Working Gear Big Beer Karma Sur Sale Vacation

Western Start (not end) of the Mission Pine Trail
Greetings Everyone – Hello,

It’s finally October!  The nights are getting cooler, the days shorter, fall is setting in, the creeks are flowing a bit better and it is officially time to ride/walk/run/skip/worm the trails!  The LPFA is setting up a busy fall schedule of trail maintenance projects, forest-related events, camp cleanups and trail surveys.  We’d love to have you come along as your schedule permits.  Excuse the shameless self promotion:

MISSION PINE SPRING W.V.

In addition to the regularly scheduled weekend/day trail projects, we try to lead three larger week-long volunteer projects each year that we call Working Vacations.  Generally we schedule one in the fall and then two each spring.  This year our fall project will be along the Mission Pine Trail based at beautiful Mission Pine Spring Camp (MPS).  The project kicks off on Friday 10/20 as the pack stock move in to help support the trail work.  The volunteer crews arrive Saturday 10/21 and we’ll be spending the next week at MPS working the trail out towards Mission Pine Basin and back up towards San Rafael Mtn.  Most of the work will be lopping back manzanita and ceonothus that has been encroaching on the trail but there will also be some crosscut saw work and tread restoration as well.  While the project lasts parts of 10 days (10/20 – 10/29), there are options for shorter hitches if your work/life schedule won’t allow a week in the woods.  We’re able to drive in 8 miles to McKinley Saddle and from there it’s a quick 4 miles to MPS Camp.  If you can break away for 3+ days to help the trails, we’ll do our best to get you rides in & out and feed you while you’re in camp.  Backcountry chef extraordinaire Rich Scholl has signed on to be the camp cook once again – YES!  If interested or to sign up please email us at: INFO@LPForest.org.
— • — • — • —


Gear Gurus Rik & Paul, photo Sue Green

LPFA USED CAMPING GEAR SALE

Yeah – baby!  This Sunday 10/8 is the 3rd Annual Used Camping Gear Sale at Tucker’s Grove Site #2 in Goleta.  Our hero Rik, whose forest resume is too long to list here, is the master of ceremonies for the event and is also an Ambassador for Gossamer Gear.  Rik spends literally hundreds of hours each year compiling, cleaning and arranging gear for this sale.  It’s great that this sale helps the LPFA Trail Care program but more than anything else Rik does this to share his stoke of the trails with anyone interested in getting off the pavement.  It’s amazing how much great stuff is available.  We’ve got over 40 backpacks, a dozen tents, hiking poles, cook sets, stoves, clothes, camp gadgets and gizmos – we even have a tent space heater!  While most of our gear is lightweight or UL, we’ve got car-camping covered as well.  Come on out this Sunday and check it for yourself.  And in case you want to clean out your garage a little, there is still time to donate your used gear as well.  You can bring it to the sale on Sunday (arrive early please) or shoot us an email and we’ll arrange a pickup today or tomorrow (INFO@LPForest.org).  Thanks to EVERYONE who has already graciously donated their used gear – so cool!  We’ll see you Sunday and if you don’t know Rik, Paul, Valerie, John, Ron, Jasonn and all the other volunteers who will be helping, introduce yourself and say hello.  They can help with just about any questions you’ll have as well…..
— • — • — • —


Beer, Karma & Trails – DRAUGHTSMEN ALEWORKS

LPFA KARMA BEER

Goleta based brewery Draughtsmen Aleworks has dedicated October to the LPFA and will be contributing $1 for each Karma Tap beer they sell from October 1 through Halloween.  BE SURE TO ORDER THE KARMA BEER!  We’ll be putting all the money raised towards the restoration of the Santa Cruz Trail, which was totaled in the 2016 Rey Fire.  Bring a friend, bring your office, bring an army and help us bring Santa Cruz back one beer at a time.

PLUS Draughtsmen is allowing us to host an event on Wednesday 10/18 at the brewery.  After bouncing ideas around about what sort of event we should host, we decided to throw a TRIVIA PARTY.  Put it on your calendar:

WEDNESDAY 10/18 – 6pm
Los Padres Themed Trivia Night at Draughtsmen Aleworks
We’ll be following the typical trivia night format used at breweries around the world but the questions will be Los Padres themed and each round of questions will be hosted by a different LP character.  We’ll share those names soon, but you’ll love it, something for everyone and again it all goes to help the Santa Cruz Trail.
— • — • — • —


Pfeiffer Canyon (Gulch) Bridge w/ Mt. Manuel Trail, Mid-September, photo Kyle Evans

BIG SUR MOVIN & SHAKIN
Most of the Big Sur Coast and the northern Los Padres would just assume forget about 2016 and most of 2017.  Between the Soberanes Fire (July – Sept, 2016) and the 2016-17 torrential winter rains (causing slides and bridge failures) access to Big Sur and the forest has been disrupted (to put it nicely).  We can’t go into the full extent of the disruption here (see the coffee table book that I am sure someone is working on) but giant steps have been made to restore access.  Here’s a quick rundown and update……
PFEIFFER BRIDGE: After 8 months of being closed, Pfeiffer Bridge is scheduled to reopen a week from today on Friday October 13.  While CalTrans may want to wait a day due to superstition, their efforts to rebuild the bridge in a quick 8 months needs to be applauded.  Once opened this will restore access along Hwy 1 from Monterey down to the Mud Creek Slide, which is 10 miles north of Ragged Point.

