Los Padres Partners with Parks Management Company to Manage Recreation Sites

On November 1, 2016, a new concessionaire Special Use Permit (SUP) was issued to Parks Management Company for campground and recreation site operations.

Under the new SUP, there will be changes to the recreation sites fees. The 18 sites newly added to the concession SUP that currently require an Adventure Pass will now require a $20-35 per night camping fee or $10 day-use fee for parking at trailheads and picnic areas. Interagency Senior and Access pass holders will receive a 50 percent discount on camping fees only - not valid for day use or parking at trailheads.

An annual pass for day-use sites will be available through Parks Management Company for $50 and will be good at any of the concession-managed day-use sites and trailheads on the Los Padres NF. Adventure Passes and Interagency Passes will not be accepted for parking in day use/picnic areas or trailheads. Learn more about the Parks Management Company

Thomas Fire Burn Area Emergency Response Team (BAER) Report 

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.

Volunteers and Forest Service Fire Crews Clean Arroyo Burro Shooting Area

On November 4, 2017, volunteers and U.S. Forest Service Fire Crews helped clean up the Arroyo Burro Shooting Area on East Camino Cielo. Many volunteers and firefighters joined together to remove 40 cubic yards of trash and old targets from the range. Volunteer Saul Rivera lead the cleanup this year rallying volunteers through a Glass Factory Facebook page that included a fund raiser to pay for the tractor, portapotty and dumpster. The Arroyo Burro Shooting Area, also known as the Glass factory, is very popular with target shooters in the late winter, spring and early summer, when there are no target shooting restrictions. The volunteers are looking forward to using the range when the area gets two inches of rain and Level 3 Fire Restrictions are lifted. Target shooters are encouraged to call the Forest Service (805) 967-3481 or check the Los Padres National Forest website for the status of Fire Restrictions. THANK YOU volunteers and firefighters for your cleanup efforts.

John Peakes Named Firefighter of Year by Ventura Kiwanis Club

Ojai Ranger District employee John Peakes III received the prestigious 2017 Firefighter of the Year Award from the Ventura Kiwanis Club at their annual Firefighter Services and Heroes Day ceremony Sept. 11 at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura. Peakes currently serves as the Ojai District's Patrol 51 and as the Crew 8 coordinator.

Peakes started his wildland firefighting career in 2002 with the Sundowner Crew, and was picked up as a seasonal in 2003. In 2005, he was accepted into the apprenticeship program. In 2006, he spent a season with the Arroyo Grande flight crew and worked the 2007 fire season with the Los Padres Hotshots. He spent six seasons as a Fire Engine Operator on Engine 44 at the Rincon Station before accepting his current position in 2016.

Congratulations John on an honor well deserved!


Los Padres Participated in the 2017 Santa Barbara Fiesta Parade!

Los Padres participated in the 2017 Santa Barbara Fiesta Parade on Friday, August 4th. Horseback riders rode alongside an old Army wagon down the Cabrillo Blvd and State Street with Smokey Bear sitting in the front seat and staff and volunteers from the Santa Barbara and Ojai Ranger Districts and the Supervisor’s office in the back of the wagon waving to the enthusiastic crowds lining the parade route.  As usual, everyone LOVED Smokey!

In Memorium – Pat Bailey

Pat Bailey was the embodiment of the pack stock program on Los Padres National Forest’s Monterey Ranger District, where he worked for nearly 40 years. Family, friends and co-workers were devastated to learn of his passing November 20 at the age of 59.

Patrick William Bailey was born January 9, 1957, in King City, California. Growing up, Pat was a member of the local Boy Scout Troop where his love and appreciation of the outdoors began and where he developed a strong ethic for lifelong land stewardship. In 1975, Pat graduated from King City High School and that same year began his Forest Service career on the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest.

Starting as a Visitor Information Services assistant at the Arroyo Seco Station, Pat was soon assigned to the Arroyo Seco Helishot Crew where he served three seasons, beginning his career in wildland fire.

