In April, five employees from Patagonia took the time to get out into the forest and help ForestWatch clean up a trashed area near the Sespe Condor Sanctuary.
The volunteers spent more than four hours cleaning the abandoned trailhead – removing broken glass, bullet casings and rounds, litter, beer cans, and even destroying a few improvised fire rings and hidden campsites.
In total, the small team removed over 150 lbs of trash from the area.
The area is less than a mile from the Sespe Condor Sanctuary, a protected area established in 1947 to set aside a safe, protected area for condors to breed, nest, roost, and forage. The abandoned trailhead once provided illegal access to Tar Creek, located within the boundary of the Sanctuary. This illegal trail once brought hundreds of people on weekends to the Tar Creek Falls, which is a also favorable roosting and watering site for endangered California condors. The public often left behind large quantities of trash, human food, people covered rocks in graffiti and created other hazards which threatened the species’ health. Last year, in response to this growing problem, the US Forest Service announced that federal law enforcement officers would be strictly enforcing the closure of the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Entry into the Sanctuary can now result in a $5,000 fine and/or six months of jail time.
A huge thank you to our friends at Patagonia who took time from their busy work schedules to come contribute to condor safety and survival!