• MUD CREEK SLIDE: Speaking of, the Mud Creek Slide remains closed between Salmon Creek Trailhead and the closure north of the slide.  CalTrans is estimating that the slide will be cleared and Hwy 1 reopened sometime in summer 2018.

• Coming from SLO, you can only get as far as Salmon Creek.  Once Pfeiffer Bridge is reopened you cannot connect Hwy 1 out to SLO.  The main exit along Hwy 1 will be along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road which connects Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett.  Nacimiento Rd is a windy 1.75 lane road that crosses over the Los Padres.  We expect the road will be quite busy between next week and when Mud Creek reopens.  In addition to the coffee table book, some entrepreneur might want to set up a lemonade stand.

PFEIFFER BEACH: So many Pfeiffers….  Did you know that the Los Padres Forest touches the sand at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur?  It’s been closed for most of the past year due to the bridge failure and winter storms but is scheduled to reopen shortly after the bridge is opened a week from today.

SOBERANES CLOSURE: The Soberanes Fire closure remains in effect but there are whispers that the closure will be reduced in the coming weeks.  We’ll see what that entails and share it with you as soon as it is released.

— • — • — • —


Los Padres Harvest Full Moon

Los Padres Winds of Winter, NPLD & Trail Trainings

Winds of Winter Revealing Early Fall Colors, San Rafael Mountain

Hi Everyone,

This past week (Autumnal Equinox on 9/22) we officially said goodbye to summer and hello to fall!  People complain about the lack of seasons here in the Los Padres but chances are you’ve felt some chillier mornings this last week and have probably put on a jacket for the first time in a few months as well.  Fall is here and with it the start of our real trail season – hallelujah!  That being said, this past summer was a memorable one and left in a blaze of glory with some crazy September weather.  According to some sources “they” say this summer was the hottest recorded summer in California history.  We saw a late season extreme heat wave that included record temps across much of the forest.  But don’t complain too much about our heat as Death Valley suffered through a record 94 straight days of temperatures over 100˚, which ended earlier this month.  Speaking of this month, September brought lots of monsoonal rains and spectacular weather including thunderstorms, microbursts, flash floods and even our first freeze of the season.  Rain totals across the forest were generally in the 0.25″ – 0.5″ range but select areas received over an inch highlighted by the Sierra Madres which received 1.3″ at Bates Canyon.  There is already some greenery sprouting as a result of the rain which hopefully means a long green season to come.  Summer rarely leaves without a fight and temps are expected to be hot again this week but winter is coming……

— • — • — • —


NPLD Across the Forest

NPLD VOLUNTEER CENTRAL

This coming Saturday September 30 is National Public Lands Day (NPLD).  NPLD is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort on public lands with events and volunteer opportunities setup across the country.  If you’re looking to participate in NPLD we’ve got you covered here in the Los Padres with three scheduled projects to choose from:

SALMON CREEK, SOUTH BIG SUR COAST
Join volunteers from Ventana Wilderness Alliance and the LPFA as we will be camping near Salmon Creek Trailhead and spending the weekend maintaining nearby trails and helping to educate trail-users on Leave No Trace and responsible forest use.  If you’d like to sign up please email us (INFO@LPForest.org) or check this link for more information.  RSVP is required as space is limited……

TUNNEL TRAIL, SANTA BARBARA FRONTCOUNTRY
A local who’s who of SB trail restoration workers are going to descend on Tunnel Trail this Saturday to do what they do best.  Tunnel Trail is in need of some love and when better to share that love than NPLD.  Project begins at the trailhead at 8am, lunch will be provided, more information here and attached PDF.

PRATT TRAIL, OJAI FRONTCOUNTRY
This NPLD project was scheduled a week later on October 7 in order to avoid conflicts.  We’ll be meeting at the Ojai Ranger District at 8:30am on 10/7 and then carpooling up to the top of the Pratt Trail.  From there we’ll be clearing brush and fixing trail, all with great views of the Ojai Valley and the eastern Santa Ynez Mtns.  Come join us!

— • — • — • —

“Trail? I Don’t See No Stinkin Trail!” – Aliso Trail Hole

UPCOMING TRAIL TRAININGS

Most of us have probably volunteered at some point to help support the trails you love.  If you haven’t, you really should!  It’s great exercise, you feel good about yourself, spending time in nature, you feel good about yourself, meeting new friends, you feel good about yourself, always learning new things and you feel good about yourself.  And some of us have probably volunteered A LOT, thank you for your help!  For those of us looking to add skills to the trail work we love, there are two upcoming trail building trainings that you might want to look into:

OCTOBER 7-9: GRIPHOIST / RIGGING CLASS
Rigging is an advanced trail building technique designed to safely move large heavy objects into place while building or restoring trails.  Think of rigging like a zip-line for objects such as boulders, supplies or wood where those objects are moved into place along the trail using a tool called a griphoist.  I’m sure you’ve seen giant 400lb rock steps placed on trails, most likely those steps were built using a griphoist and rigging.  If you’re interested in learning more about the art of moving large objects, United Trail Maintainers of California (UTMC) has graciously scheduled a free 3-day training Oct 7-9 in Tehachapi.  The class will be taught by OBP Trailworks, for more information check this link or contact UTMC to sign up.  We’re expecting lots of beautiful step works and rockwalls across the LP in the coming years!

