Marching Towards April Working Vacations

Los Padres Greenery!

SAINT PATRICK’S DAY

Happy St. Patricks’s Day everyone!  While March 17 was originally set aside as a religious celebration of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland, the date has morphed a little over the years into a more general celebration of Ireland.  In addition to the religious aspects of St. Patrick’s day, other time honored traditions have developed including wearing green, pinching those who do not wear green, drinking Irish adult beverages, an overall celebration of Irish descent and a celebration of the color green. Good times for sure!  Feel free to celebrate or enjoy as your beliefs and preferences allow.

Here is the Los Padres, St. Patrick’s Day couldn’t come at a more appropriate time of year.  While most of the country is still thawing out from winter, we’re in the prime of spring with GREEN all around.  Take some time this weekend (after your St. Patty’s celebrations of course) and go find some green in the forest.  It’s not hard to do right now.  It should be a beautiful weekend and you never know, you might just find that leprechaun hiding his gold in that patch of miners lettuce…..

— • — • — • —
Upper Sisquoc Views from the Manzana Trail
APRIL WORKING VACATIONS

The LPFA has two Working Vacation trail projects scheduled in April along the Manzana Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness.  The first WV will be from April 1-9 and will be based either at Manzana Camp (6 miles from NIRA) or Fish Camp (3 miles from NIRA).  The second WV will be from April 15-23 based at Happy Hunting Ground Camp (11 miles from NIRA).  While the trail projects last an entire week, you are welcome to come for as long or short as your schedule allows.  Both Working Vacation locations are upstream from the NIRA Trailhead and will take the better part of a day to travel to and from the base-camps.  We do ask that you commit to a day or two of trail work, which means you’ll need to set aside at least 3-4 days for the Working Vacations.  Better yet, come for the entire week, it’ll be beautiful out there!

For those of you who have been on LPFA Working Vacations, you know what to expect.  For those who have not, the Working Vacations are stock supported volunteer trail projects with designated cooks and all meals provided.  You can learn more here.  Basically, you show up and commit to volunteering on the trail and we’ll make sure you have tasty food to eat, hot coffee in the morning and cold drinks in the evening.  It’s great fun!  Mike Smith will be leading both of these Working Vacations and can answer any specific questions you might have or sign you up!  You can reach him at:  TrailSmith@LPForest.org

More than anything else, the Working Vacations are a fun way to get out in the backcountry, give back to the trails we love and hang out with like-minded fun people.  It’s great fun and very rewarding.  We hope to see you out there……

Rich Scholl, cooking up a storm, Madulce Working Vacation 2016

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!

Los Padres Forest: Springing into Summer

Why did the bear cross the road?
Well, obviously to scratch his/her back against the tree.

photo Humphrey
ScratchingBear
While we are technically still in Spring, it sure feels a lot like Summer doesn’t it?  Over the past week we had triple digit heat across much of the Los Padres, we’re getting the typical summer ritual of creeks starting to dry up and unfortunately we’re seeing some wildfires around the forest as well.  The Coleman Fire is currently the largest wildfire in California and is located on the Los Padres just southwest of King City on the outskirts of the Ventana Wilderness.  Coleman started last Saturday during the height of the heat-spell and has burned around 2,500 acres while being just over 40% contained.  The fire crews have been taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and are making good progress on the fire.  They expect containment next Monday June 13.  In the meantime there are currently no fire restrictions across the Los Padres but we expect some sort of restrictions to be implemented within the next week or two.  Stay tuned and we’ll share any updates both with Coleman and fire restrictions as soon as we hear anything……..
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CalienteSnakeRATTLESNAKE SEASON
While the coming of summer can mean warmer nights, backcountry swimming holes or one step closer to hunting season, it also means that we’re squarely within rattlesnake season.  We’ve had quite a few reports from across the forest of rattler sightings and while fortunately most of them have resulted in happy endings for both snake and human, it’s never a bad idea to learn how to avoid or deal with a bite in the chance that one were to happen.  Here’s a few resources and articles for what to do when dealing with a rattler or bite.  Be careful, stay alert and remember that having a cell phone, SPOT or other form of communication is never a bad idea…….
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The Madulce Village, during May 2016 Working Vacation
MadulceVillageFOREST FOUR ONE ONE

An assortment of this and that from across the forest, click the links for more information.

