Honoree Congresswoman Lois Capps with executive director Jeff Kuyper (left) and board president Allan Morton.

Gail Arnold

Honoree Congresswoman Lois Capps with executive director Jeff Kuyper (left) and board president Allan Morton.

Los Padres ForestWatch Goes “Wild” With Fundraiser

2nd Annual Event Honors Congresswoman Lois Capps

On Sunday, October 23, about 225 supporters of Los Padres ForestWatch (LPFW) spent a pleasant afternoon at the 2nd annual Santa Barbara Wild celebration held at the picturesque Riviera Park Gardens.

Guests strolled the lovely grounds of the courtyard, mingling and perusing the extensive silent auction items. Todd Hannigan and Sleeping Chief provided lively tunes, while Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company and several wineries offered libations and servers circulated with tasty hors-d’oeuvres. An early dinner featuring sustainably-harvested Campbell River salmon and grilled chicken was served buffet-style with a live auction and an award presentation following.

Congresswoman Lois Capps was recognized for her extensive accomplishments in protecting public lands since first assuming office in 1998. Highlights include her legislation that encouraged the establishment of the Carrizo Plain National Monument and her introduction of legislation to ban oil drilling in the Los Padres National Forest. Her accomplishments have earned her a 95% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters.

True to its mission of preserving the environment, LPFW used diesel fuel to power the event and 97% of the waste was recycled or composted.

Los Padres ForestWatch, based in Santa Barbara with a staff of three and a volunteer base of 800, works to protect and restore the natural and cultural heritage of the Los Padres National Forest and other public lands along California’s Central Coast, primarily through advocacy work and habitat restoration projects.  

The advocacy work, which involves both policy and legal work, has focused on protecting areas from damage caused by oil drilling, illegal off-road vehicle use, unmanaged livestock grazing, and uncontrolled development.  

LPFW, with the help of its 800 volunteers, has done extensive habitat restoration work.  Since its founding in 2004, it has completed more than 60 projects, including invasive plant removal, barbed wire fencing removal, and restoration of areas previously used for marijuana cultivation. It has also done more than 50 cleanup projects, removing more than 18,000 pounds of trash from protected lands.

For more information, go to

By Gail Arnold

Director of membership and advancement Serena Kelsch, executive director Jeff Kuyper, and conservation director Bryant Baker.

By Gail Arnold

Board member Christopher Cogan, board member Rachael Barkley, and vice president Russell Radom.

By Gail Arnold

Todd Hannigan and Sleeping Chief perform.

By Gail Arnold

Lovely, natural centerpieces were crafted by volunteers.

By Gail Arnold

Meighan Dietenhofer and Michelle Weinman.

By Gail Arnold

Gary and Linda Smythe with Smoother Smyth.

By Gail Arnold

Riviera Park Gardens provided a lovely venue.

By Gail Arnold

Guests enjoy the reception in the courtyard.

By Gail Arnold

Guests review the silent auction offerings.

By Gail Arnold

Honoree Congresswoman Lois Capps with executive director Jeff Kuyper (left) and board president Allan Morton.

By Gail Arnold

Guests enjoy dining in the courtyard.

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