2013 Fire Restirctions
Due to high fire danger, fire and smoking restrictions are now in effect on all National Park Service land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. For details, please download the public notice or call 805-370-2301. More »
Update on Park Closures
All NPS trails are open at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa! Currently, this park site is only open sunrise to sunset.
Ticks Test Positive for Lyme Disease at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills
Contact: Kate Kuykendall, 805-370-2343
Contact: Robert Saviskas, 310-915-7370, ext. 223
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Officials from Los Angeles County and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) are advising visitors that ticks from Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills recently tested positive for Lyme disease. Three separate pools of western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) found along the Coyote Trail were found to be positive.
"This is a good reminder for visitors to stick to the trail and avoid the vegetated areas where ticks like to hang out," said Evan Jones, SMMNRA chief ranger. "Though Lyme disease can be very serious, simply following a few basic steps can greatly minimize exposure."
Jones also advises the public to check clothing and exposed skin before heading home, making sure to brush off any small creatures. Wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants is also recommended.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease that can start as a mild flu-like illness and develop into severe chronic health problems over time. If identified in the early stages, it can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but the potential for long-term complications increases if the disease progresses untreated.
Paramount Ranch was one of three Santa Monica Mountains park sites that came back positive for Lyme disease in tests conducted by Los Angeles County West Vector and Vector-Borne Disease Control District. The other two locations were Tapia Park and Malibu Creek State Park, both located within a short distance of one another.
Robert Saviskas, executive director of the L.A. county agency responsible for conducting the tests, said this was the first year his agency tested for Lyme disease at Paramount Ranch, among approximately 12 sites tested within the Santa Monica Mountains. The first tick known to carry Lyme disease was found in the mountains in 1998.
"We're finding that about 1 or 2 percent of western black-legged ticks in the area carry the Lyme disease bacteria, so it's important for us to identify where the problem is occurring," said Saviskas. "This particular tick is most active from late November through May."
More information is available at www.lawestvector.org or by calling 310-915-7370.
About Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area:
About Los Angeles County West Vector and Vector-Borne Disease Control District:
Did You Know?
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was established in 1978, but the National Park Service did not own public parkland in the area until 1980. National Park Rangers devised clever ways to promote the national park goals without land by creating thriving partnerships with many agencies.