District Court Oks Forest Service Project at Reyes Peak

 The Reyes Peak (aka Pine Mountain) Forest Health Project on Los Padres National Forest’s Ojai and Mt. Pinos Ranger Districts was cleared to proceed after U.S. District Court Judge John Walter ruled against lawsuits brought by Los Padres Forestwatch and other parties. The court affirmed that the proposed thinning and fuels reduction work is consistent with law and Forest Service regulation and issued a decision in favor of the Forest.    

The Reyes Peak Forest Health Project will protect an area that is at risk due to overstocking and the devastating impacts of disease and insect infestation. The project lays within a federally designated Insect and Disease Treatment Area where declining forest health conditions have put the area at risk for substantial tree mortality over the next 15 years. The primary goal of the project is to reduce tree densities and promote forest resilience to insect and disease, persistent drought, and wildfire. To address these threats, professional Forest managers will selectively thin specific areas across 755 acres that extend along Pine Mountain between state Highway 33 and Reyes Peak in Ventura County. 

The project will reduce hazardous surface, ladder, and crown fuels, and include prescribed fire, piling and burning. Treating these areas will reduce competition, improve the health of the remaining trees, and increase the overall average stand diameter. Trees between the 24-inch and 64-inch diameter would be retained unless they pose a safety risk. 

This project aligns with the U.S. Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy, which combines a historic investment of congressional funding with years of scientific research and planning to dramatically increase the scale and pace of forest health treatments over the next decade. As part of this strategy, the agency will work with states, counties, Tribes and other partners to address wildfire risks to critical infrastructure, protect communities, and make forests more resilient. “We are in a wildfire crisis and must take immediate action to protect our forests in Southern California,” said Los Padres Forest Supervisor Chris Stubbs. “Let me be clear – this is not a commercial logging project. We are trying to save the remaining trees on Reyes Peak from the devastating effects of a stand-replacing wildfire.” For more information about Los Padres National Forest, please visit our public website at www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf.  

2 thoughts on “District Court Oks Forest Service Project at Reyes Peak

  1. Where can we get more precise maps and USFS or other photos of the areas to be “treated.” I’ll forward Kate an email with comments and photos I sent to the litigant and my local CNPS chapter.

  2. Going to try a response here to the question above. I think you’ll need to copy and past the links. Two of the links include maps.

    Mt. Pinos project

    Now called Reyes Peak project

    From Los Padres Forest Watch

    July 23, 2023 https://lpfw.org/court-rules-in-favor-of-controversial-logging-and-chaparral-clearing-project-on-pine-mountain/ with map

    For further information contact:
    Jeff Kuyper, Executive Director of Los Padres Forest Watch

    June 16, 2022 https://lpfw.org/mt-pinos-logging-decision-postponed-for-fourth-time-amidst-widespread-opposition/
    Bryant Baker, LPFW

    From Los Padres National Forest, Dept. of Agriculture
    2019 https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd937277.pdf see page 13 includes map.

    To contact LPFW for further information in opposition to the project
    By Mail:
    Los Padres Forest Watch
    PO Box 831
    Santa Barbara CA 93102
    By Phone:
    By Email:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.