There are approximately 640,000 acres of open space in Ventura County that are managed by federal, state, county, special district, local, and non-profit agencies and organizations. A portion of these open spaces are accessible to the public and offer a variety of recreational opportunities in different settings.
The United States Forest Service (USFS) manages 87 percent, or 561,000 acres, of open space lands in Ventura County, which makes up almost all of north Ventura County. However, access to USFS lands is limited in part due to the wildlife conservation areas for the California condor and the existence of private lands near the southern forest boundary, which often do not have easements for public access. Non-USFS lands in Ventura County (other federal, state, and local lands) totaling approximately 79,000 acres, are mostly clustered near Ventura County’s southeastern border.
Although Ventura County residents have a wide array of open space and recreational opportunities, distance to open space, and access, varies substantially throughout the county. Thus, some Ventura County residents do not have access to open space/park resources within walking distance, or a half mile of their residence.