What Dog Days?: Madulce Trail Project, Soberanes and much much more…….

Madulce Peak & Trail
MadulceTrail
Hi Everyone – Happy Thursday,

Even though we’re in the dog days of summer, there is no shortage of activity across the Los Padres.  We’ve got a jam-packed email focusing on many of the events and incidents within the LP; lets get to it!  If there is anything missing or you’d like included in future emails, please let us know……..

MADULCE TRAIL PROJECT
The LPFA is leading a trail project along the Madulce Trail in the Dick Smith Wilderness on the weekend of August 12-14.  We’ll be driving in to Alamar Saddle and setting up basecamp at Alamar Camp.  It will be a car-camping trip with a short drive up to the Madulce Trail to work both Friday afternoon and Saturday.  The work will be mainly logging and tread work along the top 2 miles of the Madulce Trail.  The work site is around 6,000ft, on the north side of Madulce Peak and mostly shaded by pine trees.  It should be a good location for working even in hotter temperatures.  Mike Smith is the project lead and we’re hoping for 15-20 volunteers.  Food and tools will be provided by the LPFA.  It’s going to be a great time and a nice opportunity to get into the backcountry to help any NDD issues you might be suffering from.  If you are interested in joining please email INFO@LPForest.org or check Facebook or Meetup for more details.  Hope to see you there………

Soberanes Fire – August 4, MappingSupport.com

Soberanes160804
SOBERANES FIRE
Quick update on Soberanes in the Monterey Ranger District.  The fire continues to grow and is primarily burning south into the Los Padres and Ventana Wilderness.  The fire has currently burned 51,000 acres and is 27% contained.  The FS just issued a new closure order, see attached PDF map for details.  The cause of the fire was revealed yesterday as being an illegal campfire in Garrapata State Park.  Twitter remains the best source for up-to-the-second information and Inciweb is the place for official information related to the fire.  There is some good news and bad news that also surfaced this week.  Good news is that there is a large-scale weather change in the forecast that will bring higher humidity and cooler temperatures to the area starting this weekend.  That will help.  The bad news is that fire personnel have been mentioning that Soberanes has the potential to burn over 170,000 acres before it’s all said and done.  The steep terrain and inaccessible country that we all love about the Ventana is making constructing fire lines virtually impossible.  Everything to the immediate south of the current fire perimeter is within wilderness, which means that very few man-made structures are at risk.  Mix in the cost and safety concerns associated with fighting fire in the difficult to access portions of the Ventana and it appears that the current strategy might be to construct fire lines around much of the Ventana and let the backcountry burn inside those fire lines.  This is the same approach that was used in the 2007 Zaca Fire.  If you look at the image above, red indicates the current fire perimeter and the blue lines are the projected fire lines.  We’ll keep you posted as the fire progresses and lets all be sure to thank the fire and support crews and wish them the best of luck as they continue to get the upper hand on Soberanes.

FOREST 411
Reyes Peak (aka Pine Mtn) Road has reopened in the Ventura Backcountry.  Along with the road reopening both Pine Mtn and Reyes Peak Campgrounds have also been reopened.  Note: Reyes Peak Trail towards Haddock remains closed as does the Piedra Blanca Trail between Upper Reyes and Pine Mtn Lodge.  These closures were a result of last months Pine Fire.

• The Los Padres National Forest is hiring within the Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program.  Interested candidates can apply at www.USAJobs.gov starting 8/11 – 8/25.  Additional information available here.

SLO based VWR’s Bill and Sandy Obermeyer, Debbie and Ron York & Ashley and Joe Dillard
worked the access road for Rinconada Trailhead making it drivable for equestrian trailers once again.  A+!
RangerBill
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!


August 7: West Fork Cold Spring Trail Maintenance, SBMTV, Santa Barbara Frontcountry
August 11: Santa Ynez Valley Historic Museum, Chumash Trails
August 12-14: LPFA Madulce Trail Sawyer Project
August 13: A-Zone South Hunting Season Starts

September 8: Santa Ynez Valley Historic Museum, Walking El Camino Real
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 13: Santa Ynez Valley Historic Museum, Rangers of the San Rafael Wilderness
October 16: D-13 Hunting Season Starts
October 22: LPFA Used Gear Sale
October 29: LPFA First Aid & CPR Training

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

 

Los Padres Fire Restrictions Announced

F I R E     R E S T R I C T I O N S
FireRestrictions

Hello Los Padres – hope you are well!

