Hello Everyone, my name is Bryan Conant, I am the Director of the Los Padres Forest Association, a Los Padres based cartographer, frequent user of the trails and Volunteer Wilderness Ranger (VWR). I first heard about the Los Padres VWR program about 15 years ago. At the time I was just venturing into the backcountry and learning first hand how overgrown some of our trails can be. After a particularly awful 5 mile bushwhack along the Don Victor Trail, I was introduced to the VWR program by Kerry Kellogg, who was a Forest Service trail manager at the time. I quickly learned just how amazing the volunteers are within the VWR program. These volunteers are out along the trails clearing fallen trees, fixing damaged trails and essentially keeping the trails open for everyone to use. It’s astounding to see just how much work goes into keeping even a mile of trail open. When you multiply that by the hundreds of miles of trail that need work throughout the Los Padres, it becomes quite clear just how crucial the VWR program is for keeping trails clear and open.
Sadly, and as you’ll see in the video segment, the VWR headquarters off of Paradise Road in Santa Barbara County was burned earlier this year in the White Fire. Within the headquarters were many of the tools and gear that we use to maintain the trails. If you are a trail user, nature lover or advocate for forest recreation – you’re certainly a supporter of the Volunteer Wilderness Rangers and have almost certainly hiked or ridden a trail that the VWR’s have cleared. We’re asking for help to restock our new headquarters and get our dedicated volunteers back on the trail.
ADD MONEY, WILL CLEAR TRAIL
The Forest Service has graciously donated a new building for the VWR’s to store gear, host meetings and conduct trail projects. When our old building was destroyed we lost nearly $15,000 worth of gear and supplies. We’re looking to replace all the lost gear and hopefully add some new tools to our quiver as well. If we exceed the $15,000 goal, that’s great! We’ll have no problem getting more tools or gear. If we do not meet our goal, we’ll prioritize and purchase the tools/gear that are most crucial for the VWR program. Here are some of the tools and gear that were lost and we plan to restock:
Trail Project Tools, Gear & Support
- Radio communication devices
- Uniforms, shirts
- Banners & posters
- Folding tables & chairs
- Easy Up
- Horse/mule panniers
- Bike trailer for tool transportation
- Desk & chairs
- Book shelves
- Storage cabinets
- Tool racks
Thanks for visiting and please pass along to any other trail users you think might be interested.
Los Padres Volunteer Wilderness Rangers