Los Angeles is a unique city with a wilderness mountain range called the Santa Monica Mountains running through its center stretching from East LA's hilltops to Griffith Park to the Pacific Ocean with one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Not just a network of freeways, LA has countless chaparral-studded canyons and brush-filled hillsides 63,000 acres of parks, lakes, trails, nature areas and gardens. This diverse terrain is filled with wild creatures - bobcats and mountain lions, hawks and opossums. We may live in a hyper-engineered region, but nature is never far way.
For thousands of years wildlife have been traveling in regular migratory patterns and ranges to hunt and breed within those Santa Monica Mountains but ever increasing population and building density in the hillsides are changing entire species and endangering their viability. As wildlife habitats are blocked, reduced and fragmented, those animals that survive (such as Griffith Park's mountain lion P22) are being forced down into the urban zones to find food and are increasingly encountering humans.
L.A.'s remaining natural lands are a public resource that must be protected. Act now.
The fragmentation of LA's hillsides is at a critical juncture. Habitat fragmentation due to urbanization and development is an ever increasing threat to biodiversity.
Isolating wildlife populations creates the negative effects of inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity. Negative effects to just one species of wildlife can have a system-wide adverse effect.
The urbanization of LA’s remaining hills and mountains must account for fragmentation. Protecting maintaining and creating wildlife corridors to connect large blocks of open space is the necessary mitigation. The pendulum must swing to a point where no habitat connectivity is lost. The timing for a wildlife habitat linkage ordinance is critical.
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.
The wildlife population in Los Angeles is in crisis. Every day, CLAW receives reports of wildlife injuries and deaths as a direct result of urbanization blocking ancient migratory passageways. Act now.
Let's Protect Our Mountain Range Eco-System Running Through The Heart of LA City
Tell Los Angeles Planning Committee You Support Wildlife Corridors
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 this sign-on letter to LA City Council. 10 additional organizations representing more than 380,000 wildlife activists and habitat protectors have joined in our advocacy. Read the full letter here.