The proposal for a mountain lion overpass between the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area and the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains near Los Angeles become closer to a full plan earlier this week.
MyNewsLA.com reports the California Wildlife Conservation Board approved funding for the purchase of 71 acres of critical land for the proposal. The website reports the board had agreed to place $3.35 million in bond funds toward the purchase of Chesebro Meadow, located north of Highway 101, with the vision of creating the landscaped freeway overpass. The property is expected to be purchased for $7 million.
“Preservation of Chesebro Meadows is critical for the functionality of the Liberty Canyon wildlife corridor,” MyNewsLA.com reports from the report. “The long-term survival of species depends on their ability to move between the Santa Monica Mountains and Los Padres and Angeles National Forests to maintain genetic diversity.”
The proposed overpass has been pushed by state agencies, elected officials and wildlife since it’s proposal in September 2015. According to the LA Times, the overpass is proposed to be 165 feet wide and 200 feet long, connecting the land masses that are separated by 101.\
The 71-acre property’s $7 million purchase is joined with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy contributing about $2.5 million and Los Angeles County kicking in $1.1 million, MyNewsLA.com reports. A Wildlife Conservation Board staff report identified the land as “one of the last significant unprotected properties in the Liberty Canyon inter-mountain range.”
With issues of inbreeding well-known, tracking of the mountain lions sectioned off has also been documented, MyNewsLA reports. The National Park Service say movements are being hampered, and only one lion, known as P-12, has been documented as successfully crossing 101, which occurred in 2009.
California’s swift movement of donations this week come two months after the LA Times reported no action would likely lead to the mountain lions’ extinction in the next 50 years.
Do you think building the overpass is a good idea? Is there a better way to assist the Santa Monica Mountains lions or should nature run its course? Let us know by commenting below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.