Thankful Los Padres Givings

Kids + Trail + Forest + Time to Explore = Next Generation of Los Padres Lovers

Hello Friends – Happy belated Thanksgiving!

Throughout the year we hear so much negative noise circulating around the forest.  The media regularly shares articles about what is not working in the Los Padres, the latest forest-related lawsuits, illegal pot grows, destructive wildfires, closures and photos of damaged forest land.  While it’s critically important to stay aware of all these ‘negatives’ and work to prevent unwanted change, it’s just as critically important to revisit why we love the Los Padres and what ‘positives’ are happening around the forest.  It can’t all be negative.  In fact, for every negative we hear, there are dozens of positives across the forest that are most likely not being heard.  It’s easy to leave negative feedback or write a bad review, lets flip that script and instead focus on some of the really cool, helpful and inspiring people, organizations and programs that are working to benefit the forest.  What better time of the year to focus on the positives than Thanksgiving and the Holidays, right?
— • — • — • —

FRANKLIN TRAIL
A group of mainly Carpinteria based trail-lovers have been working the past decade to reopen, construct and restore the historic/new Franklin Trail in the hills above Carpinteria.  Unfortunately, here in the Los Padres we don’t hear the words ‘construct’, ‘new’ and ‘trail’ in the same sentence too often.  The idea of bringing the Franklin Trail back from the dead must have seemed farfetched but that didn’t stop the Carp trail community from making it happen.  They got organized, formed an organization called Friends of Franklin Trail, raised funds and worked with the Forest Service to get their dream off the ground.  The Santa Barbara County Trails Council with the guidance of Ray Ford took the lead on the trail design and with the help of countless volunteers and trail stewards they were successful in getting the Franklin Trail back on the map.  If you’ve not explored the Franklin Trail, put it on your list, do it this week if you can – it’s spectacular!  And even more spectacular is how the community of Carpinteria has embraced the trail.  Franklin has become a source of pride for Carpinteria and the local trail-users actively work to keep the trail maintained and improved.  A great example is the 3rd Annual Franklin Trail Turkey Trot where trail-users are sponsored and get donations for each time they use the trail in November which has raised thousands of dollars to continue work on their beloved Franklin Trail.  If you’re interested, the Turkey Trot Celebration is this Friday 12/1 at Island Brewing in Carpinteria.  This example of a community dreaming of more trails, organizing, working with the Forest Service, successfully reestablishing a trail and staying engaged to maintain that trail is an incredible accomplishment.  Big thanks to everyone involved and lets hope other communities can follow this Franklin Trail blueprint in order to build new trails in their neck of the forest as well.
— • — • — • —


Recently Restored Tinta Trail

VOLUNTEER TRAIL WORK

Trails are the main artery used by people to access and enjoy the Los Padres Forest.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a birdwatcher, a mountain biker, a hunter or a backpacker; you’ll be using some of the over 1,200 miles of Los Padres trails to get where you want to be.  Unfortunately, Los Padres trails are some of the most difficult to maintain.  Chaparral grows so fast, needing to be worked every year or two.  Trees fall across the trails and fires can alter the trail landscape for the better part of a decade.  So how are the trails kept open?  The Forest Service oversees trail maintenance but most of the boots on the ground efforts come from the numerous Los Padres non-profit trail organizations and the the volunteers who work with these groups.  If you’ve not taken a day or a weekend to volunteer on a trail project, you have to find a way to make that happen.  You’d be surprised at how much fun a day of hard work along the trails can be.  It’s a chance to meet like-minded friends, get outside in the forest and the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel on your way out is what keeps people coming back for more.  The LPFA alone accounted for over 12,000 volunteer hours this past year and there are many other great trail groups up and down the Los Padres who host regular trail projects as well.  Get involved if you can, volunteer, give back to the trails you use and love, you won’t be disappointed.  Check the calendar of projects below and sign up for a project near you.

— • — • — • —

HPS Sierra Club Volunteers, photo Mark Allen – Patagonia Volunteers, photo Aanjelae Rhoads

VOLUNTEER GROUP WORK
Another great way to get out and volunteer in the Los Padres is by organizing your company, organization and/or friends to maintain or adopt a Los Padres trail.  There are fantastic examples of companies providing an option for their employees to spend a “service day” working on a trail.  Sort of like a Habitat For Humanity but instead of building homes they’re maintaining trails.  It’s a great way to get outside, often times your company will pay for your service day and trail work is a fantastic team-building exercise as well.  This format also works for groups or organizations who use the forest but aren’t trained in trail maintenance.  Student organizations from university’s and High Schools have also come together to help the forest.  A great example is the Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai which sends students out each year to help for a weekend around Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center.  The VWA has also had great success getting school groups involved with their programs.  There are great examples of groups and companies up and down the forest partnering with all the usual Los Padres volunteer organizations.  Get involved.  Sign up your company, your church group, your friends – you’ll have a great time and will be helping the forest with a smile on your face.  For more information check with your local Los Padres Ranger District of email INFO@LPForest.org.
— • — • — • —

