Photo courtesy of Christoph Steinhard

                                                                                                                            Photo courtesy of Christoph Steinhard

The Region
 

Los Angeles is a unique city in many ways, but one of its most prominent attributes is the Santa Monica Mountain Range, which runs from East LA's hilltops through Griffith Park to the Pacific Ocean.

Though Angelenos live in a hyper-developed region, nature is never far away. The Santa Monica's are home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.  Its countless chaparral-studded canyons, brush-filled hillsides and 63,000 acres of parks, lakes, trails, nature areas and gardens are home to many wild creatures, including bobcats, mountain lions, hawks, coyotes, deer, raccoons and opossums.  

The Problem
 

For thousands of years, wildlife have been traveling the Santa Monica Mountains in well-established migratory patterns to hunt and breed. Unfortunately, ever-increasing population and building density in the hillsides are threatening entire species and endangering their viability.  As wildlife habitats are blocked, reduced and fragmented, animals such as Griffith Park's mountain lion P22 are being forced down into the urban zones to find food and encountering humans.  

Blocking access to migratory and breeding territory through development creates habitat fragmentation, which in turn means that wildlife becomes isolated. We know now that Isolating wildlife populations creates inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity, which in turn leads to the decimation of that species and a decrease in biodiversity throughout a region. 

Negative effects to just one species of wildlife can have a system-wide adverse effect. Protecting, maintaining and creating wildlife corridors to connect large blocks of open space is imperative if we want to protect our abundance, indigenous wildlife population. The time for a wildlife habitat linkage ordinance is now.   

L.A.'s remaining natural lands are a public resource that must be protected for the good of animals and humans alike.  Act now. 

What is a Wildlife Corridor?

A wildlife corridor, habitat corridor, or green corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities such as roads, fences or structures.

A wildlife corridor is a stretch of land (and/or water) across which animals travel to feed, seek refuge and migrate between seasons.

A wildlife corridor allows an exchange of individuals between isolated populations, which helps prevent the negative effects of inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity.

A wildlife corridor helps re-establish animal populations that have been reduced or eliminated due to random events such as fire, disease or overbuilding.

A wildlife corridor moderates some of the worst effects of habitat fragmentation.

A wildlife corridor is one of the only ways to maintain natural food chains.

Without a wildlife corridor, animals can’t get to the food, shelter and mates they need to survive. 

Urbanization and habitat fragmentation is not slowing.  Want to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a 17-acre wildlife corridor in Laurel Canyon? Join our Let's Buy a Mountain campaign! Find out how. 

Urbanization and habitat fragmentation is not slowing.  Want to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a 17-acre wildlife corridor in Laurel Canyon? Join our Let's Buy a Mountain campaign! Find out how. 

Here is an example of how one building project can literally sever an existing wildlife corridor and threaten its wildlife populations.  The red lines represent some of the few remaining wildlife corridors in Laurel Canyon. The blue box designates a multiple home McMansion project that threatened to block a critical habitat linking corridor.

Here is an example of how one building project can literally sever an existing wildlife corridor and threaten its wildlife populations.  The red lines represent some of the few remaining wildlife corridors in Laurel Canyon. The blue box designates a multiple home McMansion project that threatened to block a critical habitat linking corridor.

In addition to work Council Member Koretz’s office has done raising support, the massive support in the Council file can likely be attributed to the excellent work of Citizens for LA Wildlife (CLAW) educating people and other organizations around the City about these issues. They are one of the more effective advocacy organizations around right now.
— Andy Shrader, Director of Environmental Affairs, Water Policy and Sustainability in the Office of City Council Member Paul Koretz

Let's Protect Our Mountain Range and its Eco-System 

The yellow circles are key linkages that wildlife use to bisect public roadways & migrate within the Eastern Santa Monica Mountains.

The yellow circles are key linkages that wildlife use to bisect public roadways & migrate within the Eastern Santa Monica Mountains.

Tell the Los Angeles Planning Committee That You Support Wildlife Corridors and Habitat Protection

CLAW, Councilmember Paul Koretz and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy have now partnered to protect wildlife corridors throughout our hillsides. 

As a result of this partnership, Councilman Koretz introduced an unprecedented motion that was eagerly seconded by four Councilmembers who have hillside constituents. Council File 14-0518 moves to require the city planning department and department of building and safety to consider wildlife corridors in any new building plans in the hillsides and provide scientific guidance to keep wildlife habitat linkages and corridors open.  This motion suggests the following:

  • Require a Biological Constraints Checklist and Wildlife Permeability Review as part of every new building project application in the hillsides of LA.
  • No issuance of building or grading permits until project applicants ensure that they will permanently accommodate wildlife habitat connectivity as part of their development projects.  
  • Require easements or deed restrictions in perpetuity to protect wildlife habitat connectivity.
  • Formally designate a Regional Wildlife Habitat Linkage Zone in the Municipal Code, in as much as just one single-family residential project can cause adverse impacts and threatened wildlife populations. 

CLAW Wildlife Corridor Advocacy

On April 19th, 2016 CLAW delivered a letter to LA City Council.  10 additional organizations representing more than 380,000 wildlife activists and habitat protectors joined in our advocacy.  Read the full letter here

The sustainability of our urban wildlife populations is at a dangerous tipping point. Please protect and enhance the Public Trust by adopting this innovative motion.
— CLAW Board of Directors, Letter to LA City Councilmembers

Add Your Voice Here:

Name *
Name
Address *
Address
PLEASE COPY AND INSERT THE FOLLOWING SUBJECT TITLE BELOW: SUPPORT COUNCIL FILE 14-0518 - Wildlife Habitat Linkage Zones
PLEASE COPY AND INSERT THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE BELOW: Dear Chairman Huizar and Honorable Members of the PLUM Committee, I am a Citizen for Los Angeles Wildlife and I support a Wildlife Habitat Linkage Zone ordinance. The Santa Monica Mountains is a special mountain range eco-system that runs through the heart of Los Angeles. LA City’s eastern portion of urbanized canyons and hillsides between the I-405 and I-5 freeways is a critical Wildlife habitat Linkage Zone that should be established in our municipal code in order to protect the migratory patterns and habitats of our native animals. As part of the ordinance, please make sure every new building project undergoes a checklist and review for wildlife habitat connectivity and permeability. It needs to be passed now.

Wildlife Road Signage

   

 

 

Blocked wildlife corridors are forcing more animals into our busy roads.  CLAW is devastated by the repeated reports of wildlife death due to speeders.

Please support our signage efforts with a donation. Visit the CLAW Shop to obtain a sign for posting on your private property.