NOVEMBER 4-5: SUSTAINABLE TRAIL BUILDING WORKSHOP
What good is working a trail if it’s not sustainable?  Of course the brush always comes back and gravity takes down trees but if you’re interested in learning how to build and maintain a sustainable trail come on out to this 2-day training being offered by Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (CCCMB) at Montaña de Oro State Park.  The class costs $100 and should be a great weekend of practical trail learning and instruction.  For more information check the link right here.

— • — • — • —


The Itsy-Bitsy Spider Climbed Up the Dry Waterfall

There’s a lot of volunteer projects and events upcoming that we want to highlight including the Upper Ojai SAR fundraiser this weekend, the October Working Vacation at Mission Pine Spring, LPFA Karma Tap at Draughtsmen Aleworks where you can contribute to the LPFA literally by drinking beer – all OCTOBER LONG! and the Fig Mtn Gran Fondo.  So much going on, we’ll plan on sending another email soon…..  In the meantime here’s a quick teaser…..

MISSION: Mission Pine

Mission Pine View, September 2016
missionpineoverview
MISSION PINE WORKING VACATION
October 21-30
    The LPFA will be hosting our next Working Vacation along the Mission Pine Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness from October 21-30.  We’ll be driving up from Cachuma Saddle to McKinley Saddle and backpacking 8 miles from there to our basecamp at Mission Pine Basin.  While the project will cover 10 days, we’ll have multiple entry-exit windows to choose from that will allow volunteers to participate for shorter periods of time.  The project will be supported with pack stock and all food will be provided.
The ‘WORK’ will consist of crosscutting any downed trees off the trail and clearing brush from the trails that radiate out from Mission Pine Basin.  These include the uppermost part of the Santa Cruz Trail and our primary objective of brushing the Mission Pine Trail east from the Basin towards West Big Pine.  There is plenty of work to be done.
The ‘VACATION’ portion of the trip will be spending time outdoors, with friends while enjoying this incredible slice of pine-studded Santa Barbara Backcountry awesomeness.  Mission Pine Basin is over 5,000 ft in elevation and has tremendous views of the Channel Islands to the South, Big Pine to the East and the Sisquoc Valley to the North.  It really is a great spot to hunker down and work the trails.
    We are looking for volunteers to help with the trail work as well as someone (or team of someone’s) to help with the cooking.  If you like backcountry cooking, I can assure you there will be plenty of hungry volunteers happy to have you there.
Space is limited, you must be able to backpack 8 miles, if you are interested in volunteering/cooking or would like to learn more, email us (INFO@LPForest.org) and hope to see you out there in late October.  More photos are on the LPFA Facebook page here.


Top of the Forest, photo Beemanpinosbeeman

SOBERANES UPDATE & MORE

• The Soberanes Fire continues to make history within the Monterey District of the Los Padres.  We’ll get into more details when it’s officially snuffed but for now it’s racking up some pretty horrifying statistics:

  • 132,069 acres, 94,875 of those are within the Los Padres Forest.  That’s the 16th largest wildfire in California history.
  • 92% containment with estimated 100% containment being October 15.
  • Today marks the start of the 11th week Soberanes has been burning.  71 days!
  • Soberanes is the most expensive fire to fight in history!  Well over $200,000,000 has been spent fighting the fire.  That does not include damages.
  • Good news is that both Church Ranch and the famous Jack English Cabin in Pine Valley survived!  Both were wrapped in fire-resistant foil and cleared before the fire came through.
  • Most evacuation orders have been lifted and life is starting to return to normal for some people affected by the fire.
  • That being said, life around Soberanes is certainly not back to normal for everyone.  The LP within Monterey County remains closed, this includes all campgrounds other than the few along Hwy 1.  All California State Park campgrounds remain closed as well.
  • We remain optimistic that portions of the forest will reopen once Soberanes reaches 100% containment and we’ll certainly keep you posted as things unfold.

RAIN?  Yes, rain.  This past week saw almost a half inch of rain fall in some parts of the Southern Los Padres, mostly in the Mt. Pinos and Ojai Ranger Districts.

• And don’t forget the LPFA Used Camping Gear Sale tomorrow, 10am at Tucker’s Grove in Goleta!  It’s not too late to donate as well.  Just bring your used camping gear to the sale at least 30mins before the sale starts.

That’s it for now folks…..  Coming soon we’ll share an update from National Public Lands Day on the Lion Canyon Trail, some exciting news about Matilija, the year in Wheeler Gorge, hunting season, upcoming campground changes and more…..  Hang in there and have a great weekend!

Buckhorn Trail & 20 Years of VWR!

Upper Buckhorn Trailhead
BuckhornTrailhead
BUCKHORN TRAIL PROJECT
Hello Everyone!  We are beyond excited to announce that the LPFA is partnering with SBMTV to host a weekend trail project along the Buckhorn Trail in the Santa Barbara Backcountry.  The Buckhorn Trail has a rich history dating back over a hundred years.  It was the main means of travel between Little Pine and the Pendola area of the Upper Santa Ynez.  The Buckhorn was famous for its hunting, with hunters-camps throughout the canyon dotting the old maps.  And in more recent times, the Buckhorn was famous as an epic mountain bike ride.  In fact it was so epic that the International Mountain Bicycling Association even named it to their list of Epics.  In recent years the trail has suffered from lack of maintenance and nowadays it’s pretty epic if you can even drag yourself, let alone a bike, down the canyon.  Well, we’re going to change that and we hope you want to join in…..

