The Sisquoc River was added to the federal system by Congress in 1992, as part of the Los Padres Condor Range and Rivers Act, which protected 84 miles of wild and scenic rivers and more than 400,000 acres of wilderness in California’s iconic central coast region.
Located entirely in the remote San Rafael Wilderness, the Sisquoc River flows northwest through the San Rafael Mountains. The river possesses outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreation, wildlife, ecological, and historical/cultural values. Because of its remote undeveloped character and because it flows through a large intact ecosystem, biologists consider the Sisquoc to be one of the most pristine streams in highly urbanized southern California. The river flows through rocky canyons with water falls and deep pools in its upper segment and wide cobbled floodplains in its lower segment. The river’s high ecological integrity helps support the endangered California condor, southern steelhead, and California red-legged frog.
CalWild and its allies have sponsored legislation to add to the federal system Manzana Creek and other Sisquoc tributaries that contribute to the river’s endangered steelhead populations, as part of the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act.