CLAW stands for Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife. CLAW is a public benefit non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization made up of citizens working for the original native Angelinos: our wildlife. CLAW advocates for all wildlife and works to protect wildlife habitats in Los Angeles, California and beyond.
Board of Directors
Tony Tucci, Chair
CLAW's founding co-director Tony Tucci is passionate about land use issues and maintaining open spaces throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. He is a native Angelino who became an accidental activist when he experienced an egregious development and loss of nearly an acre of pristine forest in his backyard. You can find some details of that experience in a City Watch article HERE.
With more than 10 years behind him advocating for wildlife, public open space and many other neighborhood issues, he is past vice-president of the Laurel Canyon Association, a past delegate to the Hillside Federation, a past member of the Citizen Oversight Committee for Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, and a past board member of the Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council.
In 2016, CLAW actively campaigned for ballot measures supporting parklands and Tony received an Official Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles presented by Councilmember Paul Koretz, “The City thanks you for your efforts in promoting the passing of Measures FF and GG and in helping maintain and conserve local open space, wildlife corridors, and parklands. Through steadfast ways and caring deeds, you have made the City of Los Angeles a better place in which to work, live and play!”
Tony is working daily with communities to navigate bureaucracy in order to serve CLAW's missions along with a strong opinion that we are incrementally destroying LA's unique natural resources and that our local government should in no way encourage or accelerate such a loss.
Whether at home in the hills of Los Angeles or camping with her family in Yosemite National Park, Alison Simard is passionate about wilderness conservation and wildlife education and uses her public relations, event planning and marketing/branding expertise to make actionable change in environmental policies. Throughout her career, Alison has worked to balance urban and rural life as an activist and a public relations expert moving from New York to Montana to Alaska to California. Alison began her career in the environmental committee in Sacramento Capital representing the Mountain Lion Foundation and has participated in a variety of wildlife, environment, and alternative energy campaigns. Alison is also a financial/business media relations and marketing expert.
In 2000 in the backyard of her home in Laurel Canyon, upon witnessing the degradation of an ancient animal passageway, Alison organized along with several neighbors to save a wildlife corridor. When it became clear that the city was not enforcing its own environmental conditions, she filed a lawsuit against the developer and the City of Los Angeles. Through compelling docu-protest videos with her partners at CLAW and Alison’s achievement of widespread news coverage, the city and developer made a permanent easement for wildlife passage. In 2013, Alison envisioned and co-founded CLAW. She continues to work to protect wildlife and their habitats throughout Los Angeles’ urban interfaces. In 2017, Alison was hired as Director of Communications for Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz and Council District 5.
While earning a BA in Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Shawn created the show Habitat for UNC-CH Cable TV on the abundance of nature found on campus. She spent summers interning at 60 Minutes, The New York Times and studying with the Wildlands Studies Program through San Francisco State University. Her first job out of college was shadowing an environmental reporter at the CBS affiliate WRAL-TV in Durham, NC where she put together a reel that landed her first reporting job at NBC affiliate KIEM-TV in Eureka, CA. As morning and then evening anchor, she wrote, produced and filmed dozens of stories on the local environment, including a three-part special on Coho salmon and their plight, and stories on the headwaters of the old-growth coastal redwoods in Humboldt County.
After moving to Los Angeles to produce for an Australian science program called Beyond 2000, Shawn went on to write and produce nature documentaries for Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel including Earth’s Fury, Storm Warning and The Top 10 Environmental Disasters. When she chose to leave the workforce and start a family, she created her own company called Dutch Touch Art, designing and commissioning a series of hand-painted oils for the design industry, based on the Netherland’s Golden Age and their iconic depictions of nature in the wild. Most recently, Shawn served as Chair of a non-profit organization called Friends of Wonderland (FOW), which raises more than $600K annually for Wonderland Elementary School in Laurel Canyon. FOW provides the enrichment programs no longer funded by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) including PE, library, music and art.
