Chumash Wilderness

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Chumash Wilderness
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Location Ventura / Kern counties, California, United States
Nearest city Bakersfield, California
Coordinates 34°49′0″N119°10′0″W / 34.81667°N 119.16667°W / 34.81667; -119.16667 Coordinates: 34°49′0″N119°10′0″W / 34.81667°N 119.16667°W / 34.81667; -119.16667
Area38,150 acres (154 km2)
Established1992
Governing body U.S. Forest Service
Trailhead into the Chumash Wilderness, immediately west of the summit of Mount Pinos Chumash Wilderness trailhead.jpg
Trailhead into the Chumash Wilderness, immediately west of the summit of Mount Pinos

The Chumash Wilderness is a 38,150 acres (15,440 ha) wilderness area within the southern Los Padres National Forest. It is located in the Transverse Ranges, in northern Ventura County and southwestern Kern County in California.

Contents

The wilderness was created by the U.S. Congress as part of the Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-301). The same legislation also established the Garcia, Machesna Mountain, Matilija, Sespe, and Silver Peak Wilderness areas. [1] [2]

Geography

The Chumash Wilderness includes most of the highest terrain in Ventura County. The nearest towns are in the Mountain Communities of the Tejon Pass region, including the unincorporated communities of Frazier Park to the east, Lockwood Valley and Cuddy Valley to the south, Pine Mountain Club to the north. The Cuyama Valley region is to the west

The wilderness area extends from just west of the summit of Mount Pinos (8,831 ft/2,692 m) to Cerro Noroeste (Mount Abel) to the west, and south into the badlands north of Lockwood Valley Road. Since Mount Pinos, Cerro Noroeste, and the Pine Mountain Club are developed with paved roads, they did not qualify for inclusion in the wilderness, which wraps partially around them. The highest point in the Chumash Wilderness is Sawmill Mountain, at 8,818 ft (2,688 m).

Major trailheads into the wilderness can be found at Mount Pinos as well as Cerro Noroeste/Mount Abel. From the Mount Pinos parking area, the wilderness trailhead is approximately 2 miles (3 km) along a dirt road with a locked gate.

Vegetation within the wilderness includes chaparral at lower elevations, and conifers at higher elevations. Some of the badlands near the southern edge of the wilderness are almost barren of vegetation, and include steep slopes with knife-edge ridges. Snow is frequent from fall until late spring at the highest elevations. Rain is rare in the summer, and wildfires are natural in the fire ecology based habitats.

Characteristic fauna of the wilderness include black bear, mountain lion, as well as the endangered California condor. The wilderness is at the heart of the historic range of this large endangered species of scavengers.

See also

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Ventura County is a county in the southern part of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 823,318. The largest city is Oxnard, and the county seat is the city of Ventura.

Transverse Ranges Group of mountain ranges of southern California

The Transverse Ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California, in the Pacific Coast Ranges physiographic region in North America. The Transverse Ranges begin at the southern end of the California Coast Ranges and lie within Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Kern counties. The Peninsular Ranges lie to the south. The name Transverse Ranges is due to their east–west orientation, making them transverse to the general northwest–southeast orientation of most of California's coastal mountains.

Sierra Madre (California) Mountain range of the Transverse Ranges in California, United States

The Sierra Madre is a mountain range primarily in northern Santa Barbara County and extending into northwestern Ventura County in Southern California, western United States. It is a range of the Inner South Coast Ranges group, and is the southernmost reach of the California Coast Ranges, which are themselves part of the Pacific Coast Ranges of western North America.

Los Padres National Forest National forest in California, United States

Los Padres National Forest is a United States national forest in southern and central California. Administered by the United States Forest Service, Los Padres includes most of the mountainous land along the California coast from Ventura to Monterey, extending inland. Elevations range from sea level to 8,847 feet (2,697 m).

Mount Pinos Mountain of the Transverse Ranges in California, United States

Mount Pinos is a mountain located in the Los Padres National Forest on the boundary between Ventura and Kern counties in California. The summit, at 8,847 feet (2,697 m), is the highest point in Ventura County. The mountain is the highest point of the Transverse Ranges west of Tejon Pass, as well as the southernmost point of the Salinian Block.

Topatopa Mountains Mountain range of the Transverse Ranges in California, United States

The Topatopa Mountains are a mountain range in Ventura County, California, north of Ojai, Santa Paula, and Fillmore. They are part of the Transverse Ranges of Southern California.

Sespe Creek

Sespe Creek is a stream, some 61 miles (98 km) long, in Ventura County, southern California, in the Western United States. The creek starts at Potrero Seco in the eastern Sierra Madre Mountains, and is formed by more than thirty tributary streams of the Sierra Madre and Topatopa Mountains, before it empties into the Santa Clara River in Fillmore.

