Fire Openings Across the Los Padres

FIRE OPENINGS & RESTRICTIONS

Hello Los Padres & Happy Holidays – It’s been a monumental day in the LP with quite a few shakeups that most of you will be happy to hear about.  Lets get to it!

Earlier today the Forest Service lifted the fire closures on the REY FIRE, SHERPA FIRE and PINE FIRE.  All regular recreational activities are now permitted within these fire perimeters.  This includes hiking, camping, riding and biking & OHV where applicable and legal.

In addition, the Forest Service reduced the closure of the Soberanes Fire and opened up most of the southern portion of the Monterey Ranger District.  The heart of the Soberanes burn area remains closed and will most likely stay closed through next spring.  For more information on all the fire openings and adjusted closures, check this link here and see the attached map showing the current Soberanes Fire closure.

Want more?  On November 29 the Forest Service downgraded the fire restrictions from Level IV to Level II.  Level II allows portable stoves across the forest, campfires at Designated Campfire Use Sites and target shooting at designated locations.  Check the links for more details.

The changing of these closures is somewhat unexpected but it is good news, at least for most of us.  Please remember that the hillsides and trails within the burn areas are still settling.  Be careful, tread lightly, avoid during rain, listen to your internal ‘common sense meter’ and have a backup plan in case the trail you’d like to explore is impassable.  Otherwise, have at it!

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2017 LOS PADRES CALENDAR
The 2017 LPFA wall calendars are done, they’ve been sent to the printers and we should have them in-hand and ready to distribute by December 15!  Thank you to everyone who contributed photos for the calendar.  We had over 125 photos submitted by almost 30 different photographers.  It was hard work paring down the photos and selecting the final pictures that would appear in the calendar but we think the calendar turned out really nice.  We’ve got a good collection of photos from across the forest and covering themes from wildlife to wildfire, flowers to trailwork and sea level to almost 9,000ft.  If you like the Los Padres, we think you’ll love the calendar.  If you’d like to purchase a calendar, pre-sale is still available at the following link.  Thanks so much again to everyone who helped out and have a great 2017!
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Cottonwood Fallburst, photo Heidi Anderson
UPCOMING EVENTS

We spent some time this past week scheduling the 2017 LPFA volunteer trail projects.  2017 will hopefully be highlighted by a Working Vacation based at Manzana Schoolhouse in April and a second Working Vacation at Madulce in May – we’ll keep you updated.  In the meantime, our next backcountry trail project is December 16-18 working down the Judell Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness.  We’ll be car-camping at the trailhead and working down from the top removing fallen trees and brush from the trail corridor.  We’re also working on some sort of holiday theme for the weekend, so you might want to get your ugly Xmas sweaters out of the closet and primed for action.  If you’re interested in helping that weekend, email us at INFO@LPForest.org or email project leader Mike Smith at TrailSmith@LPForest.org.

And lastly, if you enjoy these email updates and appreciate the information we provide, become a LPFA member and support the cause.  We’ll send you a sticker and perhaps a few other goodies but more than anything else your membership helps drive the ship and keep us doing what we do best – working the trails, educating the public and helping the forest along the way.  You can click here for the membership page and thank you for reading this far along – perhaps we should become members of you……

Los Padres Thanksgiving & New Years Calendars

  Wild Turkey in Paradise; Paradise Rd, Los Padres – photo Humphrey
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving weekend is literally hours away and there is lots to be thankful for here in the Los Padres.  It might not seem like it at times with wildfires, closures, drought, etc but you gotta look past that and focus on the positives.  Positives like ocean fog through redwoods, finding new trails, freezing mornings sipping coffee, that final cut with the crosscut saw or driving to the trailhead.  We’re not going to get too sappy but wanted to thank you all for your support and help over the years.  Be sure to take some time this weekend in between eating, football, family and cooking to think about what you are thankful for and try to do something to show your gratitude.  Sounds easy enough but sometimes time gets in the way.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Now go eat, be merry and spend time with loved ones…….

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2017 LOS PADRES CALENDARS
Back again by popular demand, the LPFA will be producing a 2017 wall calendar featuring spectacular sights from across the Los Padres Forest.  And just like last year, WE COULD USE YOUR HELP!  If you have a great photo or two that are worthy of being included within the calendar, we’d love to see them!  If we use your photo in the calendar, we’ll credit you and send you a complimentary calendar.  We’re looking for anything Los Padres related.  If could be an epic sunset, a shot of local LP wildlife, a trail work project, a view from your favorite trail, your favorite creek or waterfall – anything LP’centric and awesome.  Please send to INFO@LPForest.org.  We won’t disclose locations, so don’t worry about spoiling your favorite spots.  All photos need to be submitted by the end of the month, we are hoping to send the calendar to the printers on December 1.  We won’t use your photos for anything other than the calendar without your permission.