March 18-20, 2016
We’ll be heading in on Friday afternoon March 18 to setup camp at nearby Happy Hollow Campground.  We’ll be camping there Friday night and then starting the trail work bright and early on Saturday March 19.  We’ll be focusing on brushing the top couple miles of the trail dropping in from the Buckhorn Rd down to the first creek crossing.  We’ll stop work in the mid-afternoon and head back to Happy Hollow for a BBQ dinner, evening festivities and camping under the stars.  After breakfast on Sunday, we’ll wrap up any work that is needed on the trail, pack up and head home.  There will be options for people who want to arrive and/or leave on Saturday as well.  If you are interested in helping or would like more information, let us know:  INFO@LPForest.org
Food will be provided for breakfast Saturday and Sunday and dinner Saturday night.  Bring your hardhat as well as your party hat, gonna be a good time……


VWR Crew, 100 Strong & Growing, photo Humphrey
VWR20th 20th ANNUAL VWR TRAINING

Contrary to popular belief, its not chainsaw-augmented deer that keep the trails of the Los Padres open but rather a group of dedicated volunteers called the Volunteer Wilderness Rangers (VWR). Similar to deer, VWR’s range across the forest from Ventura to Monterey working tirelessly on their favorite trails and camps ensuring they stay open and passable for trail users. In order to be a VWR, one must go through an annual training where volunteers are trained on Forest Service protocol, first-aid, visitor contact, safety, trail maintenance techniques and wilderness ethics. The annual VWR Training is hosted each January in the Santa Barbara Ranger District and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016.

The VWR program was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers and Forest Service staff in order to provide the necessary training for volunteers to lead forest supported projects. One of the chief organizers of the VWR program was named Dave Weaver. Dave was an avid backpacker, a retired teacher and loved ‘talking forest’ with anyone and everyone he could. If you had a backcountry question or adventure to share, Dave not only had an answer but a story of his own as well. He truly characterized the spirit of the VWR program with his commitment to the land and a fun, yet professional, approach to volunteerism. After Dave’s passing in 2013, the VWR program created a lifetime achievement award in his name called the Dave Weaver Wilderness Award. The award goes to the VWR who best exemplifies Dave’s spirit of sharing the stoke for the forest and working to keep the trails open and public educated on the proper way to recreate in the forest.

For 2016, the VWR recognized Mike Smith (the Goatman) with the Dave Weaver Wilderness Award for his contributions to the forest over the past 20+ years. Mike has led countless trail projects in the Los Padres, mostly deep within the forest along the Upper Sisquoc Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness. If you’ve spent any time along the Sisquoc Trail you’ve certainly reaped the benefits of his hard work and it’s likely that you’ve crossed paths, hint: he’s the one with five pack goats in tow. We congratulate Mike Smith on his accomplishments and celebrate 20 years of volunteerism through the Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program.

WeaverAwards Weaver Award Winners Rik Christensen, Mickey McTigue, Mike Smith
& SLRD Wilderness Trails Manager Joe Duran


Mission Pine Basin, “the trails that way”, March 2016

MissionPineSCTrail

WHAT’S HAPPENING

March 12, 2016
Ojai plant guide Lanny Kaufer is leading a nature hike at Rose Valley Falls.  For more information email Lanny: lanny@herbwalks.com

March 20, 2016
Lanny is leading another nature walk for the Spring Equinoz along the Gridley Spring trail.  More information here: lanny@herbwalks.com

April 9, 2016
Ranger Heidi is leading a trail project along the Murietta Trail in the Ojai Ranger District.  For more information shoot her an email:  handerson@fs.fed.us

April 16, 2016
Wheeler Gorge Open House.  If you are in Ojai or Ventura, this is a must!  More to come but get it on your calendar.

April 20, 2016
LPFA will be hosting a forest talk in Santa Barbara, more to come but also be sure to put this on your calendar……

LPFA Events Calendar
http://lpforest.org/events-calendar/
And if you have any events you’d like promoted or included, please let us know…..

Falls

 

What’s a WORKING VACATION?

JasonnSisquoc WORKING VACATIONS
If you check the dictionary or an online source and look up the antonym for the word VACATION, the first response that comes back is the word WORK.  Generally the words WORK and VACATION don’t go together too well, do they?  That’s not always the case though, let me explain…..
Starting about 15 years ago the LPFA began a program called WORKING VACATIONS where VWR Trail Leaders would host a 7-10 day volunteer trail project usually deep in a wilderness area.  Being that it takes a day of travel to even get to most of these remote locations, the WORKING VACATIONS (WV) gave us enough time out there to accomplish a lot of trail work.  The WV’s are always stock supported, meaning we utilize mules and/or horses to bring in camp supplies, food and in some cases all the camping gear.  On a few WV’s the volunteers literally only need to carry in a daypack and the stock team carries in all other essentials for the week – it’s great!  The LPFA pays for all the food for the week and there is usually a designated cook who handles preparing all meals and cleanup.  You wake up and there is hot coffee and breakfast waiting for you and at the end of the day you are greeted back at camp with a cold beverage and dinner already made – it’s great!  (You might be asking how you can schedule a WV at your house?  Can’t help you there…..)  It’s also really nice having a terrific excuse to visit some of the more remote, wild and spectacular parts of the forest.  But the best part about WORKING VACATIONS is getting into a daily rhythm of working the trails and spending time with old friends or making new friends – it’s great!