Meet the new Mt. Pinos District Ranger - Tony Martinez

Los Padres National Forest officials announced the selection of Tony Martinez as the new Mt. Pinos District Ranger. Martinez is currently the Forest Safety Officer and Hazardous Materials Coordinator based out of the Supervisor’s Office in Goleta, and has been the acting Mt. Pinos District Ranger since August.

Martinez succeeds Roy Morris, who accepted a position as Branch Chief at the Albuquerque Service Center last year. Martinez will be leading the 500,000-acre district along with a large wildland fire organization, and resource and recreation specialists.

“Tony has a strong background in resource management and wildland fire, and is committed to the Forest Service mission,” said Los Padres Forest Supervisor Teresa Benson. “His broad range of experience will serve him well in his new position.”

Loss of Los Padres National Forest Fire Chief Gary Helming

It is with great sadness that the Los Padres National Forest announces the death of Santa Lucia District Batallion Chief Gary Helming, who was killed in a vehicle collision early this morning while returning home from a fire assignment on the Railroad Fire in the Sierra NF. 

He began working for the Forest Service 22 years ago as a seasonal firefighter. He worked for the BLM and the National Park Service before returning to the Forest Service again in 2013. He was a batallion chief stationed in Santa Maria, California.

“Our hearts go out to Gary’s family, the Forest Service and the wildland fire community – he exemplified the highest standards of honor and professionalism,” said Los Padres Deputy Forest Supervisor Ken Heffner. “Gary  was a tremendous leader, partner and thoughtful person who engaged with everyone. He will be greatly missed.”

Helming is survived by his wife, three children and their family.

THANK YOU Volunteers! Lizard’s Mouth Annual Spring Cleanup - May 13

On May 13, 2017, over 25 volunteers showed up for the Annual Volunteer Spring Cleanup Event at Lizard’s Mouth Rocks on West Camino Cielo. Lizard’s Mouth Rocks is a beautiful sandstone rock formation located on top of the mountains overlooking Santa Barbara, Goleta and the Pacific Ocean. Some volunteers cleaned up trash and broken glass from the rocks and other volunteers painted over graffiti far from the road. The annual spring event has taken place since the year 2000. The trash problem has decreased throughout the years but the graffiti has increased. Many groups like the SB Rock Gym, the South Coast Karate Studio, Forest Watch, Real Cheap Sports, Island Seed and Feed, and the UCSB Adventure Club helped the Forest Service with the cleanup. The event has many volunteers that return every year to show community support of the unique area. Thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors for making the cleanup a success!

YCC Interns Celebrate Successful Summer on Los Padres

This summer, four Generation Green high school interns and their crew leader spent eight weeks on Los Padres National Forest working on various projects for the Engineering Staff. The Youth Conservation Corps helped to make this internship financially viable for the students and crew leader with the goal of providing meaningful work experiences on public lands to work and learn alongside federal employees. The team focused on engineering management and environmental education, which is required under YCC guidelines.

Women In Wildfire Training Camp 2017

The Los Padres National Forest hosted its third annual Women In Wildfire Training Camp on November 27 through December 2, 2016 in Santa Barbara, CA. The forest conducted a successful outreach this year and received over 160 applications, of which 23 participants were selected and successfully completed the training camp.

This year, the LP expanded the program by adding a day to the Training Camp and developing a more thorough screening process to improve the level of interest and dedication from participants. The camp provides a comprehensive wildland fire orientation, which includes classroom and hands-on field exercises as well as certification and physical agility test. Participants take part in leadership and teambuilding exercises and receive professional development training through resume and usajobs application workshops.

Celebrating 50 Years of American Wilderness!

In 2014, our nation celebrated "50 Years of Wilderness".

On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the use and benefit of the American people. Over the past 50 years, and as a result of America's support for wilderness, Congress has added over 100 million acres to this unique land preservation system. The 1964 Wilderness Act defines "Wilderness" as areas where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain. To learn more about the Wilderness Act and the NWPS, visit http://www.wilderness.net, the official wilderness information website.