LPFA received grant funding from REI to repair Thomas Fire impacted trails in Ventura County and that work should be starting in about a month once the temperatures cool down.  We’ll share more details as work begins.

We hope that answers some of your questions.  The trails are slowly being repaired and most of them are being hiked daily.  That being said, be safe and if you reach a point where you are uncomfortable either due to exposure, a slide across the trail or anything else – STOP and go back.  The mountains aren’t done shifting after the fire and many burned dead trees are still falling.  Be safe and if you’re interested in any volunteer opportunities please let us know: INFO@LPForest.org

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The Friendly Conifer Confines, Campo Alto

FOREST 411

• This Saturday September 8 we welcome Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait to Wheeler Gorge to share her stories.  The talk starts at 11am at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center up Hwy 33.  This is a great talk for both kids and adults.  Hope you can make it…..

• The BLM is seeking public input on the environmental impacts related to fracking across potentially 400,000 acres of BLM land and 1.2 million acres of Federal land including portions of Kern, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.  There is no shortage of information related to this topic across the internet.  A Google search should get you whatever you need.  Public comment is due September 7.  Make your voice be heard…….

The Front Fire, which burned over 1,000 acres last month, was officially contained as of Wednesday August 29.  The area around Rockfront remains closed due to the fire.  Cause of the fire remains under investigation.

• The Santa Barbara Backcountry had a fire this past weekend called the Ogilvy Fire.  It burned approximately 175 acres along Mono Creek near Ogilvy Ranch.  It has not been fully contained but is not expected to grow.  Cause of the fire has not been shared.