Heath Camp has never smelled so good…..
HeathBurgers
In Spring 2016 the LPFA will be hosting three WORKING VACATIONS.  Our first is from April 8-18 at Madulce Camp in the Dick Smith Wilderness.  We’ll be working all the trails that radiate from camp including Santa Barbara Canyon, Madulce Trail, Puerto Suelo and the Don Victor Trail.  There are options available for volunteers who can only make it for a long weekend or for those who would like to stay all week.  We can pretty much customize the arrivals and departures around your schedule.  The project will be stock supported and all food expenses covered.  If you are interested in helping either as a trail volunteer, cook or packer, contact INFO@LPForest.org.  Mike Smith will be the project leader.

Log Cabin Pancake Breakfast
LogCabinPancake

Our second WORKING VACATION is May 20-31 based at Sycamore Camp along the middle Sisquoc in the San Rafael Wilderness.  Our focus for this project will be to work the Sisquoc Trail downstream from Sycamore to Abel Camp.  John Franklin and Steve Cypher are co-leading this project.  Volunteers, cooks and/or stock support are needed.  I’ll tell you one thing, jumping into the Sisquoc after a long day of work will not be the worst thing.

The stars of the show: Susie, Otis and Team
PackSupport

The third WORKING VACATION is scheduled for June and the location is TBD dependent on how water conditions shape up the rest of the winter and into summer.

If you are interested in learning more or to sign up, let us know:  INFO@LPForest.org

 

The Working Vacations are great fun and I think I can speak for all the previous participants and say that they are some of the best volunteer experiences you can have in the Los Padres.  Hope to see you out there…….

PotholeWorker



SURF & TURF

And while I have you, don’t forget about the Surf & Turf event TONIGHT at Surf Brewery in Ventura.  Information is attached.

Fire Restrictions Lifted & Trail Project Schedule 2016

Lucky Pooch Recharging by the CampfireJackson

FIRE RESTRICTIONS LIFTED

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year!  The big news across the forest this past week has been the change in Fire Restrictions.  Effective January 9, the fire restrictions dating back to May 5, 2015 have been lifted.  While this is exciting news for those of us who have spent freezing nights in the forest of late, please PLEASE remember to be safe with your campfires.  Only build campfires in cleared spaces, preferably in designated campground campfire-rings and most importantly be sure to completely put out your fires before you leave camp.  It may seem like a pain to spend those extra minutes soaking your fire but it’s so important – think about the alternative.  Take that extra time to run trips back and forth from the creek.  For those of you looking for an easier solution, REI sells a collapsible bucket made by Sea to Summit which carries 10 liters and can easily soak down a campfire with only a few trips to the creek.  Also be sure to get your California Campfire Permit.  Permits are available at any of the Ranger Stations or online at this link.  Just takes a few minutes and it is the law to have a permit.  Enjoy the warmth and be careful.  The change in fire restrictions also reopens shooting ranges across the forest.  Contact your local Ranger District for information on shooting ranges near you.





Happy Trail Workers Along Mono-Alamar Trail, photo Beeman
WorkersHappy VOLUNTEER TRAIL PROJECTS

The LPFA and friends have a bunch of volunteer trail projects scheduled over the coming months, a BUNCH!  We wanted to get the dates out to you now so that you can hopefully find a free weekend (or longer) to help the trails.  If you have any questions or want to sign up, please email INFO@LPForest.org:

February 7: Deal Trail, Dick Smith Wilderness

This is the 4th Annual Super Bowl Sunday trail project hosted in conjunction with UTMC along the deal Trail.  Meet at 8:30am and home in time for the second half of the game.  Lots of fun and you’ll feel great sitting on your couch that evening knowing you deserve it, Mark Subbotin is the project lead.

February 19-21: Location TBD
This is going to most likely be a 3-day car-camping project in the Santa Barbara Backcountry led by Curt Cragg.  We are finalizing the location based on weather and road access.  More to come soon……

March 4-6: Potrero Trail, San Rafael Wilderness
Led by Mike Smith, this will be a 3-day backpacking project based at Potrero Camp along Manzana Creek.  Work will be up the Potrero Trail towards Hurricane Deck.  The project will be stock supported so expect tasty meals.

March 18-20: Buckhorn Trail with SBMTV, Santa Barbara Backcountry
Led by Curt Cragg and cosponsored by LPFA and SBMTV, we’ll be working the legendary Buckhorn Trail down from the top towards the first creek crossing.  We’ll be camping at Happy Hollow Camp with opportunities for day volunteers as well.  Gonna be a fun one!

April 8-18: Madulce Working Vacation, Dick Smith Wilderness
This is the first of 3 LPFA Working Vacation scheduled for spring 2016.  We’ll be based at Madulce Camp and working the network of trails radiating from the old guard station.  Our main focus will be working the Madulce and Puerto Suelo Trails.  While we’ll be up there for 10 days, there will be opportunties for shorter stints.  Backpacking 7 miles to camp is required and there will be stock support.  April is a great time of year in this part of the forest.  Mike Smith will be the project lead.

April 29-May 1: Alamar Trail, Dick Smith Wilderness
This project will be based at Bluff Cabin and focused on completing the final mile of trail down Alamar Trail from Alamar Saddle.  Curt Cragg will be leading this project.  This was a project we started in September 2015 as part of National Public Lands Day.

May 5-8: Lost Valley Trail, San Rafael Wilderness
Mike Smith will be leading a gutsy (Mothers Day) extended weekend project along the Lost Valley Trail.  This will be a backpacking / stock-supported project based somewhere along the trail with the goal of working from the Manzana up to the Hurricane Deck.

