Los Angeles City Council to approve lifesaving wildlife corridor

Would this wildlife overpass at Banff, Alberta, Canada be the model for the new Liberty Canyon/ 101 Wildlife Corridor overpass through L.A.?

Wildlife in and around one of the countries biggest metropolises is about to get a lifesaving reprieve.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles’s City Council Planning unanimously voted to approve a Regional Wildlife Linking Zone in the hillsides of Los Angeles between I-5 and I-405, which will be added to the City’s municipal code. This will establish a zone to protect open space connectivity in any new building permits.

What’s exciting about this is that animals such as Hollywood’s famous mountain lion P-22,. coyotes, bobcats and other wildlife that has been seen around and through the over developed Hollywood Hills area may be finally getting a much needed break.

Today the Los Angeles City Council meets to (hopefully) give final approval to the Liberty Canyon 101 Wildlife Corridor overpass. This historic vote on Earth Day will create protective pathways that will keep wildlife safer from humans and hopefully promote biodiversity as well.

L.A.’s Griffith Park’s mountain lion could get a break with the new wildlife overpass, photo courtesy of Miguel Ordenana and the Griffith Park Connectivity Study

This legislation was authored by Councilmember Paul Koretz and supported by Councilmembers David Ryu, Paul Krekorian and other elected officials. It is also passionately supported by many residents and community organizations. Today’s vote will see  Los Angeles City Councilmembers David Ryu (4th Council District) and Paul Koretz (5th CD) joined by Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (CLAW) and other representatives of a coalition that supports the Wildlife Habitat Linkage Ordinance.  Organizational members of this coalition include Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of Griffith Park, Mountain Lion Foundation, Project Bobcat, Project Coyote, Social Compassion in Legislation, Animal Legal Defense Fund, and The Urban Wildlands Group.

Councilman Koretz says, “By approving this motion, the City Council will be telling our mountain lion, deer, foxes, raccoons, bobcats and coyotes that they are a vitally important part of our urban jungle and we want to do our part to protect their habitat.”

The overpass, when complete, will run from what’s considered a unique section of the Santa Monica Mountains to close to the Los Angeles downtown area. This encompasses the Griffith Park area where P-22 currently resides.

Congratulations to the L.A. City Council and to the citizens of the area. This is a huge win for wildlife and for the City. To all concerned, we say a heartfelt “thanks!”

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