Just Another Cuyama Peak Sunrise

SCOUT PROJECTS
There have been some really great scout projects across the Los Padres over the past year or two.  While the forest has benefited from just about all levels of scouting, the most popular service project is an Eagle Project where the scout performs a larger scale project for the benefit of the community, or in this case the Los Padres Forest.  We’ve seen scouts restore and replace forest signs, rebuild and clean damaged forest structures, maintain campsites and create educational material designed to teach forest-users how to properly recreate in the forest.  The LPFA has had the pleasure of working with a few of these scouts and it’s so refreshing seeing a teenager take a concept, formulate an idea, develop a plan and then execute on that plan.  Scouting projects are a great way to get younger people involved with the forest while at the same time providing a tangible outcome that benefits the forest.  Very cool program!  If you know any scouts who might want to tackle a forest-related project, contact your local Ranger District or email INFO@LPForest.org for ideas and assistance.

— • — • — • —

Three Concrete Crossings along Davy Brown & Munch Creeks

FOREST 411
• The Forest Service announced last week that longtime Los Padres employee Tony Martinez has been appointed the new Mt Pinos District Ranger.  Welcome and congratulations Ranger Martinez!  For more information click here.

• The Los Padres National Forest, in conjunction with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is working on a proposal to improve aquatic organism passage along Munch and Davy Brown Creeks by removing three concrete water crossings and replacing two of them with bridges.  If you’ve ever driven Sunset Valley Road to NIRA, the two main crossings are between Davy Brown Campground and the lower Manzana Trailhead.  See attached document for specifics.  The Forest Service will be hosting an open house to discuss this proposal on November 30, 4-6pm at the Santa Lucia District Office in Santa Maria.

• The LPFA 2018 Los Padres wall calendars are going to the printer later this week.  They cost only $15 but will provide you a years worth of priceless Los Padres vistas, scenery, wildlife and stoke!  Get em while you can, you can order them here.

Brookshire, La Panza and Miranda Pine Campgrounds are currently closed as older pit toilets are removed and replaced with new vault toilets.  See here for more information, they are expected to be closed for 3-4 more weeks.

Condors continue their remarkable recovery as four new juvenile condors will be released into the San Simeon flock by the end of the year.

• There was an interesting article posted in the SLO New Times earlier this month discussing recent wildlife population trends and how those trends relate to drought, agriculture and changes in hunting restrictions.  It’s a good read.

• Due to potential storm related closures, camping at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park will become first-come first-serve only starting December 1, 2017 and lasting through April 30, 2018.

— • — • — • —
The Epic Thorn Point View, and getting there is more than half the fun!

LPFA Used Gear Sale

Los Padres Spring Trail
TrailCrystalize
LPFA USED GEAR SALE

NOVEMBER 7, 10am – 2pm
TUCKER’S GROVE, SITE 5
SANTA BARBARA / GOLETA
The LPFA is really excited to announce a used backpacking/camping gear sale on November 7 at Tucker’s Grove in Goleta / SB.  This is a great opportunity to buy some great secondhand gear at reduced prices and also to donate or sell on-consignment some of your old gear.  The sale will feature secondhand camping / backpacking gear including camp stoves, tents, backpacks, camping technology, cooking gear, hiking poles, etc…..  If you’d like to participate or help, here’s how:
 
DONATE / SELL GEAR:
• If you can’t make it on November 7th but would like to donate some of your gear, we will be collecting gear starting Monday October 19th at the Forest Service Supervisors Office in Goleta.  The collection hours are Monday through Friday 8am – 12:00pm, 1pm – 4:30pm.  Ask for Jennifer Gray and she’ll have all the information you need for donating your gear or putting it on consignment.  We’ll provide tax donation receipts for ALL gear donated!
• We’ll also be collecting used gear on November 7 starting at 8am at Site 5 Tucker’s Grove.  We’re hoping to gather all the used gear by 10am when the sale starts.  Bring it early, we’ll have a team of gear gurus on-hand to help price the gear and get it lined up for the public.  Any questions, let us know: INFO@LPForest.org
GET SOME GEAR:
• If you want to check out the gear, show up on November 7 between 10 and 2pm at Site 5 Tucker’s Grove.  We’ll have gear gurus available to talk about sizing or any other gear questions you might have.  We’ll have maps, books and other LP-centric products available as well.  We’ll also have some Dutch Oven cooking available for sampling compliments of Rich Scholl.
VOLUNTEER:
• If you are interested in helping with the sale, we certainly could use volunteers to help with the process. Email INFO@LPForest.org if interested in helping!  
This will be a great way for you to gear up for the upcoming backpacking season and also a fun way to give some of your used gear back to the trail community.  Not to mention all proceeds are going to the Los Padres Adopt-A-Trail program which is launching later this fall.  Hope to see all of you there.

