Los Padres ForestWatch (LPFW) is an environmentalist organization located in Santa Barbara, California. LPFW’s area of focus is the central California coastline including the Los Padres National Forest, the Carrizo Plain National Monument, Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, and Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. 1
In 2005, Los Padres ForestWatch opposed a new drilling initiative that would expand the current drilling operations in the Los Padres National Forest. Jeff Kuyper, who currently serves as the executive director for LPFW, expressed concern that the new plan would have adverse ramifications on recreational activities in the park as well as threaten certain species. Former U.S. Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) also opposed the plan. 2 The case was pending until December 2016 when a federal court issued a stay on current litigation after the U.S. Forest Service halted the pending drilling plans indefinitely. The reason for the halt allegedly centered on a notice of intent to sue produced by LPFW and other environmentalists in October 2016. 34
In 2011, federal Judge Lucy Haeran Koh of the Northern District of California granted an injunction requested by LPFW to stop a logging project in the Los Padres National Forest region. Koh allowed the project to continue under specified measures agreed upon by the opposing parties. 5
In 2019, LPFW joined the Earth Island Institute and the Center for Biological Diversity in challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s “Tecuya Project” logging initiative. The environmentalist groups alleged that the logging project would destroy trees that are home to particular species such as the California condor and that the project violates standing forestry precedent. 6 However, the U.S. Forest Service argued that the project would advance thinning initiatives that would prevent insect and disease accumulation, and would also protect residence and commercial infrastructure from threats of fire. 7
In 2018, LPFW filed a complaint in Federal court against the U.S. Forest Service for allegedly failing to regulate target shooting in the Los Padres National Forest. The complaint centered on standards on target shooting set by the U.S. Forest Service that have supposedly gone unchecked since 2005 when the standards were adopted. The complaint requested the court to declare that the U.S. Forest Service had violated legal standards, among other alleged violations, and requested that the court order the U.S. Forest Service to implement the 2005 standards on designated target shooting areas, known as Standard 36. 8 On April 1, 2019, a stipulation to stay was submitted on behalf of both parties after mutual agreements were made that satisfied LPFW’s requests in their original complaint. 9
Jeff Kuyper is Los Padres ForestWatch’s executive director. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. 10
Los Padres ForestWatch has been publicly opposed to the Trump Administration’s plan to open federal land to oil drilling. In 2019 the Trump administration laid out a plan to open approximately 1 million acres in Federal land in California for companies to lease for drilling. 11 Jeff Kuyper responded to the initiative with opposition and urged locals to speak out against the Trump administration’s plan. 12
- “Home.” Los Padres ForestWatch. Accessed April 27, 2020. https://lpfw.org/. *specific areas can be found under “region” drop-down tab, which did not have a specific link to copy.
- Masters, Ryan. “Feds Plan to Expand Oil Drilling in Los Padres National Forest despite Environmentalists’ Protests.” Monterey County Weekly, August 25, 2005. http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/news/local_news/feds-plan-to-expand-oil-drilling-in-los-padres-national-forest-despite-environmentalists-protests/article_05fa528a-f06b-54d5-a6d5-4e27ceaf0cbf.html.
- Orozco, Lance. “Los Padres National Forest Puts New Freeze On Plans To Open 52,000 Acres To Oil And Gas Development.” KCLU, December 16, 2016. https://www.kclu.org/post/los-padres-national-forest-puts-new-freeze-plans-open-52000-acres-oil-and-gas-development#stream/0.
- “Lawsuit Launched Over Oil, Gas Development in Los Padres National Forest.” Noozhawk.com Santa Barbara & Goleta Local News, October 15, 2016. https://www.noozhawk.com/article/lawsuit_launched_over_oil_gas_development_in_los_padres_national_forest
- Koh, Lucy Haeran. “Los Padres Forestwatch v. US Forest Service, 776 F. Supp. 2d 1042.” CourtListener. U.S. District Court Northern California, March 4, 2011. https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/2472988/los-padres-forestwatch-v-us-forest-service/.
- “Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief.” Department of the Interior, July 10, 2019. https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/agreements-settlements/document/20190710los-padres-forest-watch-et-al-v-usfs-fws-tecuya-project-condors.pdf.
- Malengo, Katherine. “Tecuya Ridge Shaded Fuelbreak Project.” Los Padres National Forest. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, July 14, 2018. https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/107660_FSPLT3_4638120.pdf.
- Buchele, Thomas C. “Complaint to Compel Agency Action Unlawfully Withheld or Unreasonable Delayed and for Vacatur of Illegal Agency Action.” Courthouse News, August 14, 2018. https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Shooting.Forest.pdf.
- Williams, Jean E. “Stipulation to Stay.” Los Padres ForestWatch. United States District Court Central District of California Western Division, April 1, 2019. https://lpfw.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/20190401_StipulationFiled.pdf.
- “University of Oregon School of Law.” University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon Area. Accessed April 28, 2020. https://alumnius.net/university_of_oregon-9210-2.
- Schoenwalder, Cecelia. “Trump Administration Releases Plan to Open California to Oil Drilling.” U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, April 26, 2019. https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2019-04-26/trump-administration-releases-plan-to-open-california-to-oil-drilling.
- Risner, Hiram. “Trump California Fracking Plan Targets Over 1 Million Acres.” Inside Sources, May 3, 2019. https://www.insidesources.com/trump-california-fracking-plan-targets-over-1-million-acres/.
- Los Padres ForestWatch. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018.