I spent some time earlier today writing an entirely too long paragraph which I was hoping would open this LPFA Newsletter. It went on and on about how “alive” the Los Padres is right now and how that’s both good and bad. I got pretty deep, by my standards, looking at this years extreme seasonal plant growth, the impacts that growth is having on our trails and theories as to why we’re experiencing so much “life” this year compared to previous years. I compared this years rainfall totals with earlier years (we had more rain in 2011 & 2017), rambled on about theories as to why there are tens of thousands of oak seedlings covering the lower Sisquoc this year and prophesied about why the bear have been so active. After all that writing, all that research and all that theorizing……. I changed my mind. It’s the start of a beautiful weekend, let’s save the rambling for another time, a Tuesday or Wednesday perhaps. For now, let’s focus on pretty forest pictures and getting out and enjoying your forest. Go for a hike, go for a ride. Explore, bushwhack, swim. We can worry about overgrown trails another time, perhaps next Tuesday or Wednesday.
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Effective June 29, the Los Padres Forest raised fire restrictions for the season. You can read all the details at the link below but essentially campfires are permitted only in Designated Campfire Use Sites, think official FS car-campgrounds. Backcountry campfires are prohibited at the moment but camp stoves are still legal across the forest. Again, more details at the link below, learn it:
Be safe everyone……
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• There have been quite a few trails maintained over the past month or so across the Los Padres by the FS and your local volunteer organizations. Here’s a quick list, remember you can visit HikeLosPadres.com for more information about these wonderful trails: Aliso Canyon, Arroyo Burro (north), Baron, Cold Spring, Deal, Devils Canyon, Franklin, Manzana, Matilija Falls, McMenemy, Poplar, Rancho Nuevo, Raspberry Spring, Rattlesnake Canyon, Romero, San Ysidro, Santa Barbara Canyon, Sisquoc, Terrace Creek
• We’ve been hearing about a lot of poodle-dog bush sightings in the Ventura County portions of the Thomas Fire. Poodle-dog is a fire-follower with beautiful head-high purple flowers this time of the year. Don’t let the beauty fool you as the plant can cause very similar reactions to that of poison oak. Learn what poodle-dog looks like and do your best to avoid it, but take lots of pictures because they sure are pretty, wouldn’t you say?
• The Buckhorn OHV Road off of Paradise Road reopened on July 4 after being closed for nearly three years following the August 2016 Rey Fire. Ride safe everyone…..
• The Forest Service has been busy over the past month cleaning up some backcountry pot grow sites. You can read more here and here.
• For those of us interested in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the FS is proposing some revisions to their current NEPA regulations. There are pros and there are cons to potential revisions. If you’d like to learn more or share your thoughts, click the link above. We have until August 12 to provide comments.
• The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act made news this week as it was presented by Salud Carbajal at a congressional subcommittee hearing in Washington DC. If approved, the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act will designate nearly 250,000 acres of land across the Los Padres and Carrizo Plain as wilderness, create two new Wild and Scenic Rivers and designate the Condor Trail as a National Scenic Trail. You can watch the subcommittee hearing here.