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.
Los Padres Forestwatch is an important and effective advocate for the publics lands of California's central coast. I have supported LPFW's efforts to protect sensitive species in the Los Padres National Forest near the Gaviota coast, including species of manzanita that exist nowhere else on Earth. LPFW staff has deep knowledge of the places they protect and the laws and agencies that impact them. Their work for our forests, rivers, wilderness, and wildlife is top-notch.
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.