Southern Los Padres Wild Heritage

Damian Gadal
Nestled in California's Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the southern Los Padres forest is a recreation favorite. Hundreds of wildlife species also thrive here including endangered California condor.

The Wilderness Society is focused on improving recreation and permanently protecting its unspoiled wildlands. Hikers, hunters, fishermen and cyclists flock to its peaks, which soar more than 8,800 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

A forest rich in wildlife and history

The Los Padres National Forest is California’s second largest. Its southern portion spans much of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. These beautiful public lands include:

  • Trout-filled streams and tumbling waterfalls
  • More than 460 wildlife species
  • Endangered species like California Condor and southern steelhead
  • Native American petroglyphs and other sacred sites
  • 8,800-foot-tall peaks
  • Lush forests
  • Wild chaparral hills

An outdoor recreation paradise

The southern Los Padres is popular with hikers, hunters, fishermen, campers, cyclists, horseback riders and wildlife watchers. The forest draws many visitors from nearby Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern counties.

Preserving the southern Los Padres

Dozens of beautiful and wild areas in the southern Los Padres National Forest could be protected permanently as wilderness. Many of these have clear creeks, endangered species and rare Native American sites.

The first step to protecting this spectacular region is the Los Padres Conservation and Recreation Act. In 2012, Representative Elton Gallegly drafted this bill that will:

  • Add 64,000 acres of wilderness
  • Protect 89 miles of creeks as Wild and Scenic Rivers
  • Establish an 18,000-acre Condor Ridge Scenic Area

Joining partners in a long term vision

The Wilderness Society is working with a partnership of residents, businesses, cities and conservation groups. We are working towards a long-term goal of keeping the most special places in the Los Padres wild.

Our work is important in preventing development and anti-wilderness bills in Congress from taking place, which could forever change the Los Padres. 

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