The anadromous Southern California steelhead (SCS) trout distinct population segment indigenous to Southern California received Endangered Species status in 1997 due to declining numbers. Over the last two decades, the situation for these trout native to Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) has continued to deteriorate, and the species now have one of the highest levels of federal protection.
Stream conditions and steelhead critical habitat were further degraded by the massive Zaca Fire in 2007 that denuded landscapes above traditional steelhead spawning waters and contributed to greater sediment deposition downstream. As SCS stocks have declined substantially from their historic numbers across the LPNF and other part of Southern California, many are now facing extinction.
On May 8, 2020, Los Padres National Forest introduced a plan to protect areas of Pine Mountain and Reyes Peak that are at risk due to overstocking and the devastating impacts from disease and insect infestation. The Reyes Peak Forest Health and Fuels Reduction Project lays within a federally designated Insect and Disease Treatment Area where declining forest health conditions have put the area at risk for substantial tree mortality over the next 15 years. The primary goal of this project is reduce tree densities to promote forest resilience to drought, insect and disease, and wildfire. To achieve this goal, professional Forest managers will selectively thin specific areas to enhance forest health across 755 acres on Pine Mountain between California Highway 33 and Reyes Peak in Ventura County.
On April 7, 2021, Los Padres National Forest announced a plan to protect areas of the Mount Pinos Ranger District that are at risk to overstocking and the devastating impacts from disease and insect infestation. This forest health project was initially shared with the public in late 2019 during an open house and field visit to the project area. In 2006 public collaboration began when the project was listed in the Mount Pinos Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
The Mount Pinos Forest Health Project is located within a federally designated Insect and Disease Treatment Area where declining forest health conditions put the area at risk for substantial tree mortality over the next 15 years. In the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress authorized the U.S. Forest Service to prioritize work in these designated areas, and to expeditiously plan and implement projects to address the risk posed by insect and disease outbreaks.
Many public resources and cultural values take place at Rose Valley Creek. Stream and habitat restoration is being proposed for Southern California steelhead and other federally protected wildlife. Along with stream restoration, floodplain function, water-holding properties, riparian vegetation, are expected to increase. Read more...
The US Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team’s purpose is to assess threats to life, property, and cultural and natural resources from fire-induced changes to the watershed that can cause erosion, sedimentation, flooding, and debris flows. The BAER team has completed their reports which provide a synopsis of BAER findings and the Forest Service’s internal request for implementation funding to treat values at risk on Forest Service lands only. The information generated by the BAER team is crucial for further analysis by other agencies affected by the fire to examine off-Forest values at risk within their jurisdiction.