Citing the growing need for safe passage for Southern California wildlife, the LA Times Editorial Board calls for more projects like the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, which will break ground April 22.
The crossing will provide safe passage across the busy 101 freeway in Agoura Hills. The Editorial Board cited the recent death of a mountain lion attempting to cross PCH in Malibu as an example of the need for more wildlife crossings. It was the eighth mountain lion to be killed by a car near the Santa Monica Mountains since 2002.
Mountain lions are facing increased vulnerability in Southern California – so much so that the state Fish and Game Commission granted temporary endangered species status to the several hundred in Southern California and the Central Coast.
Crossings help animals find new breeding and hunting grounds and are crucial to maintain natural ecosystems. California is a rare biodiversity hotspot, but freeways have partitioned off habitats, isolating species in the mountains.
The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing will be built in an area that wildlife experts say animals are often trying to cross. The bridge will be over ten lanes of the freeway – making it the largest wildlife crossing in the world.
The LA Times Editorial Board emphasizes that in addition to protecting wildlife, crossings will help save money, too. A recent study shows that between 2016 and 2020, collisions with animals cost California at least $1 billion in damage. And in 2018 alone, 314 people were injured in collisions with animals and five people were killed.
The Editorial Board calls for more projects like the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing to ensure the safety of our region’s wildlife and to sustain the beautiful landscape of Southern California that residents love so much. We’re thrilled to break ground on this project on April 22 – Earth Day!