GearSaleFlier

LPFA Used Gear Sale: NOVEMBER 7, TUCKER’S GROVE

Down to Indian Creek, October 2015
IndianTrail

Hello Everyone,

Wow, did you get to see the thunderstorms yesterday?  A good portion of the LP had some fantastic thunder and lightning yesterday afternoon.  While the fireworks were impressive, most of the forest received just traces of actual rainfall.  Outside of the Sierra Madre’s, which received nearly half an inch, most of the weather stations across the forest had totals under a tenth of an inch.  More unstable weather is on tap for this afternoon but probably not like what we had yesterday.  I keep thinking that our first freeze has to be coming soon but so far our weird summer of weather continues to throw curve balls.  Probably has something to do with the irregular climate changes affecting the equatorial Pacific right now.  😉

UsedGear
LPFA USED GEAR SALE

NOVEMBER 7, 10am – 2pm
TUCKER’S GROVE, SITE 5
SANTA BARBARA / GOLETA
The LPFA is really excited to announce a used backpacking/camping gear sale on November 7 at Tucker’s Grove in Goleta / SB.  This is a great opportunity to buy some great secondhand gear at reduced prices and also to donate or sell on-consignment some of your old gear.  The sale will feature secondhand camping / backpacking gear including camp stoves, tents, backpacks, camping technology, cooking gear, hiking poles, etc…..  If you’d like to participate or help, here’s how:

DONATE / SELL GEAR:
• If you can’t make it on November 7th but would like to donate some of your gear, we will be collecting gear starting Monday at the Forest Service Supervisors Office in Goleta.  The collection hours are Monday through Friday 8am – 12:00pm, 1pm – 4:30pm.  Ask for Jennifer Gray and she’ll have all the information you need for donating your gear or putting it on consignment.  We’ll provide tax donation receipts for ALL gear donated!

• We’ll also be collecting used gear on November 7 starting at 8am at Site 5 Tucker’s Grove.  We’re hoping to gather all the used gear by 10am when the sale starts.  Bring it early, we’ll have a team of gear gurus on-hand to help price the gear and get it lined up for the public.  Any questions, let us know:  INFO@LPForest.org

GET SOME GEAR:
• If you want to check out the gear, show up on November 7 between 10 and 2pm at Site 5 Tucker’s Grove.  We’ll have gear gurus available to talk about sizing or any other gear questions you might have.  We’ll have maps, books and other LP-centric products available as well.  We’ll also have some Dutch Oven cooking available for sampling compliments of Rich Scholl.

VOLUNTEER:
• If you are interested in helping with the sale, we certainly could use volunteers to help with the process. Email INFO@LPForest.org if interested in helping!

We’ll have fliers going out next week to further promote the event but this will be a great way for you to gear up for the upcoming backpacking season and also a fun way to give some of your used gear back to the trail community.  Not to mention proceeds are going to the Adopt-A-Trail program which is launching later this fall.  Hope to see all of you there.

Bear Family Tracks, Mono Creek
BearTracks
UPCOMING EVENTS

October 8-28: ACE Trail Crew on Alamar Trail
October 16-18: LPFA Madulce Trail Crosscut Sawyer Project
October 17-18: VWA Big Sur Trail Project
October 17: Backpacking Made Easy, Santa Barbara, James Wapotich
October 17: Trails, Ales, and Photography benefit for Franklin Trail

LOS PADRES: Madulce Trail Project & Upcoming Used Gear Sale

Hi Everyone – Happy Wednesday!

