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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

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LPFW is a reputable and devoted "watchdog" organization, with which I spent the summer of 2010 as a legal extern. I am grateful for the opportunity that Executive Director and founder, Jeff Kuyper, gave me so as to gain meaningful environmental/natural resources law and legal advocacy experience. I worked on legal and policy issues occurring within the Los Padres National Forest and on bordering public lands. This organization tackles controversial and challenging state and federal regulatory and policy issues on behalf of the public interest. Truly, this organization listens to constituents/stakeholders, seeks transparency and informing the public, and utilizes a science-based approach. I was impressed with the caliber and reach of the fairly young organization at the time I volunteered as a law student. LPFW is effective and efficient with its resources and does have an impact especially where government accountability and transparency are concerned. At the same time, LPFW is balanced in its mission and does not engage in unfounded or non-science and social science-based advocacy and litigation. The Executive Director, from my personal experience over several months of work, is a great leader, mentor, and advocate. I hope to see this organization grow further and continue leading efforts to protect and help restore its unique niche focus: the Los Padres National Forest.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LPFW is an outstanding protector of local forests and watersheds. Their steadfast pursuit of environmental justice to benefit nature and people is impressive and inspiring. Their work is meaningful and necessary as we move forward with an increasingly precarious environmental future. Our children and wilderness spaces will be better off thanks to the hard work and dedication of LPFW, and their awesomely supportive volunteer network.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Los Padres Forestwatch is a very important non-profit that is working hard to protect our National Forest. They help get the community involved with cleanups and campaigns. They are working hard to protect endangered species and stop all the oil fracking. They show a lot of courage going up against big oil companies and even more passion about the outdoors. They are very real people who care about what they are fighting for and I am glad I had the chance to see them in action. I would gladly volunteer for this non-profit again!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LPFW is one of the only non profit organizations that is making a stand for the Los Padres National Forest. I've had the opportunity of volunteering with them in the Matilija. They are extremely organized, knowledgeable, and powerful in and around Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. One of my favorite things about LPFW is their commitment to not only working with their hands doing clean-ups, but also to change policies to protect the National Forest. LPFW knows what they are doing and are great about informing the public and getting volunteers to stand together for a wonderful cause.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Los Padres ForestWatch is one of the most efficient and effective nonprofits in our area. They serve to protect a vast and delicate ecosystem using limited resources. Their fight against oil and fracking in the Los Padres Forest is a difficult task, yet they painstakingly work to keep our wilderness free. I strongly support and applaud the efforts by Los Padres ForestWatch.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For several years, I have had the opportunity to volunteer with the Los Padres Forestwatch. I find the projects to be challenging and extremely rewarding. I have also been lucky enough to partner with them on local community events, which all have been extremely successful. I am grateful for their commitment to environmental issues in the Los Padres National Forest and those affecting our own Central Coast.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the opportunity of working with LPFW over the last year as a volunteer in their clean-up efforts and fund raising events. I've come away exhausted yet satisfied and assured my valuable time is directed towards a worthy, well-run organization. The entire staff, from Jeff the director throughout the ranks, are a group of sincere, impassioned individuals selflessly working towards their cause.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with the wonderful team at Los Padres Forest Watch as a GIS Intern doing project support, and have been closely following their activities on Facebook since my departure.

Each one of the few members at LPFW are extremely passionate and dedicated to their cause. While the scope of their mission is extremely broad, from river monitoring in the Santa Ynez River to combatting illegal gun ranges, I was amazed at the level of expertise they demonstrated on every project that they worked on. Further, the tact that they deployed in building relationships with other involved parties was quite a feat in itself. There is no wonder as to how LPFW has continued to successfully operate for many years.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with Los Padres Forest Watch as a legal intern in 2015, and since then have been keeping closely up to date with their work.

As far as non-profits go, LPFW is really one of the best I've ever worked with and supported. Not only are they effective in achieving their goals, but LPFW is constantly striving to better itself and reach out to work with its community and members.

In my experience, having worked with and been part of many environmental non-profits, there is often a problem with complacency or loss of inertia in regards to an organizations goals. LPFW does not suffer this flaw. Their small staff is incredibly resourceful and driven, and I can honestly say that everyone there is a pleasure to work with.

The Los Padres ForestWatch is a heavily environmental protection driven organization, focusing on protecting the ecological integrity of the Los Padres National Forest and the species that live within it. Inherently that means some people will disagree with their goals. But what I find impressive is that LPFW really seeks to work with people, even those who disagree with them, in order to find workable and respectful solutions, instead of creating conflicts.

I very much value the work that LPFW does, and respect the vision of the people who work there. If you are someone who is concerned with protecting the Los Padres National Forest, endangered species, or California's natural beauty, then LPFW is definitely an organization worth taking the time to work with and support.