Craig R. Carey has joined the Los Padres ForestWatch team as Director of Outreach and Outdoor Programs, and will lead the nonprofit organization’s volunteer habitat restoration, trails, and youth projects in the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Craig brings more than two decades of experience exploring and documenting the Los Padres National Forest, and is considered one of the foremost experts of the forest’s natural and cultural history. Most recently, he authored Hiking & Backpacking Santa Barbara & Ventura (Wilderness Press 2012), which – after years of research and field checking – became the first comprehensive trail guide for the southern Los Padres National Forest in decades. As an outdoor scribe, Craig’s work has also appeared in top outdoor magazines across the globe.

Craig serves as a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger with the Los Padres National Forest, is an active trail volunteer, and has led countless trips into the Los Padres backcountry with local scouting and youth groups.

At LPFW, Craig will oversee all aspects of the organization’s outdoor programs and public outreach. He will coordinate hundreds of volunteers working on habitat restoration projects, including microtrash cleanups to protect endangered California condors and fence removal projects to give pronghorn more freedom to roam across the Carrizo Plain. He will also oversee the Lost Trails program, which seeks to restore historic public access to several currently-closed trails and trailheads leading into the Los Padres National Forest. Craig also will assist with data gathering and field monitoring in furtherance of LPFW’s land and wildlife conservation mission.

“I’m excited to join the ForestWatch staff, and especially to get our youth involved in caring for the forest,” Craig says. “The more our kids learn to love and protect their wild lands now, the more prepared they’ll be to fight for it in the future.”

“Craig’s deep knowledge of, and appreciation for, our local backcountry has inspired countless Central Coast residents to care for this precious natural resource that’s right here in our own backyard,” said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres ForestWatch. “We’re thrilled to have Craig join our team to further strengthen our land conservation efforts.”

Los Padres ForestWatch is the only nonprofit organization working solely to protect wildlife habitat, wilderness landscapes, free-flowing rivers, and the great outdoors in the Los Padres National Forest and the Carrizo Plain. For more information, visit the organization’s website at


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