May 20-30: Middle Sisquoc Working Vacation, San Rafael Wilderness
This is going to be a fun one as well.  We’ll be based at Sycamore Camp along the Sisquoc River and working the trail down-canyon to Abel Camp.  The Sisquoc should be epic this time of year with deep pools and green slopes.  Access will be along the Jackson Trail.  The project will be stock supported with shorter length stays possible as well.

June 3-5: National Trails Day, Location TBD
We’ll be partnering with REI to host a 3-day project in the Ventura or Santa Barbara Backcountry.  Location and specifics are in the works.  Stay tuned…….

June 11-19: Mission Pine Working Vacation, San Rafael Wilderness
There have been quite a few projects over the past few years attempting to reopen the Mission Pine Trail from McKinley Saddle to Big Pine.  Talk about epic trails, this Working Vacation will be focused on completing the work across Mission Pine and down the top mile of the Santa Cruz Trail.  There is lots of potential for this project as far as where it is based and all that.  In the works and we’ll share when we know more……..

Wheww, that is a lot, isn’t it?  We hope you can make it on at least one of these projects.  We’ll be covering many different types of trails at many fantastic locations.  There is really something for everyone on these projects.  If you haven’t been on any LPFA project, try to make it this spring, you’ll have a great time!





 

Snowy Hwy 33 Pine Mountain Winter Wonderland, photo Humphrey



 

LPFA Transverse – Spring Volunteer Season

Frosty Madulce, March 2015

Madulce

Hello Everyone,

Most of the Forest is experiencing cool, cloudy and hopefully rainy conditions today.  That is going to change.  By this weekend we are looking at potentially record setting heat across most of the Central Coast.  And next week….. who knows.  That’s part of the beauty of Spring.  If you don’t like the weather, wait a day and you’ll get something different.  Hope you’re finding some time on the trails and if you have any nice photos and you want to share, please send our way.

We’ve had quite a few questions of late asking for volunteer opportunities.  We’ve outlined a few below.  If you’d like us to mention any of your upcoming events, please send our way and we’d be happy to share.

Little Pine along the Santa Cruz Trail
SCMeadow
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

WEST CUESTA RIDGE TRASH CLEANUP
San Luis Obispo
March 14, 9am
The illegal shooting range off West Cuesta Ridge in SLO has become quite a mess.  A combination of LPNF, LPFA, CCCMB and LPFW forces are meeting this Saturday (3/14) at 9am to help clean up the mess.  See the attached CCCMB map and Forest Press Release for more details.  Hope to see you there……….

POTHOLE TRAIL BRUSHING PROJECT
Ventura
March 14
The Ojai Ranger District is having the last in a series of trail projects along the Pothole Trail outside of Lake Piru.  The project is most likely full but if you are dieing to work a remote backcountry trail this weekend, there might still be some room.  Contact Ranger Heidi: handerson@fs.fed.us

SANTA CRUZ TRAIL, LITTLE PINE TRAIL MAINTENANCE
Santa Barbara
March 15, 9am
The SBMTV is hosting a trail project along the Little Pine section of the Santa Cruz Trail.  The work will mostly be along the southern wall of Little Pine down towards 19 Oaks Camp.  For more information contact Chris Orr: chris.orr@sbmtv.org

MISSION PINE TRAIL SAWYER WORK
Santa Barbara
March 27 – 29
The LPFA will be continuing work along the Mission Pine Trail in the SB high country.  The project will be based out of Mission Pine Spring Camp and will be focused on logging the trees across the trail between Mission Pine Spring and Mission Pine Basin.  The project will be stock supported, which means light packs and good food.  If interested please contact Curt Cragg: Curt@LPForest.org

FOREST 411
The Los Padres Trail Riders will be presenting a free screening of Mule: Living on the Outside.  This is a documentary about Mule and his adventures while roaming the western United States.  If you haven’t been following this epic journey, it’s pretty cool stuff.  Check it out March 19 at the Santa Barbara Human Society.For those of you interested in mud runs or obstacles races, there is a super fun race coming to the Central Coast on March 28.  It’s called the Checkpoint Challenge and will be held at Santa Margarita Lake in SLO County.  If you’ve ever been curious about this, check out their website and watch the promotional video.  Looks like a lot of fun.  Registration is open now, charge on!WILDFLOWERS!  It’s wildflower season and Helen Tarbet of the Santa Lucia Ranger District has released her first Figueroa Wildflower Update of the season.  See attached.  If you’ve not taken the pilgrimage to Fig Mtn to see the flowers, you have to……  It’s incredible when timed right.

The 11th Annual Wheeler Gorge Open House is schedule for April 11.  This year promises to be the best Open House yet as we’re focusing the event on recreation as well as education.  You’ll hear much more about this in the coming weeks but be sure to put this on your calendar.  April 11 – ALL DAY!

BeartrapCreek

Piedra Blanca – Gene Marshall Trail, Mount Pinos Ranger District

So Many Trails, Lets Get To It!

