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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Anti-Fracking, Environment, Land Resources Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Protection of Endangered Species

Mission: ForestWatch is the only local organization focused solely on safeguarding the entire Los Padres National Forest, from the famed Big Sur coastline to the majestic Sespe Wilderness near the Los Angeles County line. We use community involvement, scientific collaboration, and legal advocacy to protect and restore the wilderness landscapes, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation opportunities in this spectacular area.

Geographic areas served: Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and western Kern counties along California's Central Coast.

Programs: Advocacy & monitoring - tracked development and resource extraction proposals throughout the los padres national forest, the carrizo plain national monument and other public lands along california's central coast. Submitted comment letters, filed appeals, met with land management agencies, collaborated with scientists, and conducted on-the-ground monitoring and surveys to protect land, rivers, plants and wildlife.

public education & outreach - informed local communities about the value of our region's public lands, the threats and challenges facing these wild places, and opportunities to better protect these areas. Distributed information via our website, monthly e-newsletter, quarterly membership newsletter, press releases, film screening, art shows and public events.

voulunteer habitat restoration - enlisted 199 volunteers who contributed a combined 1,489 hours of service on 25 projects to restore degraded habitat areas in and around the los padres national forest. Conducted microtrash cleanups at 11 sites, resulting in removal of 3,427 lbs of microtrash that is harmful to young condors. Organized 1 fence removal project on the carrizo plain, resulting in removal of miles of fencing to give pronghorn the freedom to roam. Performed 5 tamarisk removal projects to eradicate this highly invasive plant from forest watersheds. Conducted 1 population survey of bighorn sheep in the sespe wilderness to help monitor and ensure the species' survival. Conducted 2 cleanups of illicit marijuana grow sites to remove remnant trash and irrigation tubing.

Community Stories

83 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I've supported LPFW for several years and greatly appreciate that they are the sole entity working passionately to protect the 2nd largest forest in California. Jeff is committed and effectively leading this organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Los Padres National Forest is an American treasure. It is a wild place with remote mountains, valleys, springs, and clean running creeks and rivers. The forest gives a protected home to endangered condors, foxes, owls, frogs, regional lizards, snakes, fish, solitary bears, and wild mountain lions. It is one of the most botanically diverse forests in America with chaparral, native grasses, redwoods, wildflowers, manzanita, conifers, oaks, and beautiful ferns along the front and back country creeks. The Los Padres National Forest protects ancient Chumash sites and Chumash rock art found in caves and on rocks.
Our living, public forest needs protection and care. Los Padres ForestWatch is the non-profit leading the way in protecting and caring for the Los Padres National Forest. Since 2004 they have accomplished much on a relatively small budget. They kept the oil industry from expanding in the back country which protects groundwater resources. They stopped a proposal to hunt black bear in San Luis Obispo County, prevented logging around Figueroa Mountain, conducted habitat restoration at various locations such as Lizards Mouth. They have been the eyes and ears of the Los Padres National Forest and we in the public are incredibly fortunate to have Los Padres ForestWatch protecting this treasure.

Judy176

Advisor

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forestwatch serves a vital role in preserving and protecting the amazingly diverse Los Padres Forest. Through their advocacy and outreach they educate the public about threats to the Los Padres; they will also take steps to fight back and challenge the degradation of the Forest.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have had the pleasure of working with Los Padres ForestWatch for several years and are currently litigating on their behalf regarding an impactful and non-compliant oil drilling operation. They are a dedicated organization that protects wildlife habitat, water quality, scenic views, and outdoor recreation in and around the Los Padres National Forest. They have a small, but hard-working staff that manages to stay up to date on the many projects that would impact the National Forest and able to collaborate with other environmentally focused organizations.

Donor

Rating: 5

When we have an asset like the Forest and a big bureaucracy trying to manage it, the Public needs a 'WATCH DOG" -- we're fortunate to have a very good one - Los Padres Forestwatch does an effective and efficient job on our behalf.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forestwatch is a small, highly effective organization with a focused mission. The number of volunteers and the wide reaching support they draw in our community is notable. We are lucky to have them working on behalf of our local national forest and all of us who benefit from it.

Laura339

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great community programs! I just took the back backing class offered and learned so much. Great to know all the fees went back to the organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forest Watch works diligently to protect the forest, whether its battling in the court room or picking up micro trash out in the forest. They are the real deal when it comes to protecting a resource that cannot be replaced. Good solid people who are honest, dedicated and focused. LPFW is great organization that has my full and ongoing support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've heard about Los Padres ForestWatch for over a year and went to one Santa Barbara Event. I decided this was an organization I wanted to be involved in and "give back", my time. I like the idea of keeping our National Forest open, protecting condors and trail restoration for everyone to enjoy.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Los Padres National Forest is one of the prides of living and working in Santa Barbara. Every morning, I am fortunate enough to wake up to the sun shinning on the mountains. With the forest spanning from Los Angeles County all the way to Big Sur, it is amazing what the Los Padres Forestwatch has accomplished with such a small but dedicated team. It has been my pleasure to support their efforts to keep fracking out, restore wild areas, and continue to give public access to our national forest. Here is a great video clip that the Conservation Alliance put together a few years back that features my wife and I hiking and camping in the Los Padres: https://vimeo.com/83886952

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Donor

Rating: 5

I would call myself a donor/volunteer. I've been involved with the Los Padres Forestwatch for a number of years now. As a company, we've supported their efforts through the Conservation Alliance as well as their now biannual Wild! events.

As an individual, I've volunteered around conservation efforts for the Los Padres Forest, which literally starts in my backyard, and was also featured within a film project about the Forestwatch.

They are a dedicated group of individuals that are doing an incredible job with one of the nations most expansive national forests.