Simply put, it’s about as good as it gets right now across the Los Padres. The _______ is amazing this season! We’ve not seen _______ like this for years and the _______ Trail is spectacular right now, never been better. And have you seen the _______ on _______ Peak? Wow…. Stunning.
We’ll leave it at that……. you should have no problem filling in the blanks. That’s your homework, uh, we mean forestwork! The rest of this email will focus on upcoming volunteer projects and some updates from across the Los Padres. We do hope you’re finding time to enjoy the trails and forest responsibly, be sure to check HikeLosPadres for the most recent trail and camp information and if you have any questions or need information, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’ll try our best to get the answers you might need. Let’s get to it…..
TRAIL HELP NEEDED
As usual, all the upcoming forest events and volunteer trail projects are listed at the bottom of this email but we wanted to call out a few in particular that we are looking forward to:
April 12-14: TINTA TRAIL
The Tinta Trail is a seldom used trail set just off the northeastern edge of the Dick Smith Wilderness. Tinta, which is part of the Condor Trail, is designated as a motorcycle trail but is also a great option for mountain bikes as well as hikers. Tinta has become incredibly overgrown over the past few years to the point where it’s become really hard to ride. Not for long…. We’ll be working/camping for 3 days on April 12-14 working on brushing the Tinta Trail from Upper Tinta Camp down beyond Brubaker Canyon. Since this is non-wilderness we’ll have the benefit of using power tools and are hoping to get some local motorcyclists to help support the project by riding in tools, supplies and food for the volunteers. It should be a different yet really fun project. If you’d like to help out, please let us know: Volunteer@LPForest.org
April 26-28: THREE PEAKS TRAIL
Do you have a favorite trail that needs maintenance? If so, this is a good model to follow. Los Padres volunteer extraordinaire Steve Cypher had a similar feeling for the Dutra area of the Silver Peak Wilderness and decided to do something about it. Partnering with the FS, VWA and LPFA, Steve has now led multiple trail projects in and around Dutra Flats focused on clearing the trails. This is the 3rd or 4th such project and together with volunteers Steve is successfully reopening this area. Talk about awesome. It would be great if others were able to follow in Steve’s footprints. If you’re interested in learning more about adopting a trail or working Three Peaks, click this link and sign up to help April 26-28.
May & June: SISQUOC WORKING VACATIONS
If you don’t know about the famous LPFA Working Vacations, this might be the year for you to sign up and find out. The LPFA will be hosting two Working Vacations this year focused on restoring the Sisquoc Trail within the San Rafael Wilderness. The first is May 4-12 along the Upper Sisquoc and the second is June 1-9 on the Lower Sisquoc. Both projects will be stock supported with all food provided for volunteers. While we’ll be out there for 10 days in total, there are shorter stints available in case you can’t spend the whole time out there. This is a great year for these projects as the Sisquoc should be flowing nicely well into the summer season. Let us know if you have any questions and we’d love to see you out there with us later this spring. Volunteer@LPForest.org
– West Fork Cold Spring Trail above Montecito has reopened after being closed for a few months due to a landslide taking out a large portion of the trail.
– In nearby news, the debris-flow ring nets above Montecito have been approved and will be installed in the coming weeks. There will be certain trail closures during the installation of the nets and we’ll do our best to share that with you through social media.
– And related to that, late last month the cause of the Thomas Fire was released as fire investigators determined that “power lines slapping together in high winds” was the cause of the Thomas Fire ignition.
– The LPNF is extending the comment deadline for those interested in weighing in on the proposed closure of Dry Canyon in the Mt Pinos Ranger District. The closure is a result of a 2015 study which found munitions and explosives in Dry Canyon that date back to the 1940’s.
– There have been a few rescues across the Los Padres over the past month related to lost or injured trail users. Be sure to share your trip itineraries with friends or family before you venture into the forest and use common sense while in the forest. Be safe.
– The proposed wildlife corridor in Ventura County was approved last month which should help the safe passage of mammals between the Los Padres and adjacent wild areas. On the heels of the wildlife corridor, a study was released late last month about the potential extinction of Southern California mountain lions.
– Congressman Salud Carbajal is poised to reintroduce the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act.
– The Monterey Ranger District continues to struggle with closures and lack of forest access. The lack of access has been leading to overcrowding within the few locations that are open. You can read more in a recent article from the Monterey County Weekly.
– The Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center will once again be hosting weekly Saturday educational programs designed for nature lovers of all ages. Wheeler will be kicking off the season with the Annual Wheeler Open House on Saturday April 27. Come on out, we hope to see you on the 27th and throughout the summer.
– Maybe you’ve heard, but the flowers aren’t bad right now either. Los Padres Forest’s own Helen Tarbet is once again providing regular flower updates for those brave enough to venture into the Figueroa Mtn area. Her most recent excellent update is attached with this email. Please tread lightly.
And last but certainly not least, we wanted to congratulate our good friend Charlie Robinson on his recent retirement from the Forest Service. Charlie served as the Ojai District Recreation Officer for over 27 years and was with the Forest Service for 43 years. We wish Charlie all the best as he skis into whiter pastures and thank him for all his help over the years. 27 years of institutional knowledge will be hard to lose. Fortunately, some of us have his cell number….. You can run Charlie, but you can’t hide….. ha ha. Thank you Charlie!
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 pass along!
April 6: 1st Saturday Deal Canyon Project, MPRD & LPFA
April 6: State Trails Day, SB Frontcountry
April 6-9: Judell Trail Car-Camping, LPFA
April 12-14: Tinta otorcycle Trail Project, LPFA
April 18: Helpful & Harmful Plants, Sue Reinhart, SB Library
April 20: Ojai Earth Day
April 20-21: Marble Peak Trail Project, VWA
April 22: Earth Day in Fillmore!
April 26-28: Three Peaks Trail, Silver Peak Wilderness
April 27: Wheeler Gorge Open House
May 4-5: Mocho Sawyer Project, VWA
May 4-12: Upper Sisquoc Working Vacation, LPFA
May 10-12: Terrace Creek Trail Project, VWA
May 11: Mt Pinos Ranger District Open House
May 17-19: Strawberry Camp Trail Project, VWA
May 24-27: Big Sur Trail Sawyer Project, VWA
June 1-9: Lower Sisquoc Working Vacation, LPFA
June 8-10: Lost Valley Trail Project, Ventana, VWA
June 9: Cold Spring Trail, SBMTV
June 21-23: Big Sur Trail Sawyer Project, VWA