Last week the Forest Service announced that the LP is now in Level III fire restrictions.  You can read the official notice for specific details but it basically means that no campfires are allowed in the backcountry and target shooting across the Forest is also prohibited.  Cooking stoves are allowed and so are campfires within the designated car-camping campsites.  It’s somewhat ironic but it seems that each time the fire restrictions are changed there is either a hot spell when the restrictions are lifted or rain when the restrictions are enforced.  This time was no different when we saw a nice late spring storm drop 0.25-0.5″ across the Forest earlier this week.  Perhaps we need to toggle the fire restrictions on and off a bit in order to get ourselves out of the drought.  All joking aside, please adhere to the restrictions and avoid any activities that might lead to wildfires.  We’re in the fourth year of the drought and conditions across the Forest are incredibly dry.  There was a recent news report about all the drought related tree mortality that is occurring across the forest and how the dead trees are becoming a real fire concern, you can watch the video here.  Never a dull moment, is there?  Be careful and lets hope it stays as dull as possible.Some news, updates and reports……….

W I L D E R N E S S   R A N G E R   T R A I N I N G
The annual Region 5 Wilderness Ranger Training is scheduled for June 1-5 at Trinity Lake (outside of Redding, CA).  The LP has sent an assortment of Volunteer Wilderness Rangers to these trainings over the past few years.  They are great opportunities to learn new skills and meet rangers across the state who are dealing with many of the same issues we deal with here.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact INFO@LPForest.org and we’ll point you in the right direction.  Hope some of you can make it.


Cooling Off, Buckhorn Trail, photo Humphrey
BuckhornCreek
U P C O M I N G     E V E N T S
There are quite a few upcoming projects and events you can volunteer for.  We’ve listed a few below and some more details on a couple of the larger ones.  If you have any events coming up that we can help publicize, please don’t hesitate to let us know, we’d be more than happy to share.  Hope to see you on the trail or even better at an event.The feature event this week is a LPFA project that Mike Smith (he of goat fame) will be hosting along the Buckhorn Trail from May 29-31.  On Friday May 29 we’ll be driving out to the Lower Indian Creek Trailhead and working the trail up to Lower Buckhorn Camp.  We’ll focus on Saturday working from Lower Buckhorn up the Buckhorn Trail.  Most of the work will be logging downed trees and brushing.  We’ll pack up on Sunday and head back to the trucks.  The LPFA will be providing most meals and Mike’s goats will be there to provide pack support along the route.  The Buckhorn is a beautiful canyon with a fantastic multi-use trail.  This is a great opportunity to explore the canyon, get some work done and have fun while doing it.  For more information or to sign-up, please contact Mike Smith at: michael.d.smith@ulalaunch.com

—————————————————————————————————
May 19-27: Santa Cruz Trail Project
May 29-31: Buckhorn Trail Project
June 2: Jim & Rob’s Ojai Fundraiser
June 3-11: Mono Alamar Trail Project
June 5-7: National Trails Day, Mono Campground Trail Weekend
June 6: Sespe National Trails Day Project
June 27: Big Sur Wilderness Celebration
June: Bear Sisquoc Crosscut
July 10-12: Santa Barbara 100 Endurance Run Support
July: Madulce Trail Crosscut
—————————————————————————————————

Upper Sisquoc Working Vacation

Hello Everyone,We’re very excited to announce that the LPFA is  partnering with the Forest Service to host a 10-day trail project along the Upper Sisquoc Trail within the San Rafael Wilderness.  The dates are April 17-26.  The Cliff Notes version:

  • While the project is 10 days in total length, we’ll have a variety of entry and exit dates for those who cannot commit to the entire 10 days.  Let us know what works for you and we’ll do our best to figure out a solution.
  • The project will start by driving past the locked FS gates to Santa Barbara Potrero.
  • We’ll meet the stock horses and mules at SB Potrero and load them up with gear, food, tools and supplies to haul down to Heath Camp.
  • From there we’ll backpack the 5 miles down to Heath Camp, which will most likely be our basecamp for the week.
  • Once at Heath along the Sisquoc, we’ll setup camp and do what we do:  trail work, campfires, swim, good food, log out trees, explore, hang out with friends and swing tools.
  • The focus of the project is to work and clear the trail of the 100 reported trees down from Heath up towards Alamar Saddle.

