Where We Stand

Ventana Wilderness Alliance Hunting and Fishing Policy


It is the policy of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance that safe, ethical hunting and fishing activities, in full compliance with all federal laws and California Hunting and Fishing Regulations, are appropriate uses in authorized hunting areas in the northern Santa Lucia Range.

The VWA supports the restoration of native fisheries and wildlife populations, and encourages the aggressive hunting of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in the northern Santa Lucia Range.

Please see this interesting blog from a writer at Field and Stream regarding the value of Wilderness to Sportsmen.


The VWA discourages the use of toxic (lead) bullets and shot by all hunters in the northern Santa Lucia Range, in recognition of the program goals for the California Condor Recovery Program.

Gut piles generated from field dressed game should be buried to prevent lead poisoning in California condors and other scavenging wildlife species. Non-lead bullets such as Barnes X-Bullets and Winchester Fail-Safe, and non-lead shot are strongly recommended.


The Ventana Wilderness Alliance (VWA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to promote the conservation and careful stewardship of wilderness resource values in the northern Santa Lucia Range. The northern Santa Lucia Range is a significant natural area largely set aside in the federally administered Los Padres National Forest, Monterey Ranger District

Natural ecosystem processes in the Los Padres National Forest and designated wilderness areas of the northern Santa Lucia Range generally proceed without major human manipulation. However, since European contact, the region has experienced periodic episodes of road building, water diversion, livestock grazing, mining, and other human activities. There have also been noteworthy alterations in natural fire regimes. Keystone species, like the native grizzly bear (Ursus arctos), have been extirpated, while non-native "exotic" plants and animals, like turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), wild pig (Sus scrofa) and pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata), have been introduced into the environment. Changing environmental conditions and predator-prey relationships have been accompanied by the proliferation of non-native pests in the northern Santa Lucia Range, which collectively reflect biologic landscape-scale alterations and trends manifest throughout the western states.

Of particular concern to the VWA is the presence of wild pig (Sus scrofa) in the northern Santa Lucia Range. European boar was introduced to the Carmel Valley area in 1927. In some cases, boar bred with escaped domestic pigs and produced a feral crossbreed. Wild pigs forage by tusking and rooting through surface soil layers and leaf litter, resulting in soil disturbance. When pig rooting has damaged large areas, the erosion potential increases and damaged areas become susceptible to colonization by weedy, non-native species of plants.

ADOPTED: 27-May-2004

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