TrailsBanner

Greetings Trail Users,

I hope you are having a great week and enjoying the interesting spring-like weather we’ve been experiencing.  Today’s message is a bit different than usual.  I’m not not providing updates or announcing projects but rather asking for your help.  The LPFA has a full slate of trail projects scheduled for the Spring and early Summer and WE NEED YOUR HELP!  We have trail projects in the works ranging from 10-day Working Vacations along the Santa Cruz Trail to 1-day projects down the Cold Spring Trail.  All these projects take time and money.  The LPFA works hard to organize, schedule and complete the work that keeps our trails open.  At the same time we love to provide our trail volunteers with the necessary great food, sharp tools and safety equipment that keep them coming back for more and heading home with smiles on their faces (albeit with sore backs).  I’m reaching out asking for your support as we get started on the busiest and most ambitious season of trail projects and Forest support in the history of the LPFA.  Become a LPFA member and donate to help our trail projects.  Listed at the bottom of this email is a quick list of projects we have in the works for the next few months.  I always say that every little bit of trail work helps, and similarly all the support we can get helps just as much.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

Click the image below and become a LPFA supporter.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend on the trail,

Bryan

LPFASupportForest


  • Hurricane Deck: Schoolhouse towards Potrero Canyon
  • Alamar Hill Trail: Indian Creek up to Loma Pelona
  • Santa Cruz Trail: Little Pine to Santa Cruz Station
  • Santa Cruz Trail: Kellogg Camp to Mission Pine Basin
  • Mission Pine Trail: McKinley Saddle to Mission Pine Basin
  • Cold Spring Trail: Mono to the Emerald Pools
  • Gene Marshall/Piedra Blanca: Reyes Trailhead to Haddock Camp
  • Ranger Peak Trail: Shooting Range towards Peak
  • Franklin Trail: Jameson Lake up towards East Camino Cielo
  • Blue Canyon Trail: Forbush to Escondido Trailhead
  • Upper Sisquoc: TBD (trail report coming soon)
  • Alamar Trail: Alamar Saddle towards Bill Faris
  • Madulce Trail: Buckhorn Rd down to Madulce Camp

LPFA Transverse – Let it Rain, Please!

Get Your Rain Dance On!
LetItRain

I heard one of my mentors say the other day, “Remember when it used to rain in February?”  No doubt we’ve all been reading and hearing about the drought that has engulfed California.  It got me wondering, just how bad is it?  So I did a little research (note: I’m no scientist, there are countless experts and bloggers who can provide much more substantiated and in-depth analysis).  Currently the annual rain totals across the Los Padres are about 67% of average, give or take depending on geography.  Throughout history we’ve endured years much worse than this one, but what’s different about this drought is that we are now in year 4 of well below average rain totals.  Throughout local history, droughts generally don’t last more than 3 seasons.  One of the worst droughts in our history occurred in 1989-1991, two seasons.  Those years were really bad but it lasted only two years.  We’re in year 4, including 2013-14 which was by most accounts considered THE WORST single rain season of all time.  This is not good.  While there is a chance for the much needed March Miracle that could boost this season to above normal levels, we are working out of a 3 year deficit that in all likelihood won’t be replenished this year.  We’re dealing with reservoirs across the state being below 50% capacity, snow-free mountain ranges, San Francisco recording no rain in January for the first time in nearly 200 years, water rations, expansive swaths of dead trees, large ranches “harvesting water” to sell to municipalities and Big Sur getting 16% of normal rain during the 2013 season – however you break it down, we are up to our necks (or perhaps better, up to our ankles) in scary scary lack of water.  I hate being pessimistic but its pretty hard to spin any positives out of the situation we find ourselves in.  The best we can do is enjoy the creeks while they are flowing, conserve water the best we can, know that Mother Nature does this in cycles, hope for the best and get your rain dance on……
We need it all!


Mission Pine Pano, photo Nick D’Incelli
MPPano
MISSION PINE UPDATE
The LPFA has focused much energy over the past year logging and reopening the Mission Pine Trail within Santa Barbara County.  The Mission Pine Trail is one of the most spectacular trails within the Los Padres.  The trail covers nearly 15miles across the San Rafael Mountains from McKinley Saddle to Windy Gap, all above 5,000ft and covering mostly pine terrain.  The channel islands can be seen to the south and most of the time the Sierras can be seen to the north.  According to legend, the area got its name after the timbers used to build the SB Mission were harvested from up along this ridge.  The trees were cut and carried nearly 30miles up and down mountains on their long journey to the Mission.  Anyway, volunteers have led 6 projects over the past year to work on the trail and we have another one planned for later this month.  If you are looking for a great multi-day backpack across some fantastic terrain, this trail should be on your short list.  If you have any questions about the trail, camps or loop/shuttle options – feel free to let us know:  INFO@LPForest.org


Crew Training, photo provided by Burtness
SawyerTraining
FOREST FOUR ONE ONE
Bob Burtness sent in this photo from 1929 showing the University of Washington crew team training through the use of crosscut saws.  No doubt it is hard work – we could use them.  If you’d like to volunteer for a project, we could use your help too.  Check the calendar of events on LPForest.org and come on out.  If you can’t make a project, we could certainly use donations to help feed the hungry sawyers.  It all goes to helping the trails and keeping access to the Forest open…….

TRAILS & ALES, GOLETA, CAPTAIN FATTY’S
TODAY, FEBRUARY 19
Last minute reminder that we’ll be having a Trails & Ales event this evening at Captain Fatty’s in Goleta.  Come one, come all!  Talk trail, win prizes, say hello, cheers with your friends, all of the above.

FIRST AID / CPR / BBP CERTIFICATION
FEBRUARY 28
We have a few spaces still available for a First Aid / CPR class in Ojai on February 28.  The cost is around $50 and you’ll walk away with great knowledge and certifications for First Aid.  Contact the LFPA to sign up or for more information.


