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2017 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

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Los Padres Forest Watch has, from its beginning, been a powerful advocate for the rare and special habitat of the Carrizo Plain and the Carrizo Plain National Monument. The Carrizo Plain represents the last 5% of the once vast San Joaquin grasslands habitat and is the home numerous endangered species. LPFW has consistently worked to protect this critical habitat.

The organization has a great team. LPFW Executive Director Jeff Kuyper has decades of legal and advocacy experience. He and the LPFW team are a consistently effective voice for the preservation of the immense and beautiful Las Padres Forest and surrounding wildlands.

There are never enough voices working to preserve our wildness areas for the benefit of all of us. Los Padres Forest Watch fills an important niche in advocating for these rare and beautiful places.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I learned about Los Padres ForestWatch soon after my family moved to the Santa Barbara area, through their dynamic membership and fundraising events and strong track record of proven results in their mission to protect and preserve the Los Padres National Forest and other wilderness areas in our community. The commitment of the staff and the dedication of the volunteers is immediately apparent as the organization has a very loyal following that returns year after year to support their hard work. The ForestWatch has built a strong and consistent reputation as a committed and effective environmental organization. Not only is the ForestWatch a resource for learning about the forest and public lands and the issues facing their preservation, but a force for good as the organization engages us in ways that we can actually contribute to these efforts through a variety of volunteer and participation avenues -- trash site and invasive species removals, helping with community and fundraising events, and providing ways to have our voices heard in advocating for the continued protection and preservation of wildlife habitat and wilderness open spaces throughout the Central Coast region.

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.

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked with seevral non-profits that work with ForestWatch, and they all have great things to say about the level of professionalism and the proper and effective balance in partnering/watching USFS. I met Jeff Kuyper almost 20 years ago when he was interning with one of those non-profits and I was impressed then at his level of skill and work ethic. When I heard he was starting ForestWatch, I knew good things were afoot for the Los Padres region, but the org has far exceeded expectations.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

LPFW does an outstanding job of staying abreast of current and proposed actions that may affect the Los Padres National Forest. I particularly appreciate the high level of professionalism that the staff maintains. They are very knowledgeable about the forest resources and the laws that govern the management of those resources. They do not hesitate to seek additional information or local expertise, and as a result, their comments on forest documents are well thought out, well written, substantive, and timely. At the same time, they maintain very good relationships with Forest Service personnel. I am very happy to provide botanical information to them whenever they need it, and I'm also pleased that I can call on them for their expertise, too.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When we planted our vineyard in the foothills of the Sierra Madres in 1998, we wanted to find an organization that was really working to conserve and fight for the national forest that was now our backyard. Los Padres Forest Watch was the one! From forest cleanup to condor protection to collaborating with other groups to fight for conservation policies in the region, LPFW is always there. Their small staff radiates out to the larger community involving volunteeers and engaging everyone. We have been extremely pleased to support them and partner with them in efforts to protect the Los Padres Forest and surrounding region.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ForestWatch keeps a watchful eye over the largest National Forest in California, as well as the Carrizo Plain National Monument, no small achievement for a group with a handful of staff and a shoestring budget. They have been extremely effective at protecting Wilderness values across the Forest's 10 designated Wilderness areas, cleaning up microtrash and obsolete fencing that threatens the health of rare resident species like the California condor and pronghorn antelope, and more recently, gathering a coalition of local support for new Wilderness designations. If you hike, bike, or otherwise benefit from the ecosystem services within the Los Padres National Forest, you should consider supporting this group.