Los Padres Fire Related Closures

LP FOREST CLOSURES
lpclosure

Hi Everyone,

We hope you’ve been enjoying the unseasonably cool weather of late.  Fall is certainly in the air, at least for now.  The major headlines across the LP remain Fires and Fire Related Closures.  The Soberanes Fire is nearing two months old and continues to chug across the Ventana Wilderness.  It’s burned over 107,000 acres and is about to crack the list of top 20 largest wildfires in California history.  As a result of Soberanes, the entire Monterey Ranger District remains closed.  Further south, the Rey Fire is just about wrapped up and listed at 96% contained.  While the flames have subsided, there remains a closure across most of Santa Barbara County.  The FS is hopeful the closure will be reduced in the coming days and we’ll be sure to share with you as soon as any new information is received.  Further south still was the Sherpa Fire, which burned for a few days in mid June (remember that?).  There remains a closure in effect within the Sherpa fire scar which includes West Camino Cielo OHV.  And finally to the east is the Pine Fire, which burned 2,300 acres back in early July.  The Gene Marshall Piedra Blanca Trail remains closed between Upper Reyes Camp and Pine Mtn Lodge as does the Reyes Peak Trail from the trailhead down to Haddock Camp.  We don’t know when these closures will be lifted but we’ll provide updates via email and on Facebook / Twitter as soon as anything comes down the pike.  Quite a summer, stay with us……
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lookout
LOOKOUT!

What are you doing next Tuesday night 9/20?  The answer should be “going to Santa Barbara to learn about the History of the Los Padres lookout towers”!  If that was not your answer, you still have time to change it.  We invite you to join us on Tuesday night at the Balboa Building in SB to hear Craig Carey talk about the LP lookout towers.  This is the third event in the LPFA Trail Talk Series and is sure to be a good time.  We’ll have a raffle, some beverages, trail updates, listen to Craig amaze us with his knowledge and have some fun chatting with friends and fellow-forest-lovers.  FREE for LPFA members and just $10 for guests.  Hope to see you there……..  Get your tickets here or see here for more information.

gearup
USED CAMPING GEAR SALE – OCT. 1

LPFA Friends and Supporters – Fall is in the air, that means local camping season is right around the corner.  We’ll be hosting our 2nd annual used camping gear sale on October 1 at Tucker’s Grove in Goleta.  Super volunteer Rik Christensen has been working day and night over the past 12 months gathering, cleaning and preparing used camping gear for this one special day.  There will be plenty of gear to check out but we’re also looking for gear donations.  If you have any used camping gear you aren’t using anymore, we’ll gladly take it off your hands and see if we can find a new home for it.  Tax write-offs will be provided but more than that you’ll be helping raise funds for the LPFA and ensuring your gear makes it back into the forest, where it belongs.  INFO@LPForest.org with questions.

Los Padres Back to School Week

Imagine back to school week at the Manzana Schoolhouse, photo James Wapotich
ManzanaSchoolhouse

It’s BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK, which might be the most universally hated week of the year.  First off, for many people it means the end of summer.  That alone could be reason for the hatred.  It also means daily rituals changing for parents, traffic patterns fluctuating around the crazy kid-drop-off schedules and the dreaded H WORD (homework).  And we’re not even talking about how teachers must feel this week.  But, for the Los Padres, Back to School Week is a slight indication that our backcountry season is not too far off into the future.  It might seem impossibly far right now, with all that’s going on with the fires, but trust me, it’ll be here before you know it.  So, in honor of Back to School Week and with backcountry season coming up soon, we wanted to focus this email on a few upcoming educational opportunities that you might want to check out.  Tis the season…….

HappyBackpackers
BACKPACKING FUNDAMENTALS CLASS
If you haven’t discovered backpacking or you’re interested in improving your gear, improving your skills, or meeting some new friends to explore the trails with this Fall; this is a great class for you to check out!  Curt Cragg is the lead instructor and brings in a wide variety of local experts to discuss all topics backpacking related with an emphasis on local Los Padres backpacking.  Topics include what and how to eat along the trail or in camp, basic trail first aid, how to avoid getting lost, what you should and shouldn’t be afraid of, the latest in gear, where you should get your gear, ultralight backpacking…. it’s all covered.  This will be Curt’s 5th time teaching the class and it’s been great watching the new backpackers hit the trail after the class and keep coming back for more.  We’ve actually gotten to know quite a few of the graduates on some of our backpacking trail maintenance projects as well.  To learn more or sign up, check it out at the link HERE.  The classes will be hosted at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and all proceeds go to LPFA Trail Care.

 

 

Class in session, photo Terry Wright
WheelerTeachings
WHEELER GORGE VISITOR CENTER
If you haven’t made it out to Wheeler Gorge yet this summer, there is still time!  LPFA super-volunteer and board member Gordie Hemphill continues to organize weekly interpretive events each Saturday at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center.  Most of the talks start around 11am and cover a wide variety of topics ranging from local critters to dinosaurs to geology to trees.  The talks are designed mainly for kids and young teenagers but I promise you that there is something for everyone.  Not to mention any excuse to drive up Highway 33 is a good excuse.  Upcoming talks include:
  • August 27 – Into the Wild (Naturalists & Forester) Programs
  • September 3 – Saving the California Condor
  • September 10 – Rescuing Ocean Animals
  • September 17 – Amazing World of Bears
  • September 24 – Chumash Storytelling with Julie Tumamait

You can learn more here, or email WHEELER@LPForest.org with any questions you might have!  We hope to see you soon up at Wheeler………

