Voices: A Sense of Insight

Los Padres National Forest: Andrew Madsen


The federal government foresaw the need to preserve and protect vital watersheds and species habitat with the formation of the U.S. Forest. In
setting aside these public lands and mandating they be managed for the greatest good, the government acted to conserve critical resources and
prevent the wholesale deforestation that befell Europe and Great Britain.

Los Padres National Forest encompasses 1.75 million acres in Monterey,
San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern Counties, providing unparalleled outdoor recreation activities for millions of annual visitors, and clean air and water to surrounding communities. It's a vast resource for those needing to connect with nature, and working together with public partners and cooperators, the Forest is crafting a shared ecological vision for sustaining these unique natural places through the next 100 years.

The Forest serves an enormous population base that includes the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area and the San Francisco Bay Area. Ecosystems in Los Padres range from semi-desert to coastal redwood forests, and are classified into two major types: chaparral (68 percent) and forested lands (30 percent). The forested land includes a mix of evergreen, conifer, oak woodland, and pinyon-juniper woodland. Forested lands are managed primarily to maintain their health and resiliency.

Los Padres encompasses a diverse wildlife habitat that provides permanent
or transitory refuge for more than 460 species of fish and wildlife. There are currently 23 threatened and endangered animals found on the Forest, and another 20 animals that are considered sensitive. There are three threatened and endangered plant species, and another 71 that are sensitive.

  Los Padres  

The Forest is a member of the California Condor Recovery Program and has played an important role in the reintroduction of California condors into the wild. Nearly extinct 40 years ago, there are currently 70 condors in the wild. The Forest manages two sanctuaries, the 1,200-acre Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary in Santa Barbara County and the 53,000-acre Sespe Condor Sanctuary in Ventura County

Memories that last a lifetime can be created in the Forest System lands of the central coast. Join with us as we work together to preserve and care for this national treasure that is Los Padres National Forest.