Many of the roads and trails in the Pozo-La Panza, Rockfront and Colson/LaBrea areas are subject to serious damage if used during periods of moisture saturation. These roads and trails will be reopened when they dry to a sufficient level to sustain use, and remain subject to re-closure if additional precipitation occurs.
The purpose of these closures is to reduce resource damage and facilitate public safety. During autumn, winter, and spring rainstorms, soils become saturated to an extent that vehicle and foot traffic can cause significant damage to roads and wet trails. Although many of these roads and trails are primarily for OHV use, some trails used primarily by horseback riders may also be affected.
Gates have been installed at strategic locations to prevent access during periods of wet weather.
“We’re taking this action so that when we reopen these roads and trails we can do so with a minimum amount of maintenance,” said Santa Lucia District Ranger Kathleen Phelps. “Because they are all native surface, these dirt roads and trails are easily damaged during the wet winter season. The roads and certain trails will remain open to all foot traffic for hunting and recreational hiking.”
Forest visitors are encouraged to contact the Santa Lucia Ranger District prior to their visit. For further information on road conditions, recreation opportunities and permit requirements on the Santa Lucia Ranger District, call the Forest Service office in Santa Maria at (805) 925-9538. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. Additional information is available on the Los Padres National Forest website at www.usda.gov/lpnf.story>