Los Padres National Forest (LPNF)

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A organizational summary by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.


In 1898, President William McKinley established the Pine Mountain and Zaca Lake Forest Reserve. The reserve was renamed the Santa Barbara Forest Reserve in 1903 and was eventually combined with the Santa Ynez, San Luis, and Monterey Forest Reserves. President Franklin D. Roosevelt renamed the area the Los Padres National Forest in 1936. [1]

Los Padres National Forest encompasses approximately 1.75 million acres of central California's scenic Coast and Transverse Ranges. The forest stretches across almost 220 miles from north to south and consists of two separate land divisions. The northern division is within Monterey County and northern San Luis Obispo County and includes the beautiful Big Sur Region and scenic interior areas. [2]

Organizational Structure

The LPNF is managed by the Los Padres National Forest Supervisor who supervises five administrative units called "Ranger Districts" with district offices in King City, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Ojai and Frazier Park. [2]

Land Management Plan

  • LPNF 2015 Land Management Plan [3]

Cooperative Agreements

  • Agreement for Shared Stewardship of California's Forest and Rangelands: between State of California and USFS Pacific Southwest Region
    • This MOU establishes a joint framework to enhance science-based forest and rangeland

stewardship in California and commit to maintain and restore healthy forests and rangelands that reduce public safety risks, protect natural and built infrastructure, and enhance ecological habitat and biological diversity. [4].

Visitor Services

  • Visitor Centers:
    • Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center: 17017 Maricopa Highway, Ojai, CA 93023 Telephone: (805) 448-4710 or (805) 640-9060

Southern California and Central Coast Context

Within the LPNF, Sespe Condor Sanctuary was established in 1947 and expanded in 1951 to its current size of 53,000 acres. The Sanctuary lies within the boundary of the Sespe Wilderness and is where the Forest Service provides critical habitat, wildlife refuge, and land management for the protection of the California Condor. California condors heavily use the Sanctuary to breed, nest, roost and forage. The Sanctuary lies withing the Sespe Wilderness which was established by The Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992. The wilderness area is also regarded as the “Home of the California Condor.” The Protection Act includes controlled public access to the Sanctuary to protect condor nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat. [5] The sanctuary would fall within the proposed Range of the Condor National Heritage Area.

Example Work / Projects

  • Forest-Wide Invasive Plant Treatment Program
  • Blue Point Campground and Day Use Removal and Restoration Project




  1. Los Padres Forest Watch https://lpfw.org/our-region/history/
  2. 2.0 2.1 Los Padres National Forest https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/lpnf/about-forest
  3. LPNF Planning https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/lpnf/landmanagement/planning
  4. https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/8.12.20-CA-Shared-Stewardship-MOU.pdf
  5. Protecting the Sespe Condor Sanctuary https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/lpnf/home/?cid=stelprd3820413


This page may contain students' work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.