Agoura Horse Property - Custom & Equestrian Real Estate by Nona Green


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

CONTACT: Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, National Wildlife Federation (209) 620-6271

May 3, 2018 - Los Angeles—The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced last
week that the Project Report and the Environmental Document have been completed for the wildlife
crossing at Liberty Canyon over U.S. Highway 101, marking a major milestone for the initiative. The
project now moves into final design and engineering (the “blueprints” phase) and is slated to begin
construction in late 2020.
The planned wildlife crossing at Liberty Canyon is a public/private partnership between Caltrans, the
National Park Service (NPS), the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the Santa Monica Mountains
Conservancy, the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Mountains
Recreation and Conservation Authority, the California State Coastal Conservancy and The Santa Monica
Mountains Fund.
The project responds to more than two decades of NPS research on the conservation needs of LA’s
mountain lions and ecosystems and advances long-standing local efforts to establish habitat
connectivity for wildlife across U.S. Highway 101. “The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and
Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority applaud Caltrans’ work in completing this
environmental review, a critical phase in making a safe passage for wildlife across the 101 and delivering
on our 30 plus years of work to preserve habitat linkages,” said Rorie Skei, Chief Deputy Director of
the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
The public support for this wildlife crossing, which will potentially be the largest of its type in the world,
the first of its kind in California, and which will serve as a visionary model for urban wildlife
conservation, has proven unprecedented. A total of 8,859 comments were received in response to the
draft Environmental Document, with only 15 opposed. Comments in favor came from a diverse group of
constituents, including a letter from the eight previous mayors of the City of Agoura Hills, Los Angeles
County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the California Turtle and Tortoise Club, actress Carolyn Hennesy (of
Cougar Town fame), and the Monrovia High School Environmental Club.
A collaboration by experts, public agencies, conservation organizations and community partners, along
with public input, proved key to achieving this significant milestone. Ongoing active support and
participation from the early stages of the project came from elected officials such as California State
Senator Fran Pavley, (retired) and California Assemblymember Richard Bloom, along with the newly
elected California State Senator Henry Stern. “A project this unique and of such considerable size and
scope always has a wide diversity of opinions and ideas—this process has helped create the best
possible solution for area wildlife that also meets the needs of the local community,” said Senator Fran
Pavley. “We thank everybody who participated in the public process, which ultimately made this project

This milestone was also completed as a result of funding from NWF’s #SaveLACougars fundraising
campaign, which also enjoys widespread support with donations from across the country and the globe.
“Our sincerest thanks to the more than 1,500 people and organizations who have contributed to the
#SaveLACougars campaign to date, such as the California State Coastal Conservancy, Annenberg
Foundation and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which helped fund this integral environmental
document,” said Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, California Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife
Federation, who leads the #SaveLACougars campaign. “When we started this campaign a few years ago,
the crossing was just an idea and had no funding attached to the project. With the generous donations
of our supporters, we have raised over $3.7 million, have achieved every fundraising target to date and
know this trend will continue as we work to achieve our goal of $10 million by the end of this year to
keep Caltrans on schedule.”
#SaveLACougars is primarily seeking private philanthropic dollars, although public dollars earmarked for
conservation have been, and will continue to be, sought. The campaign is not seeking to divert state
transportation or other taxpayer funds from needs such as schools, hospitals, bridges, or road repairs.
In addition, a separate and recently released report published in March of 2018 summarizes the
recommendations from some of the world’s foremost experts on wildlife connectivity and crossing
structures and combines them with landscape characteristics and wildlife data to prioritize locations for
wildlife crossings. The experts’ findings noted that the site at Liberty Canyon provided the best location
in that region for improving connectivity and an overpass structure the best solution for serving the
broadest range of species.
Research by the National Park Service has shown that mountain lions could face extinction in the Santa
Monica Mountains within 50 years because of a fragmented landscape. "Twenty years of research
shows that the biggest conservation challenge facing the Santa Monica Mountains is isolation by roads
and development," said David Szymanski, Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National
Recreation Area. "This forward-looking project will help to end the isolation and reconnect natural
habitat on both sides of the highway."
For more information or to donate to the project visit
For the recently released Environmental Document visit Caltrans’ project site at
About The National Wildlife Federation
One of the oldest and largest conservation groups in the country, the National Wildlife Federation with
its over six million supporters nationwide is a strong voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife
and habitat, as well as inspiring young people today to become conservation-minded adults. Visit for more information.

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