Caltrans has announced the first public scoping meeting for the proposed US-101 Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing. Three alternative proposals will be discussed during the meeting and your input will be welcomed. For some more general information join our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/hikingwithdean/) and download a free booklet WHEN MOUNTAIN LIONS ARE NEIGHBORS (https://www.facebook.com/groups/hikingwithdean/)
For more information about the meeting, call (213)[masked] [Note: Caltrans is organizing the meeting, not me]
The project, a naturally landscaped bridge over the 101 freeway, is proposed as a way to reconnect Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains to the Simi Hills and the network of mountain ranges that encircle the greater Los Angeles area.
Caltrans has described the bridge as a first for California. Although wildlife crossings have been built and used successfully in other states and countries, this is the first project of its type in California, and it is being hailed as a groundbreaking step in conservation and the first real attempt to address the issue of habitat fragmentation caused by Southern California’s famous and infamous freeway system.
When the 101 was constructed in the 1960s, it created a moat-like barrier to wildlife. The Santa Monica Mountains is like an island, isolated from the other Southern California mountain ranges. This island is a genetic bottleneck for numerous species that formerly ranged throughout the mountains, including the Santa Monica Mountain's most high-profile species, the mountain lion.
While mountain lions have been the poster child for the project, the big cats aren’t the only local wildlife experiencing the effects of isolation. Mounting evidence indicates that numerous other species, ranging from bobcats to road runners, could potentially benefit from the overpass.
The purpose of the proposed wildlife overpass project is “to provide a safe and sustainable wildlife passage across the freeway in order to help create an important linkage in the region,” a press release for the scoping meeting states. “The crossing would help reduce wildlife mortality, ease animal movement across habitats, and allow for the exchange of genetic material. In particular, large mammals such as mountain lions and bobcats need large connected habitats in order to hunt, breed, and thrive.”
For more information about the meeting, call (213)[masked]