And if you’d like to pre-order a 2017 calendar, you can order online here.  Thanks everyone, looking forward to seeing your photos and I’m already looking forward to National Lemon Meringue Pie Day – which of course is August 15, 2017!


One of 25+ Downed Trees on Lower Manzana, photo Curt Cragg
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LOWER MANZANA TREE CLEARING
REI started a really cool program last year called ‘Opt Outside’ where they are closing their doors on perhaps the busiest shopping day of the year (Black Friday) and instead encouraging their employees to get outside and enjoy nature.  While Opt Outside might have started as a publicity campaign, it’s turned into a movement with other retailers following suit or donating sales revenue from Black Friday to non-profits or environmental organizations.  Good stuff for sure – well done REI.

Anyway, the LPFA tried hard to get on board and lead an Opt Outside Black Friday event this year but for one reason or another we just couldn’t get it to work.  BUT, instead of Friday, we’ll be leading a Sunday 11/27 one-day trail maintenance project working to remove fallen trees along the Lower Manzana Trail downstream from NIRA Campground.  Curt Cragg will be the trail leader and has reported over 25 downed trees of varying complexity and size.  If you’re looking for an excuse to get out and work off that tryptophan, this is a great trip for you!  For more information check out the link here and we hope to see you on Sunday 11/27 along the Lower Manzana.  And maybe you’ll even get a photo to contribute to the calendar…….!!??!!

Giving Thanks for the Los Padres

A Thankful Los Padres Ursus
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Most of us will celebrate Thanksgiving this week.  While historically Thanksgiving was a day to give thanks for a successful harvest, today it is used to celebrate anything and everything we are thankful for – which is great.  Turkey Day is a fantastic excuse to take some time and reflect on all you have to be thankful for.  Then after that, stuff your face and watch football…..   Kidding aside, we all have much to be thankful for.  The above photo was sent to us earlier this month showing a Los Padres black bear traipsing across a small meadow during his/her daily rounds.  It got me thinking how thankful we all should be to have wild spaces and enough room in the Los Padres for great animals to roam.  Be it the condor, elk, fish, bear or humans; we’re very fortunate to have vast spaces to wander and explore in the LP.  There’s a billion other reasons to be thankful, almost all of them are more important than this one, but it’s really cool thinking of that bear and all his neighbors doing their thing out there right now.



FOREST 411

Couple tidbits from across the Forest, if you have anything to add, please send our way:

• The 20th Annual Volunteer Wilderness Ranger Training will be January 23-24 at the Los Prietos Compound, Santa Barbara Ranger District.  Much more information to come but we wanted to make sure you all get it on your calendars.  20 years is certainly reason to celebrate.

• The Mt. Pinos Ranger District has announced their seasonal closures which start today.  See attached document for specifics.

Franklin Trail Fundraiser on December 2.  The Santa Barbara Trails Council is hosting a Happy Hour to help raise funds for the Franklin Trail and thank the Sierra Club for their contributions to the trail.  More information here.

• A cold front is crossing the LP over the coming days.  Freezing temps are expected across most of the forest.  While rain is expected in the northern LP, not much is expected to fall south of the Santa Ynez Valley and Sespe Creek.

• In October, the Ventana Wilderness Alliance headed up an effort to bring Leave No Trace to the Pine Ridge Trail in order to evaluate the impact along the trail and recommend a course of action to help alleviate the impacts.  While out there, LNT came across Flyin’ Brian Robinson, the famous thru-hiker.  He gave a nice short interview on LNT and why it’s important.  Worth checking out here.

• Yeti Coolers released a great short video talking about the Los Padres Outfitters and some of their history between Tony Alvis and Graham.  You can view it here.

• While the Los Padres Charter Sierra Club Condor Call has been out now for a few weeks old, if you haven’t checked it out, it’s certainly worth a read as well.  Click here.

Yes, it’s Calendar Season
Calendar
Back by popular demand, the LPFA will be producing 2016 calendars featuring pictures of the spectacular sights from around the Los Padres Forest. AND WE COULD USE YOUR HELP. If you have a great photo or two that you think is worthy of being included within the calendar, please send it to INFO@LPForest.org. We’ll need your name and what month you think it best represents – no need to include the location, we don’t want to spoil your secrets. If we use your photo, we’ll credit you and send you a calendar. Sound okay?

The LPFA produced 4 years of calendars from 2008-2011 highlighting waterfalls. This time around we’re opening it up to anything Los Padres related. Could be an epic sunset, a photo of wildlife, a view from your favorite trail or even a waterfall. If you have something great to share, we’d love to see it. All photos need to be sent and finalized by December 10. We won’t use your photos for anything other than the calendar without your permission. We’ll have information on how to get a calendar by mid-December, just in time for the holidays. If you have any other questions, let us know……. Thanks, looking forward to seeing some great photos.




The window, barely open….. photo Slattery
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Happy Thanksgiving everyone and hope you find some trail time over the long weekend………