Outstanding Partnership Stories: Patagonia and Los Padres ForestWatch Work Together to Protect the Central California Coast

"Patagonia has been the most supportive and influential company in the development of our organization." Jeff Kuyper, Executive Director of Los Padres ForestWatch

They began as a small cluster of committed volunteer advocates, determined to improve the way the Los Padres National Forest was managed.  Devoted and unwavering, this group of individuals became Los Padres ForestWatch (LPFW) and applied to Patagonia for funding. This was the start of a strong and successful partnership between LPFW and Patagonia.

From the grassroots up, Los Padres ForestWatch is working to protect and restore the forests, chaparral, grasslands, rivers, wildlife and wilderness along California's Central Coast, specifically in the Los Padres National Forest and nearby public lands.

A partnership with Patagonia has been instrumental in the work, and success, of LPFW.  Over the past six years, Patagonia's annual Salmon Run, a 5k fun run through the streets of Ventura, California, has raised more than $35,000 for Los Padres ForestWatch.  LPFW has been the recipient of three Patagonia "Miracle Grants," unsolicited grants that are given to organizations identified by different departments within Patagonia.  When they arrive in the mail, they are "Miracles."  Patagonia has also contributed to LPFW through grants and in-kind product donations from Great Pacific Ironworks, their Ventura, CA retail store.  Patagonia employees working in the store have granted over $20,000 to Los Padres Forest Watch over the last 5 years.

LPFW has received financial sponsorship from Patagonia for the Cherry Creek Clean-Up, the Ojai Wild! Benefit event, and the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival.  Patagonia also nominated Los Padres ForestWatch for funding from The Conservation Alliance – resulting in a $30,000 grant for LPFW's work to protect Wilderness areas and Wild Rivers in the Los Padres National Forest. 

 "The best thing about Patagonia is that their commitment to our work goes far beyond financial support," proclaimed Kuyper.  "Patagonia doesn't hesitate to put their boots on the ground and they encourage their employees to do the same."

Patagonia employees have helped with barbed wire fence removal projects on the Carrizo Plain National Monument, micro-trash clean-ups in California condor habitat, and rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty for the Conservation Alliance's Backyard Collective Event, a one day service project that benefited the work of LPFW.

One Patagonia employee, who participated in a Middle Sespe Trailhead clean-up project, was so inspired that she organized her own department staff to get out for another clean-up project on "Designer's Day Out," a day when the Patagonia design team engages in volunteer work that is meaningful to them.

Patagonia's support has helped Los Padres ForestWatch grow into an organization with four full-time staff and a great list of accomplishments in the Los Padres Forest. 

Los Padres ForestWatch wouldn't be where they are today without Patagonia's outstanding and ongoing support. 

"Our victories are their victories and we consider everyone at Patagonia among our closest supporters and friends."