As many of us who recreate within the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) know, it is one of the best secrets left in the West. The LPNF is made up of vast expanses of rural and wild lands that encompass ecosystems along the Pacific Ocean, up along snowy sub-alpine peaks, and in agave lined desert. Our choices for recreation within this area are endless: climbing, surfing, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, running, and birding are among the many Sage and its members partake in. These public lands are ours to make the most of and preserve, until they aren’t. Extraction industries keep a sharp eye on leases in this region, development is an ever present threat in California, and rivers are a resource dwindling in supply – all these threaten not only our ability to enjoy wild places, but the existence of those places as a whole.
Wilderness can be a touchy word for some, but we at Sage see a bigger picture than just recreation. Protecting parcels of land for the sake of ecology and biology above recreation is key for us to address climate change, extinction threats, and natural resource replenishment. We are thrilled to see Congressman Carbajal re-introduce the Central Coast Heritage Act to the new congress!
If you have ever ridden the Los Padres Traverse route, hiked along West Camino Cielo, or enjoyed the Carizo Plain National Monument flower bloom, you have spent time in places that this bill will protect in perpetuity.
We encourage all our supporters to urge their representatives to pass public land protections! Visit our partners at Outdoor Alliance to send letters and see active legislation on their GIS platform found here!
For any questions regarding the levels of protection for specific areas in the bill, feel free to reach out to us here at Sage via our about page. It is important to note that this bill does not threaten trail access for any users, nor does it threaten legitimate future trail development. Public support for bills such as this are imperative for our recreation opportunities to exist in the future.
Sage is currently working on multiple projects that provide direct public access to the areas proposed in this bill including:
- Restoring 2 trails that will provide access to the additional Dick Smith Wilderness parcels – Santa Cruz Trail to Little Pine Mountain & Buckhorn Trail along the Wild & Scenic Buckhorn Creek.
- Leading a NEPA study and trail adoption from USFS in Meiners Oaks that will connect users from Ojai Valley Land Conservancy property to the proposed Matilija Southern Unit Wilderness.
- And finally, we are the lead for two trails along the Proposed Condor Ridge Scenic Area Southern Unit: Tequipis Trail on USFS land to the North of the ridge & the El Capitan Beach Trail to the South of the Ridge. These two trail corridors will allow users to access the scenic area by horse, bike or foot and traverse from Pacific Ocean to the Valley.
Dillon Osleger, Executive Director