Target Shooting in the Los Padres National Forest
- Goal: To protect wildlife and community health by prohibiting unrestricted target shooting in the Los Padres National Forest.
- Year Started: 2018
- Client Los Padres ForestWatch
Decades of unmanaged target shooting across nearly two million acres of the Los Padres National Forest resulted in a proliferation of litter, soil and water contamination, wildfires, vandalism, harm to endangered wildlife, and other environmental and public safety hazards.
In 2018, EDC filed a lawsuit on behalf of Los Padres ForestWatch (LPFW) to improve the management of target shooting in the Forest and for violation of the National Forest Management Act and the Endangered Species Act, seeking to enforce a permanent ban on unmanaged target shooting that the Forest Service approved in 2005, but never implemented. In 2019, EDC reached an agreement with the Forest Service for a temporary ban on target shooting and requiring the Forest Service to consult with wildlife agencies to assess the impacts of target shooting on rare and endangered plants and animals, including the California Condor and the red-legged frog. Unmanaged shooting sites are often located near fragile waterways, public trails and recreation areas, and can cause serious impacts to the environment, wildlife, and human health, and can cause wildfires.
This temporary ban has been extended twice, the most recent one running from January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021. Legal hunting with a valid license is not affected, and target shooting is still allowed at the Ojai Valley Gun Club and the Winchester Canyon Gun Club, both which are permitted by the Forest Service.