Founded in 1979, the LPFA is an official non-profit 501(c)(3) partner of the Los Padres National Forest.  Our mission is to care for the Los Padres Forest, ensuring it thrives and remains safe and open for the people to use and enjoy.
The LPFA shares the Forest Service motto of “Caring for the Land and Serving the People.”  We love nothing more than to help people enjoy their time in the Los Padres in a sustainable and respectful manner.  If you have any questions about the forest, trails, camps or anything Los Padres related – we are more than happy to help!

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While we have you, feel free to browse around and check out all the cool things we have going on across the forest……….

The Los Padres National Forest is the second largest forest in California.  It stretches across the central coast from Los Angeles County up to Monterey.  There are 10 designated wilderness areas within the Los Padres, along with thousands of miles of trails and some of the most spectacular natural wildlife and scenery.  With elevations ranging from sea level to almost 9,000ft, the Los Padres offers a wide assortment of recreational activities including surfing, skiing, hunting, backpacking, mountain biking, bird watching or sitting next to a creek reading a book.  It is also home to thousands of black bear, mountain lion, steelhead trout and of course the iconic California condor.

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Maybe the most amazing thing about the Los Padres is that it is located within a few hours of over 25,000,000 people!  In today’s hurried world of devices pinging at you, urban sprawl and constant availability; having the option to get out of town and spend time in the mountains away from the chaos is something so simple, yet so hard to achieve.  We need places like the Los Padres and these places need groups like the LPFA helping keep them wild and open.

The LPFA helps coordinate volunteer projects across the Los Padres Forest. Our volunteers work to keep trails open, report and assess forest conditions and provide public education on how to safely use the forest.

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Collaborating with the Los Padres Forest to provide volunteer trail maintenance support, community outreach projects and outdoor recreation opportunities.