Ventana Wilderness Protected wilderness area in California, United States

The Ventana Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest is a federally designated wilderness area located in the Santa Lucia Range along the Central Coast of California. This wilderness was established in 1969 when the Ventana Wilderness Act redesignated the 55,800-acre (22,600 ha) Ventana Primitive Area as the Ventana Wilderness and added land, totalling 98,000 acres (40,000 ha). In 1978, the Endangered American Wilderness Act added 61,000 acres (25,000 ha), increasing the total wilderness area to about 159,000 acres (64,000 ha). The California Wilderness Act of 1984 added about 2,750 acres (1,113 ha). The Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992 created the approximately 14,500-acre (5,900 ha) Silver Peak Wilderness and added about 38,800 acres (15,700 ha) to the Ventana Wilderness in addition to designating the Big Sur River as a Wild and Scenic River. The Big Sur Wilderness and Conservation Act of 2002 expanded the wilderness for the fifth time, adding nearly 35,000 acres (14,000 ha), increasing the total acreage of the wilderness to its present size of 240,026 acres (97,135 ha).

Frazier Mountain

Frazier Mountain is a broad, pine-forested peak in the Transverse Ranges System, within the Los Padres National Forest in northeastern Ventura County, California. At 8,017 feet (2,444 m), Frazier Mnt. is the sixteenth-highest mountain in the Transverse Ranges of Southern California.

Sawmill Mountain

Sawmill Mountain is located on the county line between Kern and Ventura counties in California. The mountain is located in the Chumash Wilderness and its summit is the highest point in Kern County and the second highest in the Los Padres National Forest. Mount Pinos has an elevation of 8,847 feet (2,697 m) and tops Sawmill Mountain as the highest in Ventura County by 29 feet.

Cerro Noroeste

Cerro Noroeste is a mountain located in Southern California's Kern County, a mile north of the Ventura County border. It is located a few miles southwest of the community of Pine Mountain Club, at an elevation of 8283 feet. The mountain is located in the Los Padres National Forest. It is surrounded by the Chumash Wilderness to the south and west, though the peak itself is not actually within the wilderness.

San Rafael Wilderness Protected wilderness area in California, United States

The San Rafael Wilderness is a wilderness area in the mountains of north central Santa Barbara County, California, United States. It is north of the city of Santa Barbara and east of Santa Maria within the Los Padres National Forest. Formed in 1968, it was the first wilderness area to be created from a previously designated Primitive Area after the passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act. It also includes the Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary, created in 1937, which is the oldest designated sanctuary for the large endangered birds.

Dick Smith Wilderness Protected wilderness area in California, United States

The Dick Smith Wilderness is a wilderness area in the mountains of eastern Santa Barbara County, California, United States, with a portion in Ventura County. It is completely contained within the Los Padres National Forest, and is northeast of the city of Santa Barbara and north of the city of Ojai. It is most easily accessible from two trailheads off State Route 33, which runs north from Ojai. It is adjacent to the large San Rafael Wilderness on the west and the Matilija Wilderness on the south. Across Highway 33 to the east, and also in the Los Padres National Forest, is the large Sespe Wilderness.

Silver Peak Wilderness Protected wilderness area in California, United States

The Silver Peak Wilderness is located in the southwestern corner of Monterey County in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the Central Coast of California. It southern boundary largely follows the Monterey County/San Luis Obispo County line. Its eastern boundary is defined by Ft. Hunter Liggett, while on the west it follows closely along Highway 1 and the Big Sur coastline. It is one of ten wilderness areas within the Los Padres National Forest and managed by the US Forest Service.

Cuyama Valley

The Cuyama Valley is a valley along the Cuyama River in central California, in northern Santa Barbara, southern San Luis Obispo, southwestern Kern, and northwestern Ventura counties. It is about two hours driving time from both Los Angeles and the Santa Barbara area.

The Garcia Wilderness is a 14,100-acre (57 km2) wilderness area within the Los Padres National Forest in San Luis Obispo County, California.

Sespe Wilderness Protected wilderness area in California, United States

The Sespe Wilderness is a 219,700-acre (88,900 ha) wilderness area in the eastern Topatopa Mountains and southern Sierra Pelona Mountains, within the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF), in Ventura County, Southern California. The wilderness area is primarily located within the Ojai and Mt. Pinos ranger districts of the LPNF.

Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992

The Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992 is a Federal law that established five new designated Wilderness Areas and three new designated Wild and Scenic Rivers in the Los Padres National Forest and Angeles National Forest in California. The law was sponsored by California Republican and Ventura County native Robert J. Lagomarsino while he represented California's 19th District in the United States House of Representatives. The legislation was cosponsored by Democratic and Republican representatives from districts representing the entirety of the Los Padres National Forest.

Matilija Wilderness Protected wilderness area in California, United States

The Matilija Wilderness is a 29,207-acre (11,820 ha) wilderness area in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, Southern California. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, being situated within the Ojai Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest. It is located adjacent to the Dick Smith Wilderness to the northwest and the Sespe Wilderness to the northeast, although it is much smaller than either one. The Matilija Wilderness was established in 1992 in part to protect California condor habitat.

Sespe Hot Springs Thermal springs

Sespe Hot Springs are a system of thermal springs and seeps that form a hot spring creek in the mountains near the Sespe Condor Sanctuary near Ojai, California.

References

  1. "George Bush: Statement on Signing the Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  2. "Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act". Act of June 19, 1992 (PDF). Retrieved January 19, 2018.