Santa Barbara Canyon Oak Clearing

The LPFA scouted Santa Barbara Canyon Trail in March and found this rather large and complicated oak tree blocking the trail.  There was a passable reroute around the tree that both hikers and equestrians were using but it wasn’t right so we scheduled a weekend to get out there and clear the tree.

Using a five foot felling crosscut saw it took two sawyers over 5 hours, spanning parts of two days in order to clear the trail.  The tree required 24 cuts and some crafty levering and rolling to maneuver the heavy cut rounds off the trail.

The end result is a cleared trail and some great satisfaction for a job well done.  Lets just hope that rootball doesn’t fall anytime soon.

If any of you come across large downed trees in your travels across the Los Padres, let us know and we’ll see if we can lineup a sawyer team to help out.

How Bout Them Noodles?

Lost Valley Trail Maintenance Working Vacation

Lost Valley Trail Maint. Working Vacation

Los Padres Forest Association        

April 8th – April 17th 2016

 

Trip Purpose – The main purpose of this trip was to perform brushing and tread-work in the areas heavily covered in brush. Remove debris slides and cut out and remove the estimated 10 downed trees blocking the Lost Valley Trail from the lower trailhead starting at the Lost Valley/Manzana trail intersection and ending at the Hurricane Deck trail intersection. This trail took heavy debris damage during the August 2015 thunderstorms.

Water Conditions – Water conditions were about as expected considering 5 years of drought. The creek bed had some wet areas in the lower 2 miles. The dependable wet area, ¾ miles below twin oaks, was wet and vulture springs was trickling. Packers brought us water for camp every other day or so.

Weather Conditions – We experienced rain the first 3 days of the project and stayed at NIRA, then moved camp to Twin Oaks and finished the project from there. The remaining 7 days were mostly clear with highs in the high 70’s and low 80’s.

Description of Work/Surveys Accomplished

Project Overview

  1. Bucked out 10 fallen trees along the entire Lost Valley Trail.
  2. With the total length of the Lost Valley Trail being about 8 miles, we cleared the first 5 miles to Vulture Springs to full LPFA standard. We also completely cleared the remaining 3 miles from Vulture Springs to hurricane deck of all trees and heavy brushing and worked on tread areas in problem spots.

Trip Overview – This 10-day working vacation was originally planned for the Madulce Trail. However, rainy weather during the first few days, caused concern for getting pack animals safely in and out of camp and up the infamous heartbreak hill.

So we moved the project to the Lost Valley Trail, which sustained heavy damage during the August 2015 thunderstorms. That particular weather event brought down trees and debris slides, making the trail nearly impassable to hikers.

We car-camped the first 3 days of the project at NIRA while working on the first few miles of the Lost Valley Trail. After the weather cleared, and the remaining work was farther up the trail, we moved to Twin Oaks Camp to continue our efforts.

The trip was very successful overall, especially as an alternate to the original plan. Each day we broke into several teams, performing brushing, tread-work and/or tree removal as needed.

Future Projects for the area – The remaining 3 miles, from Vulture springs to hurricane deck, need to be completed to Full LPFA standard. A multi-day trip, with workers staying at cowboy camp and packers bringing water to camp, will make working this section feasible. This will allow us to work on the East Hurricane deck section simultaneously.

Backcountry users observed in the area – We observed several groups of day-hikers and backpackers in the Manzana trail and NIRA camp areas. On the final day of the project, a couple of backpackers who hiked the middle-deck loop mentioned that they were very pleased to hike a freshly worked Lost Valley Trail.

Cuesta Fire Dodging Lead Bullets

Image, NASA
NasaImage

A series of fires were started last Sunday evening as a result of a northbound truck along Hwy 101 in SB and SLO Counties dragging a chain and the sparks from that chain igniting roadside vegetation.  The largest of these fires has become the Cuesta Fire and was started along the Cuesta Grade just outside of San Luis Obispo.  The fire started along the south slope of East Cuesta and has spread quickly from there.  As of now the fire has grown to 3,500 acres and is 20% contained.  Thanks to the diligence of the fire fighters and support crews, the fire heading towards containment and the evacuation order for Santa Margarita residents has been lifted.  Currently the fire is being pushed east into the Santa Lucia Wilderness.  Word on the street is that the fire will be fully contained by the middle of next week.  Good news is that the onshore marine layer appears strong over the coming days and below average temperatures are expected into early next week.  Many many thanks to everyone helping with the fire.  With all the fires raging across the West, resources are thin and the amount of work and planning that goes into fighting a fire is astounding.  For those of you in Twitter land, following fires through social media brings you the best and most up-to-date information possible.  You can follow the Cuesta Fire here.





 

Photo, Ventana Wildlife Society
CondorLead
GET THE LEAD OUT

As you might be aware, most of the Los Padres is currently in A-Zone South hunting season.  One of the hot local hunting topics over the past decade has been trying to ban lead bullets and instead use copper.  The use of lead bullets is directly related to condor mortality.  You can browse online for days and days about this topic but real quick:- Hunter shoots deer with lead bullet.
– Deer runs away before dying in bushes.
– Hunter is unable to find dead deer.
– Condors feed on dead deer.
– Condors ingest lead bullet fragments.
– Condors get lead poisoning.
– Condors get sick or die.

It is strongly encouraged for hunters within the Condor Range to switch to copper instead of lead.  For those who want to learn more or make the switch, Salinas based Ventana Wildlife Society has tons of information online and they even host a monthly free copper ammunition giveaway.  You enter your name into the drawing, fill out a few questions and each month they raffle out free copper ammunition.  It’s a great program, to say the least.  You can learn more on the Ventana Wildlife Society’s page here.

 




 

Finish Line, Santa Barbara 100 Endurance Run
RaceStartFinish
ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, GO!

Are you an athlete?  Runner?  Mountain Biker?  Just like to get out, exercise and participate?  Well, chances are you’ll be interested in one of these upcoming events:

SANTA BARBARA 100 MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE: October 3, 2015
This 100 and 50 mile ride crosses the SB Backcountry utilizing a series of dirt roads and single tracks.  This will be the 2nd annual running of the event and it got rave reviews last year.  If you are a mountain biker, be sure to check this out.  More information:
http://www.santabarbaramtbclassic.com/?q=home

BIG SUR RIVER RUN: October 24, 2015
Now in its 35th year, the Big Sur River Run offers a 5k walk and 10k run through the redwoods at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.  Proceeds from the event support the Big Sur Health Center and the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade.
http://www.bigsurriverrun.org/

PATAGONIA SALMON RUN: November 8, 2015
This year marks the 22nd year of the Patagonia Salmon Run in Ventura.  The Salmon Run is a fun spirited 5k race that follows the banks of the Ventura River.  Don’t let the fun spirit foul ya, there are some fast runners in the field as well.
http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=15737

Hope to see you at one of the upcoming races…….



Say cheese!
An all-star crew of Los Padres VWR’s took a summertime field trip to work the
Manter Meadow and Woodpecker Trails in the Southern Sierras’ Domeland Wilderness.
SawyerSierras
CALENDAR

September 25-27: LPFA NPLD Alamar Trail Crosscut Sawyer Project
September 26-27: VWA Pico Blanco NPLD Trail Project
September 26: NPLD Frontcountry Santa Barbara, Location TBD
October 9-11: LPFA Madulce Trail Crosscut Sawyer Project

More details on each event in coming e-newsletters………

Be safe everyone and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, where right now we’re discussion best ways to wash your down sleeping bag.  Amazing the things you can learn on the internet.

Thanks for the read……..