We wanted to pass along two upcoming projects/events that the LPFA will be sponsoring in the coming months.  Hope you can make it.  Thanks and more to come soon……


Madulce Trail Collage

MadulceCollage
MADULCE TRAIL PROJECT
OCTOBER 16-18
The LPFA is hosting a 2-3 day trail project the weekend of October 16-18 and could use your help on the volunteer trail crew.  We’re hoping to have a morning and afternoon departure time on Friday the 16th from Upper Oso Campground to drive the 1.5hrs out to Bluff Cabin.  We’ll most likely be using Bluff as our basecamp for both Friday and Saturday nights.  Those who arrive Friday morning will spend Friday afternoon working the Alamar Trail to remove 12 trees that remain across the trail from our project earlier this month.  Saturday will be our big trail day and we’ll work the first 2 miles of the Madulce Trail from the Buckhorn Rd down towards Madulce Camp.  There are at least 20 downed trees (ranging from 18-36″) along this section of trail and some trail tread work needed as well.  The trail starts around 6,000ft in elevation so the temperatures will be cooler and most of the work will be amongst mature pine trees.  LPFA will be providing food for dinner Friday and Saturday and breakfast Saturday and Sunday.  We have room for 30 volunteers.  If you’d like to sign up or for more questions, please contact project leader Mike Smith:  TrailSmith@LPForest.org





Just a few of the packs looking for a new home, photo Ranger Rik
RikBackpacks
VWR / AAT BACKPACKING GEAR SALE
NOVEMBER 7
For those of you gearing up for the 2015-16 backpacking season, or those looking to pass along your used gear from the 2014-15 season, we’ve got an event for you.  On Saturday November 7 the LPFA will be hosting a used gear sale in Santa Barbara.  We’re still working out the details but be sure to put the date on your calendar.  This is a great opportunity for you to pick up some great high quality second hand gear or to bring your great high quality second hand gear and sell it to a new owner.  Most of the gear will be of the backpacking variety but all camping gear will be available for purchase and sale.  In addition to the gear, we’ll be having some Volunteer Wilderness Ranger demonstrations, booths from trail organizations, Adopt-A-Trail introduction, food and an opportunity to learn as much as you possibly can about the Los Padres trails and camps.  If you have any questions please let us know and remember to put November 7 on your calendar:  INFO@LPForest.org

Labor on Adopt-A-Trail

Bombing Cuesta, photo Shaw
Cuesta Fire Drop

Happy Labor Day Everyone,

I love Labor Day, it’s our day!  Right?  Labor day is “a public holiday or day of festivities held in honor of working people”.  That’s what I’m talking about, a break from work to celebrate the fact that most of your time is spent working.  I’m okay with that.  Labor Day also marks the end of summer and the oncoming of Fall or backcountry season here in the Los Padres.  You can see it coming.  Trees are changing colors ever so slightly, it’s dark now at 8pm and the mornings are just a little cooler.  It’s always a little sad to say goodbye to summer but I get really fired-up saying hello to Fall and Winter.  Bring it on……

Speaking of labor, big thanks to everyone who fought the Cuesta Fire in SLO County.  The fire is now 100% contained and even with a few flareup scares over the past weeks; the FS, CalFire and others were able to fight it back and keep it under control.  Cuesta ended up burning 2,446 acres and lasted nearly two weeks.  Great work and thank you to everyone involved, I hope you also find some downtime this weekend to celebrate your labor!




AAT Off and Running, photo Spicer
REI Check
ADOPT-A-TRAIL  LOS PADRES
The LPFA is excited to announce that we won an REI partner grant and will be kicking off and publicizing an Adopt-A-Trail program in the Los Padres.  While Adopt-A-Trail is nothing new and there are dozens of similar programs around the country, there hasn’t been a large scale active program in the Los Padres.  We’re looking forward to working with the Forest Service, trail organizations, corporate sponsors and volunteers to help facilitate a program where everyone can help make a difference on their favorite trail.  Many many more details to come.  We’re hoping to officially launch the program in early November during a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger BBQ event.  Again, more details to come.  We hope you’re all excited about the potential of being able to help your favorite trail.  If you have any questions or need more information, please contact AAT@LPForest.org



Another New Kiosk Installed, Lower NIRA Trailhead, photo Fosters
NIRA Kiosk
EVENTS UPCOMING

September 17: Wilderness Protection Summit, Santa Cruz Sierra Club & VWA
September 25-27: LPFA NPLD Alamar Trail Crosscut Sawyer Project

September 26-27: VWA Pico Blanco NPLD Trail Project
September 26: NPLD Santa Barbara, Upper Cold Spring
October 3: Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Monterey in support of the VWA
October 16-18: LPFA Madulce Trail Crosscut Sawyer Project (NOTE NEW DATE)
October 24: Wilderness Symposium, Ojai, Los Padres Chapter Sierra Club
November 7: AAT Launch & VWR Appreciation, Santa Barbara
December 4-6: LPFA Lower Mono-Alamar Trail Project

If you have any events to share, please send them our way.
Enjoy the long weekend…….