-We LOVE seeing posts that include sights, sites and sounds from across of the Los Padres. Earlier this week we were forwarded a post from Santa Barbara County Fire which featured a trail we know very well. Any guesses which trail this is? Check the @santabarbaracountyfire post to see the short video….-HINT: The LPFA Trail Crew has spent a month already in 2022 working this trail and more scheduled ASATWBBA (as soon as the weather becomes bearable again).---#guessesanyone ? #lpfatrailcrew #lospadresnationalforest @santabarbaracountyfire #guesswhere #lospadresfuntime #hintsneeded ? #youcandoit #LetsHearIt #somewhereinthelospadres #theanswerisoutthere #fillintheblank #letsgo ... See MoreSee Less
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-Another week, another round of downed trees to clear. We really appreciate all of you trail-lovers who report the downed trees via HikeLosPadres.com, email or the usual social media channels. We can't clear them if we don't know they are there. THANK YOU!---#beforeandafterlp #treesafallingeverywhere #lospadresnationalforest #hikelospadres #arroyoburrotrail #sunsetvalleytrail #rattlesnakecanyontrail #figueroamountain #bluecanyontrail #davybrowntrail #thanksforreporting #lpfatrailcrew #lpfatrailvolunteers ... See MoreSee Less
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Read on to learn more about the "rattlesnake vaccine" for dogs. Thanks Central Coast Snake Services!It’s Canine Companion Week! This post discusses whether or not you should get the “rattlesnake vaccine” for your dog.Vaccines to help protect your dog against viral and other pathogens that cause disease like rabies and distemper are important parts of your regular visits to your vet. But what about “vaccines” that allegedly protect your dog not from pathogens but from other threats like snake venom? Do they work, and should you get the vaccine for your dog?My answer is no. This is based on three things: (1) data from studies of the vaccine’s efficacy, (2) recommendations from veterinarians who specialize in snakebite treatment, and (3) my understanding as a scientist of how the immune system works. (1) There is no evidence that the rattlesnake vaccine works: The rattlesnake “vaccine” has a conditional approval from the USDA, which means it simply must be shown to be safe and does not need to have been shown to work. Indeed, it has not been shown to provide any protection. Study #1 found no difference in outcome in snakebitten dogs who had the vaccine and those that did not. Study #2 showed that mice vaccinated with the drug had some protection against venom from Western Diamond-backed rattlesnakes (the species that was used to make the vaccine), but little protection against venoms from Northern and Southern Pacific rattlesnakes (the ones that most commonly bite dogs in California). Of course, dogs are not mice, but this is the closest thing to an experimental study that can be done because it is not considered ethical to perform such studies on dogs. What about what your vet says? I have heard some veterinarians say that they believe that the vaccine may afford some protection against snakebite. However, this can result from confirmation bias (a dog has the vaccine, survives a bite, and so the owner and vet attribute its survival to having had the vaccine). (2) The specialist veterinarians at National Snakebite Support do not recommend the vaccine for the reasons I have described above. Join this Facebook group to learn about snakebite treatment from specialists. www.facebook.com/groups/987850051297436(3) How vaccines work, and why they won’t likely work against snakebite: The idea behind a vaccine is that exposing your dog to bits of the foreign protein ahead of time primes their immune system so that their body initiates immune response against the proteins when later exposed. This makes sense for viruses and other pathogens, where vaccines protect against infection and save thousands of canine lives annually. When a virus invades the body, the vaccine-primed immune system can be activated and can attack that virus before it has a chance to replicate and cause a major infection. But this doesn’t make sense for venom. When a snake bites a dog, a vast quantity of foreign proteins is injected into the bloodstream all at once, and it is logically not possible that the immune system would be able to mount a response against this quantity of foreign protein. The vaccine is marketed with the notion that vaccination could buy your dog time when traveling to the veterinarian for lifesaving antivenom (the vaccine is NOT advertised as a substitute for antivenom!). But even that doesn’t make sense. If anything, it is more likely that “vaccinating” a dog against snake venoms could induce a dangerous sensitivity to venom proteins in dogs. Indeed, one study (Study #3, links at the end) has shown that several dogs who had received the rattlesnake vaccine died from anaphylactic shock when they were bitten by rattlesnakes because of this hypersensitivity. In summary, my data-driven understanding as a scientist along with the recommendations of veterinarians specializing in treatment of snakebite in dogs have led me to recommend that you do not have your dog vaccinated against snakebite. The best ways to protect your dog involve prevention of snakebite in the first place, via the underrated and magical tool known as the leash (see yesterday’s post) and potentially via rattlesnake avoidance training and rattlesnake exclusion fencing, the subjects of tomorrow’s post. Until then, leash up and enjoy the trail with your pooch!References:Study #1: Witsil et al. 272 cases of rattlesnake envenomation in dogs: Demographics and treatment including safety of F(ab′)2 antivenom use in 236 patients. ToxiconVolume 105, October 2015, Pages 19-26. doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2015.08.028Study #2: Cates et al. Comparison of the protective effect of a commercially available western diamondback rattlesnake toxoid vaccine for dogs against envenomation of mice with western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox), northern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus oreganus), and southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri) venom. American Journal of Veterinary Research Volume 76, March 2015, Pages 272-279. doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.76.3.272Study #3: Petras et al. Suspected anaphylaxis and lack of clinical protection associated with envenomation in two dogs previously vaccinated with Crotalus atrox toxoid. ToxiconVolume 142, February 2018, Pages 30-33. doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2017.12.044Each morning of this Canine Companion Week I will post advice about “Keeping your dog safe in snake country,” with upcoming topics including the rattlesnake vaccine, rattlesnake avoidance training, snakebite first aid, and keeping your dog safe in your yard. This will culminate in a free online presentation sponsored by the Los Padres Forest Association on Thurs, June 29 at 6pmPST (registration here: lpforest.salsalabs.org/keepingyourdogsafeinsnakecoutry/index.html) ... See MoreSee Less
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