GENE MARSHALL – PIEDRA BLANCA TRAIL PROJECT
MARCH 20-22
The LPFA is teaming up with UTMC and the MPRD VWR to host a three day trail project along the Gene Marshall Trail.  We’ll be starting from the Reyes Creek Trailhead and working up and over Pine Mtn eventually coming out at the Piedra Blanca Trailhead.  Most of the work will be logging fallen trees from the trail corridor.  We’ve had recent reports that nearly 20 trees are across the trail with quite a few in the 40″ diameter range.  If interested in helping, contact Mark Subbotin.

BACKPACKING FUNDAMENTALS CLASS
STARTS MARCH 10
The LPFA will be teaching a 6 week class on the fundamentals of backpacking.  We’ll be covering everything from what gear to bring, how to choose a trail, what to do if you get PO, map reading, wilderness first aid and much more.  The classes will be in Goleta starting Tuesday March 10.  If you would like more information, contact Curt Cragg.  Hope to see you there!

That’s it for today everyone!  Hope you get out on the trails this weekend and have some great stories to share afterwards…….

LPFA Transverse – Potholes and Superbowls

Hello Everybody,

Hope you’ve been getting out and enjoying the unusually warm weather we’ve had of late.  It’s been nice, sometimes too nice.  WE NEED RAIN.  Good news is the LP is looking like we might get a few storms within the next week or so.  Fingers crossed!  We’ve got quite a few updates from across the Forest, lets get to it:

PotholesWorkingVacation
P O T H O L E    W O R K I N G    
V A C A T I O N

We were just reminded that this project was never shared.  Back in July, the Ojai Ranger District reached out to us and asked if we’d be interested in hosting a ‘Working Vacation’ on the Pothole Trail.  I don’t think the words had fully left their mouth and we’d already responded with a “HECK YEAH!”  The Pothole Trail is a rarely hiked trail within the Sespe Wilderness that connects Lake Piru with the Agua Blanca drainage.  It’s the southern most trail along the Condor Trail, right next to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary and is extremely wild and scenic.  Great spot!  After a few scouting missions by the Forest Service and LPFA, we set off and spent a week clearing the trail from Log Cabin Camp up towards the ridge line.  Working Vacations are projects where the LPFA provides food for the volunteers in exchange for volunteers spending their days hacking away at brush.  Three daily meals and morning/evening beverages were more than enough encouragement for our team of 13 volunteers.  We ended up clearing nearly 3 miles of trail that was extremely overgrown at the start of the week.  Good times had by all and a great opportunity to spend an extended time in the Sespe Wilderness.  More photos can be seen on the LPFA Facebook Page.

Bluff Storm Clouds, photo Beeman
BluffStormClouds
U P C O M I N G     P R O J E C T S

Tis the season and there is a storm of trail projects on the horizon at the moment.  Hopefully you can make a couple of these.

January 31: Pothole Trail Clearing
The Ojai Ranger District is hosting a trail project along the Upper Pothole Trail January 31.  It will be mostly brushing with some light tread work.  For more information, contact Ranger Heidi: handerson@fs.fed.us

February 1: Mine Camp Trail Project
What better way to spend Super Bowl Sunday than doing some trail work in the morning.  The LPFA, UTMC and Mt. Pinos Volunteers are teaming up for the 3rd Annual Super Bowl Trail Project.  This year the work will be up the Mine Camp Trail up from the Deal Canyon Connector Trail in the Mount Pinos Ranger District.  The work will start early and end in time for you to at least make the second half of the Super Bowl.  As if that isn’t incentive enough, all volunteers will walk away with a commemorative drink koozy.  How can you beat that.  For more information, get a hold of Mark Subbotin: msubbotin76@gmail.com

Koozy

February 27-March 1: Mission Pine Trail
In a continued effort to open up the Mission Pine Trail, another project will be hosted from February 27-March 1 starting from McKinley Saddle and heading to Mission Pine Basin in the San Rafael Wilderness.  We’ll send some additional updates but if you’d like to sign up, reach out to Curt Cragg:  Curt@LPForest.org


Shrouded Cachuma Peak
CachumaPeak
F O R E S T    4 1 1


First Aid / CPR Training

There is a forest-centric First Aid and CPR Class on Sunday February 28 in Ojai.  This is a great opportunity to get re-certified for your crosscut or chainsaw certification.  If interested contact:  Bryan@LPForest.org

Wildling Wilderness Panel
The LPFA is partnering with the Wildling Museum to host a Wilderness Panel event in Solvang on February 7.  The panel will feature some local Forest historians and key figures as they talk about their experiences in the Los Padres and how the wilderness designations have affected the Forest.  Should be a really fun night.  We’ll post more information in the coming days.  Seats are limited so put it on your calendar.

California Fire Permit
We were reminded that now is the time to get a CA fire permit.  It’s free and only takes a few mins.  Use the link below and share with your friends and camping buddies.
http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/

Middle Lion Campground OPEN
Middle Lion Campground in the Ojai has been reopened.  It was closed for about a month due to hazard trees.  The FS removed the hazard trees and it’s good to go now.

Los Padres Biodiversity Workshop
The LP is hosting a workshop to encourage women to get into fire fighting.  The classes are in Santa Barbara over Super Bowl Weekend.  For more information check the link below:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/lpnf/home/?cid=STELPRD3827043&width=full

Franklin Trail Fundraiser – January 28
Trails and Ales is back!  Drink beer and help the Franklin Trail?  What could be better…..
http://sbtrails.org/events/trails-and-ales/

Lots of information…….If we missed anything or you have any updates you’d like us to forward on – send our way.  Be safe everyone and enjoy your time in the Forest.