If you’ve not been on a Working Vacation, I can assure you they are a lot of fun.  Having stock support means we eat well and usually have cold beverages to look forward to at the end of the day.  Hope you can make it and to sign up or for more information email: INFO@LPFOREST.ORG


SISQUOC WORKING VACATION
April 17-26
Heath Camp
San Rafael Wilderness
http://www.hikelospadres.com/sisquoc-trail-south-fork-to-alamar.html

UpperSisquocWV

 BearFalls

LPFA Transverse – Time for Backpacking & Ales

Cuyama Badlands, Don’t adjust your vision, that’s how it looks.
CuyamaBadlands

Hi Everyone,
Lots to cover this week.  For those of you who can’t get enough of these email updates (you know who you are), they are archived at www.LPForest.org.  We also post much of this information and more on the LPFA Facebook page.  Check em out!

Trails and Ales

FEBRUARY 19, 5PM,
CAPTAIN FATTY’S, GOLETA

Do you know what ‘Trails and Ales’ is?  A few years ago the Santa Barbara County Trails Council dreamt up a great event to bring trail enthusiasts together by sharing ales.  Since then, there have been a handful of these events across Santa Barbara County.  The latest installment is being hosted by the LPFA on Thursday February 19th at Captain Fatty’s Brewery in Goleta.  Captain Fatty’s opened up just a few months ago, if you haven’t visited, this is the perfect time to come out and check it for yourself.  The event is from 5-8pm with all proceeds going to support LPFA trail projects we have lined up for this Spring.  This includes work scheduled on the Mission Pine, Cold Spring North, Santa Cruz, Ranger Peak, Hurricane Deck, Gibraltar, Buckhorn and Gene Marshall / Piedra Blanca trails.  We’ll also have a silent auction and raffle featuring local maps, guide books, REI and Patagonia products.  Come on out, enjoy a cold ale, talk trail, we’ll be BBQing tritip sandwichs and meet some new friends.  No better way to replenish your stoke for the trails.

Almost forgot, we’ll be playing a NAME THAT PLACE game.  Send us a photo (INFO@LPForest.org) of your favorite Los Padres Camp or recognizable feature and we’re going to organize a great game out of the photos.  See you there……. 

 

 

Motivation to Explore

SespeMap
BACKPACKING FUNDAMENTALS COURSE

The LPFA is super happy to announce a new program we are hosting to introduce and share the love of backpacking.  Driven by Curt Cragg and Paul “Beeman” Cronshaw, we’ll be hosting a 6 week course on the fundamentals of backpacking.  We’ll be covering everything from what to bring, where to go, how to read maps, what to do when things go wrong and how to be confident along the trails.  The classes will be held in the Santa Barbara Area starting mid-March.  For more information see the attached document or email: Curt@LPForest.org

We’re very excited about this.  It’s going to be really fun.  Please share with anyone you think might be interested in learning how to backpack.

FOREST 411

OJAI RANGER DISTRICT – HIRING
The ORD is hiring a Visitor Services Information Assistant to work out of the Ojai Ranger Station.  This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in working with the Forest Service.  Attached is a PDF with more information.  GOOD LUCK!

POTHOLE TRAIL PROJECT: February 14
What better way to spend Valentines than on the trail with your sweetheart doing trail work.  Join Ranger Heidi as she continues working the Pothole Trail in the Southern Sespe Wilderness and along the Condor Trail.  Email Heidi for more details.  Great job everyone!

JESUSITA TRAIL PROJECT: February 15
SBMTV is hosting a trail project on the 15th to continue work along the West Jesusita Trail.  They’ve been working specifically on some switchbacks that are having trouble knowing what to do with any water that comes down the trail.  For more information email Mike Tarpey.

FIRST AID and CPR TRAINING: February 28
Reminder that the LPFA has organized a First Aid/CPR/BBP training for Sunday February 28 in Ojai.  We have a few spaces left, please hurry!  To sign up or for more information please email:  INFO@LPForest.org

ARROYO BURRO CLEARED
Late last week we got a report from an equestrian that the North Arroyo Burro Trail was impassable due to a large downed oak tree.  In the words of the great Craig Carey, “TO THE HILLS!”.  The LPFA Trailwork Tuesday bunch organized and spent most of yesterday removing the tree.  It was a particularly dangerous tree with most of the weight uphill of the trail.  Slowly and methodically the volunteers removed the tree piece by piece, ultimately freeing the trail back up for hikers and riders.  If you know of any downed trees or trail hazards along your favorite trail, let us know.

Super Volunteers Ranger Rik and The Chief, Before and After
ArroyoBurroRemoved

Enjoy the week everyone, take care……