FIRST AID / CPR TRAINING

The LPFA will be hosting a First Aid / CPR class at some point this Summer or early Fall.  Super volunteer Susie Thielmann will be the instructor and the class will either be in Santa Barbara or Ventura County.  It is open to the first 15 people who sign up.  We’ll figure out dates around the availability of interested persons.  If you need first aid for a sawyer certification, in order to be a trail leader or want to do it just because it’s a good thing to have, let us know and we’ll put you on the list.  INFO@LPForest.org

 


ROBERT STONE HIKING GUIDES PHOTOGRAPHY

Robert Stone is a local author who writes trail guide books.  He will be publishing an updated version of his Ventura County and Santa Barbara County guide books.  He’s looking for some great photographs that can be used as a cover photo or along the back of the book.  If you have any photos of the area that might make a good cover, let us know and we’ll put you in contact with Robert.  Compensation will be provided for selected photographs.  INFO@LPForest.org

ROCKFRONT OHV CLOSURE, SLRD

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY – FRANKLIN TRAIL, SBRD

NIGHT FIRE FLYING EXERCISE – CHUCHUPATE, MPRD


MISSING PERSON IN BIG SUR, MRD

Forest Gates Opening & Late Spring Trail Projects

Otis Calef, One of the Countless Ways he Supports the Trail Cause, Mono Canyon
OtisMono

Good Day Everyone,

Busy times across the forest right now.  Trail projects up and down the LP, some flowers are wilting while others are just blooming, most creeks are still flowing, temps are rising, flash floods around Cuyama, rain here but certainly not there and did we mention trail projects?  We’ll spend some time soon helping to document all the trail work accomplishments around the forest but for today we’re going to focus on access and promoting a few upcoming trail projects.  Lets get to it…..


RainbowGates
OPEN THE GATES
With the winter and rains now clearly behind us, the FS started opening the gates that were closed due to mandated seasonal closures.  Most of the gates across the forest are now open.  There are a few here or there that remain closed due to slides (Dry Cyn, MPRD) or other closure policies (Cherry Creek, ORD) but chances are you shouldn’t be stymied by a surprise closed gate for whatever adventure you might be planning.  It’s never a bad idea to check before you head out to make sure the road to your trailhead is open.  Best thing to do is call the Ranger District you plan on visiting.  Other very reliable sources are the Alerts & Notices section of the FS website as well as the gates section on HikeLosPadres.com.  Which reminds me, if there are any gates to be added to HikeLosPadres, please let us know at Support@HikeLosPadres.com.


Down the Jackson Trail to Sycamore Camp, San Rafael Wilderness
SycamoreWorkingVacation MIDDLE SISQUOC WORKING VACATION
May 20-30, Sycamore Camp

The LPFA will be hosting a Working Vacation later this month along the Sisquoc Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness.  We’ll be basecamping at Sycamore Camp and working the Sisquoc Trail from Sycamore downstream to Abel Camp.  The work will be primarily brushing and reestablishing trail tread with some crosscut mixed in for good measure.  The project lasts 10 days but has smaller time chunks available for people who can only make 3-4 days at a time.  We’ll work around your schedule.  The LPFA is arranging stock support for the project as well as a camp cook and all the food for volunteers.  This is a great way to visit this remote and wild portion of the forest and is open to volunteers of all skill and experience levels.  Come one, come all.  John Franklin and Steve Cypher will be leading the project, email INFO@LPForest.org for more information or to sign up.  See you out there……..