Andrew Lasken is a wildlife educator and advocate. He presents to the public on topics such as L.A.'s biodiversity, habitat connectivity, secondary poisoning from rodenticide, and the California Grizzly. Andrew also leads nature hikes for children in the San Gabriel Mountains and has volunteered at a local wildlife sanctuary, where he provided behavioral enrichment for mountain lions. Andrew is an enthusiastic wildlife photographer, and his photos have been featured in Wild Planet Magazine.
After traveling to many other countries in order to see wildlife, Andrew began studying the wildlife in his own backyard, and soon learned that amazing animals were living all around him in the city where he had lived his whole life. He also realized that the only way for these animals to continue to thrive was to protect their native habitats. Andrew was instrumental in protecting a patch of open space in his neighborhood, on which CLAW now holds a conservation easement. Andrew also serves on a Citizen Oversight Committee for Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
After more than 20 years in the music industry, Joanna Beacom was inspired to take a leap from art to science. Her journey began as a community advocate against unchecked development near her home in the Santa Monica Mountains and each year she became increasingly involved with regional environmental non-profits and local government agencies. In 2014, Joanna joined the Los Angeles Zoo’s seven-month docent training program to expand her proficiency in zoology and biology. She joined the Zoo’s animal observation research team in 2015 and currently works behind the scenes with the keepers from the Australian String, preparing food weekly for over a dozen species.
Today, Joanna is focused on solutions to reduce human-wildlife conflict both locally and globally. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in conservation biology through Project Dragonfly of Miami University, Ohio. She recently spent two weeks at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Africa, working on big cat conservation and local Namibian ecologies. Here in Los Angeles, she joins CLAW to focus on advocacy and the development of local strategies to mitigate the destruction of wildlife habitat and the hazards of anticoagulant poison. Joanna lives in Hollywood with her husband and two teenaged children. “I want to lead my family and my community by example to show them that the actions we take now to conserve and protect are vital to the long-term success of our planet.”
Samantha Sullivan has a Master's Degree in Animal Biology with an emphasis in wildlife conservation. She has over 15 years experience working with wild animals including: veterinary, zoological, conducting field research, and within sanctuaries.
Beth Pratt, California Director, National Wildlife Federation
Paul Edelman, Deputy Director, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Tom Gillespie, Professor, Dept. of Geography, UCLA
Travis Longcore, Science Director, The Urban Wildlands Group
Martyn Lenoble, Certified Interpretive Guide & Wilderness Instructor
Carla Rohde Robinson, Independent Environmental Educator & Captive Animal Care Specialist
Zach Smith, Independent Raptor Biologist
Miriam Seger, Board Member, Project Bobcat
The following businesses, organizations, and individuals are invaluable to CLAW's operations. We are incredibly grateful for their support.
Wake Up and Smell the Habitat
In memory of Skip Haynes
Sometimes, mid-morning, when the ground’s still cool,
A fresh and friendly light sifts through the laurel
We’ve come to know as sumac, with its floral
Clusters and apple-scented leaves that fill
The canyon with the one-and-only fragrance
Of coastal chaparral that, regularly,
By nature, must go up in flames.
A certain minstrel who, as song makers
Before him did, found inspiration in
This storied canyon’s groovy coexistence
With peace and love and music of the folk.
Perhaps he’s singing as he walks, his tread
And tune heard only by coyote pups
Burrowed beside their mom deep in the shade
Of live oaks and black walnuts. Unalarmed,
They know it is their brother passing by.
His unmistaken Windy City accent,
His will, quixotic and cantankerous,
This mustached troubadour is welcomed here—
Protector of the native habitat,
Canyon defender of the open space
Against the unsustainable, unnatural
Greeds and grabs that seem to just keep coming.
Last night, we stood beneath the dimming stars.
A meteor streaked over, quietly falling
Across the sky behind the sycamores,
And one coyote kept on calling, calling.