Arthur J. Carroll, supervisor of Los Padres National Forest since 1986, will be transferred to Hood River, Ore., in April to manage the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.
During his tenure supervising the 1.7-million-acre Los Padres National Forest, Carroll helped shape a controversial land management plan that would greatly expand the area protected from off-road vehicles and development.
The plan is expected to be adopted this summer. It recommends adding 197,047 acres to the Sespe Wilderness and protecting a 27-mile portion of Sespe Creek under wild and scenic river status. All told, the plan recommends that wilderness areas increase from 25% to 40% of the forest.
The forest management plan, still being challenged by off-road vehicle enthusiasts, was formed after a series of public hearings, including an extremely vocal one in Ventura County, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Earl Clayton. About 215 people attended one hearing at the Ojai Ranger District, mostly voicing concerns about greater wilderness protection for areas such as Sespe Creek.
A 30-year veteran of the Forest Service, Carroll, 55, is leaving to run a newer Forest Service operation on the Columbia River. Congress created the Columbia Gorge scenic area in 1986 to encompass 295 acres in Oregon and Washington. The former area manager, Art DuFault, retired last September, a spokeswoman said.
Nancy Graybeal, a deputy district manager for the Gifford-Pinchot Forest in Washington state, will become acting supervisor for Los Padres National Forest until Carroll's replacement is named by Forest Service Chief Dale Robertson.