Shady Waterfull Alder Creek
FranklinTrail NATIONAL TRAILS DAY: Franklin Trail, Alder Creek
June 3-5, Middle Santa Ynez Camp
June 4 is National Trails Day, yippee!  There will be a bunch of projects across the forest that we will share in the next few weeks.  This is the third year the LPFA will be participating in NTD.  Last year we worked the North Cold Spring Slide and this year we’ll be moving a little to the east to work the North Franklin Trail along Alder Creek in the Carpinteria backcountry.  We’ll be basecamping at Middle Santa Ynez Campground and then driving to the trailhead near Jameson Lake to work the trail.  Food will be provided for all volunteers and we’ll be sure to mix in enough fun around the trail work to make it a good time for everyone.  Bring the family, enjoy the nearby hot springs, help clear the historic trail, sign songs around the campfire, laugh with friends and we hope to see you there.  Sign up at INFO@LPForest.org.
Old Man Sunrise, May 2016
LPSunset

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



 

Working Vacation Update and National Trails Day

Hello Los Padres – hope this finds you well,

The big news this past week was that most of the seasonal gate closures in the Ventura backcountry were opened as of May 1.  This includes Dough Flat, Grade Valley, Santa Barbara Canyon (SBCo), Alamo and Pine Mtn amongst others.  These gates are closed November 1 and reopened May 1 as part of seasonal gate closures.  Unfortunately the closures happen to coincide with the best time for people to recreate behind most of these gates.  It would be nice to see the gates opened and closed on a case by case basis based on storm events, conditions and elevation rather than a blanket closure.  Hopefully this is something we can work on over the next 6 months so that next years closures won’t be so drastic.  For now, the gates are open and now is a great time to get out and enjoy the Forest.  Have at it………


 

PackSupport

Dream Team of Otis, Susie and team……….

WORKING VACATION
– UPPER SISQUOC –

The LPFA just wrapped up a 10-day Working Vacation along the Upper Sisquoc in the San Rafael Wilderness.  We had 16 volunteers over that time working the trail and helping supply the project with stock support.  Working Vacations are designed to entice volunteers to spend time working the trails in exchange for cooked meals and cold beverages at the end of each hard days work.  Led by VWR super hero Mike Smith, we were able to log out over 100 downed trees from the Judell and Sisquoc Trails.  By the end of the 10-days, the entire Judell Trail and from Mansfield to Lower Bear was passable to stock.  It was a great project and huge accomplishment.  Special thanks to the Forest Service for helping support the project, in particular Joe Duran, Pancho Smith and Nate Rezeau.  Also Susie and Otis for their expert pack support and Rich Scholl for being a dutch oven magician as our designated cook.

Now that the trail work is done, it’s time to head out and see for yourself.  There was plenty of water in the Sisquoc and the trails are in great shape.  We’re starting to plan an early summer followup project to log the section of trail from Alamar Saddle down to Lower Bear.  We’ll keep you posted and hope to see you next time around……

MansfieldOak

Crosscut Logging near Mansfield, photo Beckstrand

TombstoneTree

The Tombstone Oak, you know it’s taken some time when a tree gets a name, photo Burtness 

SisquocTread

Tread Looking Nice!

HeathCamp

Benefits of stock support, photo Burtness

HeathFood

Eat like Kings and Queens

JudellTrail

Spectacular Judell Trail, looking better than normal!

 

 

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY

Give back to your trails by celebrating National Trails Day with the LPFA.  This year we are hosting a 1-2 day project along the Cold Spring Trail in Santa Barbara County.  With the help of a grant from the Los Padres Trails Riders, we’ll be base camping at Mono Campground and working the Cold Spring Trail through the Mono Jungle and up to the infamous North Cold Spring Slide.  The Slide has been choking the trail for the past 10+ years and preventing most trail users from making it along the trail.  We are going to spend our time reestablishing this section of trail and logging downed trees in the Mono Jungle.  Here is a quick breakdown on the project logistics:

Friday June 5
– Arrive at Mono Campground in the afternoon or evening
– Setup camp, relax, nearby hot springs

Saturday June 6
– Arrive at Mono Campground
– Trail work will start at 0800
– We’ll break into groups and hike the 2miles to the slide section
– Work the trail……
– Stop work at 1500 and head back to Mono Campground
– BBQ and post-work cold beverages provided by the LPFA and TBA local brewing company
– Relax around camp, enjoy nearby hot springs

Sunday June 7
– Breakfast provided by the LPFA
– 0900, optional continued work on the Slide for those interested
– 1400 stop work and head back to Mono Campground
– Pack up and head home

If you are interested in helping either with trail work or as a camp cook, please email INFO@LPForest.org.  For more information check here:

http://www.nationaltrailsday.org/events/north-cold-spring-trail-project/

The Slide, looks better than it actually is…….
SlideOne
SlideTwo
OverviewMapColdSpring

