Los Padres National Forest

From the Mountains to the Sea

Encompassing almost two million acres, Los Padres National Forest spans some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscapes to be found anywhere in California

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  • Frazier Mountain Trailhead Snow Play Area Fee Proposal - We are seeking your input!

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    Los Padres National Forest is considering a fee propsal for the Frazier Mountain Trailhead Snow Play Area and we are seeking your input! The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed fee changes by April 1, 2024.


In Memorium - Dave Skinner, Retired Forest Service Engine Captain

Photo of Dave Skinner from the late 1960s during the Vietnam War wearing his Air Force Uniform

On Dec. 13th, 2023, Los Padres National Forest and the Santa Ynez Valley lost a true hero.

Retired Forest Service Engine Captain David Skinner passed away from cardiac arrest in his Buellton home with his wife Candy by his side. Skinner was 77 years old.

Serendipitously, the county fire engine that responded to the Skinner home that night was led by Captain Corey Stowe who 25 years earlier served as Captain Skinner's trusty engineer on Los Prietos Engine 42 on the Santa Barbara Ranger District. Skinner's family remembers Stowe fondly and how he was mentored by Skinner years ago, with the reckoning that if Skinner had to go, it was fitting his former friend and colleague was by his side, comforting his family in their time of need.

The family will be having a celebration of life at the end of April or beginning of May, before fire season. Contact Flemming Bertelsen for more information.

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Restoring Los Padres’ Native Steelhead Trout Habitat

Davy Brown Creek First Crossing

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.

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