 

 

REI WILDERNESS FIRST AID CLASSES
REI is teaming up with the Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) to offer a series of classes this Fall focused around wilderness first aid (WFA).  These two-day classes offer advanced teaching on how to handle medical emergencies when you can’t call for an ambulance.  Certainly skills that are worth having and could save a life.  The classes are at Camp Arnaz in Ventura.  REI and WMI are offering two classes, information below:

October 29-30: http://bit.ly/2bkg79H
November 12-13: http://bit.ly/2biQOmE

 

IndianCreekTrail
LPFA USED GEAR SALE: October 1
Now you’ve learned how to backpack, how to do wilderness first aid and how to save the Condor; the only thing left is getting some new trail gear.  The LPFA will be hosting our 2nd Annual Used Gear Sale on Saturday October 1 in Santa Barbara (location TBD).  Similar to last year, we’re collecting lightly used gear, cleaning it up and making it available for you to purchase.  Gear guru Rik Christensen is heading up the event and if it is anything like last year, you better get there early!  If you have any old gear that you’re interested in donating/selling, there is both direct sales and consignment options available.  We’d love to help take any old gear off you and make it available for someone else to use.  All sale proceeds this year will go towards the restoration of South Fork Station, Dabney Cabin and eventually the Manzana Schoolhouse.  We’ll provide more details soon.  If you have any questions, please email: INFO@LPForest.org

There’s a lot going on.  We hope to see you at some of these events and best of luck with Back to School Week!

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UPCOMING EVENTS
A few upcoming dates, events, projects, presentations or things you might want to know.
If you have any forest-related events to add to this list, let us know and we’re more than happy to pimp your event!


September 10: NPLD Jesusita Trail
September 11: Island View Trail Race
September 14: LPFA Backpacking Fundamentals Class
September 20: LPFA Trail Talk Series, History of Los Padres Lookouts by Craig Carey
September 24: National Public Lands Day Trail Project, Lion Canyon Trail, Ojai


October 1: LPFA Used Gear Sale
October 16: D-13 Hunting Season Starts
October 22-30: LPFA Working Vacation, Poplar Trail (ON HOLD)
October 29: LPFA First Aid & CPR Training
October 29-30: REI Wilderness First Aid Training

November 12-13: REI Wilderness First Aid Training

 

Freezing Gates of the Los Padres

Big Sur Coastline, Making Even the Worst Photographer Look Good
BigSurCoast

Chances are you’re reading this with a few more layers of clothes on and a few more windows closed than you had at this time last week.  The storm that just passed (or is passing) is our first winter storm of the season.  Rain totals across the forest have varied greatly with the Northern LP getting well over an inch of rain and as much as 2 inches in certain areas.  The rain totals dwindle heading south with SLO backcountry in the half inch range, SB backcountry in the quarter inch and Ventura backcountry in the tenth of an inch range.  Of course there are outliers and areas that received more rain than others.  BUT the exciting thing, if you get excited about things like this, is that this storm will mark the first time this season that much of the backcountry will experience freezing or near-freezing temperatures.  Low temps should be around freezing up through the high 30’s for most of the Los Padres over the coming two nights.  A taste of things to come.  Temps will warm up heading into what looks to be a perfect weekend for a hike or ride.  Great time of year!



Shutting of the Gates
LockedGate GATE CLOSURES

As winter arrives, along with it we usually see a few more seasonal gate closures across the forest.  Knowing the status of gate closures is tricky and it can certainly ruin your weekend outing if you come across a locked gate you expected would be open.  Some gates are opened/closed solely on established dates.  What this means is that there are rules for certain roads/gates where they are recommended to be closed or opened on certain dates regardless of weather.  The big dates across the forest are November 1, December 15 and May 1.  Other gates are opened/closed around storm systems and weather events – open during dry times and closed when rain is forecast.  It’s really hard to know for sure if and when a gate will be open/closed.  Best advice for any of you heading to the mountains is to do your homework ahead of time.  First check two online sources:

• The Forest Service has a page dedicated to road and campground closures:

• HikeLosPadres also has a page designated to the status of certain gates around the forest.  The gate list is not complete but it is updated as closures happen.  NOTE: If you have any updates or would like any gates added, please let HLP know.

Then, in addition to the online resources, I’d also recommend calling the Ranger District you plan on visiting and double checking the status of the gate closures.  There is almost nothing worse than getting shutdown by a locked gate before you even get to a trailhead.  Research ahead of time can solve most of those headaches.

GATE UPDATES

Again, check the resources mentioned above but here are a few closures to keep an eye on:

  • Dough Flat, above Fillmore, will be closing December 15 this year.
  • Middle Lion Campground, near Piedra Blanca, will be closed December 1.
  • Santa Barbara Canyon gate, at Reyes Ranch, is scheduled to be closed November 1.
  • Reyes Peak / Pine Mtn is scheduled to be closed December 15.
  • West Cuesta Rd above SLO will be closed for repairs from November 1, 2015 – October 31, 2016.

Rik’s Army of Packs, Waiting for YOU!
RikBackpacks

And don’t forget the Used Gear Sale this weekend in Santa Barbara!  Check out the link below for more information:


UPCOMING EVENTS

November 7: Used Gear Sale, Tucker’s Grove Site 5, Goleta
December 4-6: LPFA Lower Mono-Alamar Trail Project

* It’s harder to schedule events this time of year, sorry there isn’t more on the schedule.  If you want anything added, please let us know.