The Liberty Canyon Corridor: Just a Start
After crossing the 101 Freeway, animals from the Santa Monica Mountains must still traverse a second freeway, State Highway 118, as well as a broad major roadway, State Highway 126, if they are to complete the 26-30 mile trip to Los Padres National Forest.
The National Park Service biologists, following radio-collared mountain lions, have expanded their wildlife connectivity studies and efforts northward to include those roadways, and routes through the Simi Hills and the Santa Susana Mountains. The scientists are assisted by university students, volunteers of all ages and the biologists at Caltrans.
If the story of this one park, this one linkage, sounds difficult and expensive, it's true. Re-connecting the wild is an enormous job. But there is growing agreement in scientific and conservation communities that wildlife corridors are our best hope for saving mountain lions and maintaining the ecological balance in our wild lands.
With a functioning linkage north out of the Santa Monica Mountains, perhaps the next young male mountain lion, instead of blundering into Santa Monica to his death, might safely find his way north to a new wild home.
At last nights meeting, many residents of Agoura Hills asked the SMMC board to consider that the Chesebro Meadow adjacent to the Liberty Canyon corridor site, is an important link to the wildlife corridor. The fact that the Agoura Hills City Council is selling the Chesebro Meadow to a housing developer was a shock to many locals who have fought to keep this land as open space.