A broadcast-quality video on the Wildlife Crossing Fund and other images connected to the unprecedented conservation effort can be found here
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15, 2023 – The National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign and an expert set of committed partners are celebrating the launch of The Wildlife Crossing Fund – a campaign that aims to accelerate the building of wildlife crossings across California, the United States, and the world and reconnect lands for our collective future. The fund has set a fundraising goal of a half a billion dollars from private philanthropy to leverage with public dollars and advance the building of these critical infrastructure projects – launching an extraordinary public private partnership.
The announcement was made at the “P-22 Celebration of Life” event on Saturday, February 4 at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, with founding partner members and a video by State of California Governor Gavin Newsom. Images of the special on-stage moment and an inspirational video on the unprecedented conservation effort can be found here.
Recognizing the growing momentum and widespread support for the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing being built outside of Los Angeles, Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation led the effort to create this new fund. As one of its founding partners, the Annenberg Foundation has provided a conservation challenge grant that invites donors everywhere to support the effort. In addition to the National Wildlife Federation, founding partners behind the movement include the California Natural Resources Agency, Dayna Bochco, and ARC: Animal Road Crossings.
“This is a landmark day for conservation all across the world. With the launch of The Wildlife Crossing Fund the founding partners are making clear: We need to reconnect the ecosystems that have been shattered, disrupted, and disconnected,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Wildlife crossings are a simple but profound idea – a patch of grass where there was once a patch of asphalt; a walkway where there was once only roadway. But the effect is transformative, and it is nothing short of environmental rejuvenation. I am especially proud that the Annenberg Foundation could help to promote this idea. After all, the very best philanthropy is one that inspires and unites and galvanizes – because that means its effects will be magnified a thousandfold.”
The Wildlife Crossing Fund is part of the legacy that the beloved P-22 mountain lion leaves behind. His journey across multiple 10-lane freeways and the decade he spent in Griffith Park was miraculous. Mountain lions require upward of 100 square miles of habitat to access prey, shelter, and mates. Hemmed in by freeways and urban sprawl on all sides, P-22 endured an isolated existence on just nine square miles. His whole life, he suffered the consequences of trying to survive in unconnected space, right to his final days when being hit by a car led to his tragic end.