Forest Service halts new oil and gas leasing in Los Padres indefinitely

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
The U.S. Forest Service has moved to halt new oil and gas leasing throughout the Los Padres National Forest.
The decision follows a 2005 action that opened more than 52,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to new oil and gas development. More than a decade of litigation has followed and the Forest Service has since suspended the 2005 decision.
“This isn't anything new,” said Forest Service spokesman Andrew Madsen. “Federal land management agencies were asked to evaluate the potential for oil and gas leasing on federal lands back in the early 2000s.” Madsen confirmed the Forest Service will continue its stay on new oil and gas lease sales in the Los Padres indefinitely.

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