List of more upcoming events……….
———————————————————————————–
May 19-27: Santa Cruz Trail Project
May: Buckhorn Trail Project
June 3-11: Mono Alamar Trail Project
June 5-7: National Trails Day, Mono Campground Trail Weekend
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 – Buzzy Times

Don’t spend too much time looking at this, photo Amanda Grandfield
Rattler

Hello Los Padres,

Busy time in the Forest.  Lots going on.  Events every weekend.  Flowers going off.  Trail projects here and there.  Good water in the creeks.  And yes, our snake friends are awake, out and about.  We’ve been getting reports of rattler sightings.  While the buzzing sound will startle you, remember that it’s better than the alternative of a snake that doesn’t provide warnings.  Rattlesnakes play a crucial role in the LP environment and don’t like seeing people as much as you might not like seeing them.  Keep your eyes open while along the trails, watch where you put your feet and hands and be sure to give them their space if you do see/hear them.  They really are quite beautiful, once you get over the initial startle.

EVENTS, PROJECTS and VOLUNTEERING, OH MY!!!

MARCH 19
FREE Showing of MULE Living on the Outside
Greater Goleta
The Los Padres Trail Riders are presenting a free screening of the great documentary of Mule’s wanderings around the Western United States.  See attached for more details.

MARCH 22
Trails and Tales: A Behind the Scenes Look at Ojai’s Backcountry
Ojai
This is going to be awesome!  The Ojai Valley Museum has organized a panel discussion about everyone’s favorite subject: The Ojai/Ventura Backcountry!  The panelists are a who’s who, including Rick Bisaccia, John Boggs, Craig Carey and Mike Vaughn.  The event starts at 4:30.  I know, spend the day in the mountains, stop by Wheeler Gorge on your way back and then hit the Trails and Tales on your way back home.  Perfect day!  Thank me on Monday with some pictures of your hike.  See attached for more information.

MARCH 25
Exploring the Dick Smith Wilderness Slideshow by James Wapotich
Santa Barbara
Join James Wapotich next Wednesday as he takes us on a tour of the forgotten Dick Smith Wilderness.  Free event that will leave you wanting to risk bad trails and blood sucking California rose for the solitude and beauty of the Dick Smith.  See you there…..  More information attached.

MARCH 28
Wildflower Tour of Figueroa Mountain
Santa Ynez Valley
Helen Tarbet of the Forest Service will be leading a tour of the world famous Figueroa Mountain wildflowers.  Helen’s passion and knowledge of the local flora is incredible.  She’s great and you will have a terrific time on this tour, trust me.  See the attached flier and please send us some photos to share when you get back.

MARCH 28
Santa Paula Canyon Trash Cleanup
Ojai Santa Paula
The Ojai Ranger District will be organizing a trash cleanup along Santa Paula Canyon on March 28.  For more information, contact Ranger Heidi: handerson@fs.fed.us

MARCH 28-29
Santa Barbara Canyon Sawyer Project
Cuyama Pine Mountain
Join the UTMC and Wilderness Corp on a sawyer project along the Santa Barbara Canyon Trail in the Dick Smith Wilderness.  The work starts Saturday at 9am and lasts through 5pm on Sunday.  This is a beautiful trail in a remote corner of the forest.  Great opportunity to give back to the forest.  If interested click on www.WildernessCorps.com and click on Logging Trips; Santa Barbara Canyon Trail.  Looking forward to hearing about all the great work they get done!

APRIL 11
Wheeler Gorge Open House
Ojai Highway 33
The LPFA is hosting our 11th Open House at Wheeler Gorge!  This is a great family event.  This is a perfect excuse for getting you and your family into the mountains.  The Open House is from 10am – 2pm, which gives you plenty of time for an early morning hike or an afternoon swim in the nearby Matilija or Sespe Wildernesses.  We’ll have games, arts & crafts, booths, Smokey Bear, BBQ, etc etc… See attached for more details.

I told you there was lots going on.  Hope to see you out and about and have a great week……….


Santa Paula Canyon, photo Ranger Heidi
SantaPaulaCyn

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.