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Los Padres National Forest Closures

Dead trees from drought present a hazard

GOLETA, Calif. - Los Padres National Forest officials announced the closure of the Rockfront Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area due to concerns related to dead and dying hazardous trees that pose a safety risk to visitors. The temporary closure is effective immediately.
 
This temporary closure includes Baja, Buck Springs and Paradise campgrounds, Rockfront OHV Staging Area, as well as the following trails: Upper 35 Canyon, Paradise, Branch Creek, Big Rocks, Jack Springs, Twin Rocks, Shaw Ridge, Logan Ridge, and Los Machos. These areas will remain closed until the public safety risk is mitigated by cutting the hazardous trees.
 
The effects of rising temperatures, extended drought, and aggressive bark beetle infestations have created a tree mortality epidemic across California. Since 2010, an estimated 40 million trees have been lost. These standing dead trees have created hazards across the forest and surrounding communities and campgrounds, and present an unnecessary risk to visitors and employees along roads, trails and utility corridors. They also pose a significant threat to communities and fire responders if a wildfire occurs in these high-hazard areas.

Qualified Forest Service wildland firefighters will be conducting the hazard tree cutting as they are available from other wildland fire operations. OHV users are encouraged to go to the Pozo-La Panza OHV Area as an alternative during the Rockfront OHV Area temporary closure.


"We are temporarily closing these areas until we can safely eliminate the risk these hazard trees pose to visitors as well as our employees," said Santa Lucia District Ranger Nathan Rezeau. "We appreciate the public's cooperation and understanding while we take the necessary steps to safely remove the dangerous trees."
 
Members of the public are reminded that they should always call ahead to the district office for the latest conditions and consult the National Weather Service for current weather forecasts.

For more information, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/ or call the Santa Lucia District Office at (805) 925-9538.


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