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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Los Padres Forestwatch

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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

112 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

We are proud supporters of the Los Padres Forest Watch and appreciate all that the organization does to protect our wildlife and wilderness throughout California!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5


Los Padres Forest Watch is an effective, well-informed, non-profit. They accomplish so much for an organization of their size. From direct action, volunteer events, education, participating in government agency processes, to - when needed - litigation, this group is firing on all cylinders.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forestwatch (LPFW) is a key, citizen-based habitat and environmental protection organization that has proven to be critical in protecting local Nature in the coastal mountains of central California. There are continual threats to the Los Padres National Forest that LPFW has successfully addressed through community action and legal means. We have been honored to partner with LPFW on several projects and have always been impressed with the staff's professionalism and dedication.

Since the Los Padres National Forest is primarily composed of native shrubland, not forest, the public is generally misinformed about the federal land's natural attributes. As a consequence, land management projects are often developed that are destructive to native plant communities and the animals that live there. LPFW keeps an eye on such developments and responds quickly to either stop the damage all together or facilitates a compromise that reduces the environmental impact.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forest Watch is an incredible non-profit organization that protects our natural wilderness. Santa Barbara’s vast chaparral beauty has been the backdrop of my youth, and now my children’s. Protecting this landscape it is of the essence… especially in this day in age!

LPFW has created a presence within the Santa Barbara community that is far reaching with a diverse range of opportunities for all to become involved. These opportunities range from
volunteer clean-ups by becoming a “weekend warrior”, to partnerships with local companies that build community e.g. Deckers Brands.

Through their community outreach my daughter and I, had the opportunity to participated in a “Tacos and Trails” event during Latino Conservation Week. It was a wonderful event that brought a number of the Spanish speaking community together, fostering the importance of conservation and love of the outdoors.

I greatly appreciate how LPFW engages the local community in defending the natural beauty we call home. I am a proud supporter of LPFW, and will continue to participate and advocate for this amazing organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

Great outfit, doing the good work of keeping public lands public and accessible for all of the Central Coast. They have also been key in the ongoing revitalization of the California Condor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forest Watch is truly an exceptional nonprofit. We have volunteered with the Los Padres Forest Watch for two years, and they continuously go over and beyond to get volunteers excited for the volunteer opportunities they offer, that you almost feel like you aren't volunteering at all! LPFW truly cares about our forests and their volunteer outings. My two children who are 8 and 9, love volunteering with LPFW. In my opinion if you can get kids excited about picking up trash and saving the earth early on a Saturday morning then you are exceeding as a non profit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

LPFW is a phenomenal organization that serves in protecting and conserving our forest. I was introduced to LPFW during Latino Conservation week. LPFW sponsored a Tacos and Trails event, in which the organization left a lasting impression with me by educating myself and the generations to come about the public lands in our own backyard and how we can do our part to maintain them in order to be able to enjoy them for the years to come. I truly appreciate LPFW’s commitment to the public lands and community involvement through diversity. I hope to volunteer with LPFW in the future or attend their events.

Gloria S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forest Watch is an amazing organization. I had the pleasure of attending a caminata/hike with LPFW a few months ago. I was able to connect with folks who are learning and growing and getting informed on ways to get involved in our local Forrest. I appreciate the outreach efforts that LPFW takes to plant the seeds of land stewardship to members of the community who aren’t always included in conservation conversations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LPFW take a thoughtful and community-oriented approach to conservation work. It's always a pleasure to help out with forest clean-ups and learn from the hard-working team. Thank you all for your service!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Los Padres work tirelessly to protect my community for those of us that live here as well as thousands who travel here every year to experience the beauty of Los Padres national forest. Their work is critical, and I support them 100%!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really admire the effort that LPFW puts towards its outreach being diverse and inclusive. My first cleanup with the organization in Ojai was not only a learning experience but it was fun, welcoming and one of the main reasons why I continue to work with the organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forestwatch does stellar work! Most recently, I went on a roadside/creek cleanup near the Thomas Fire scar, where we recovered well over 1100 pounds of waste, including tons of broken glass, rusty car parts, and much more. I was impressed by the dedication of the volunteers, as well as the organization and leadership of the conservation director and team. I've volunteered for a number of conservation agencies and other nonprofits, and can wholeheartedly say that the Los Padres Forestwatch is first rate!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization of cleaning event with very friendly and knowledgeable staff

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very community-oriented nonprofit that is doing good work to protect the LPNF. The staff is full of passionate, determined workers and are always cheerful, even when times are stressful. The community is lucky to have such a great nonprofit working to protect the beautiful public lands right in our backyard.

Vanessa B.4

Donor

Rating: 5

We love Los Padres Forestwatch! They are genuine and hard working people who protect the most important asset we have, our land, air and water surrounding our home. Their efforts are transparent and successful. We are so grateful for their team!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work with Jeff and the team at LPFW through 1% for the Planet. LPFW is an approved nonprofit partner in excellent standing. My role at 1% for the Planet is to advise our members - both businesses and individuals - on giving strategies. I often recommend LPFW as a fantastic regional partner for our members on the central coast. I'm particularly impressed with LPFW's ability to track ongoing policy issues, rally the community and take action as needed. LPFW leverages the best available science and spatial data, to fight for protection and responsible access to some of the most spectacular landscapes along the Central Coast. LPFW is a well-respected advocate and conservation leader in the region, and I'm happy to offer my support of their work.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am awed by the work that LPFW is doing, especially combatting expanded oil and gas drilling on public lands, which are literally in my backyard,

Donor

Rating: 5

LPFW is truly a champion for our Public Lands in Santa Barbara County and beyond. They are focused on protecting these open spaces and take a no-nonsense approach to accomplishing that mission. I've had a chance to partner with them on a few projects with a common mission and they are easy to work with, professional, and transparent. At a time when public land and wilderness seems to be under attach from multiple fronts, we need strong non-profit groups like LPFW more than ever to fight to preserve these areas for future generations.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Los Padres ForestWatch several years ago and have been a supporter ever since because it is a vitally important and responsive advocate for public lands in California’s Central Coast. Due to growing federal pressure to open access for oil and gas development on our public lands, LPFW has been on the front lines to protect and defend key watersheds and animal habitat. This wouldn’t be possible if not for LPFW’s strong leadership under executive Jeff Kuyper, the excellent and hard-working staff, and a strong cadre of dedicated volunteers and supporters.

Having spent many years, hiking, backpacking and exploring the diverse beauty of Los Padres National Forest and the San Rafael Wilderness, I am extremely grateful for LPFW’s work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Really love volunteering with these guys! They do great work keeping our hiking trails clean in the Los Padres National Forest.