Sunday, January 18, 2015

Should We Build In Wildlife Corridors?

Sunday morning about 7:00 a.m. a mountain lion was hit by a car in La Tuna Canyon, near the border of Tujunga and La Crescenta.

The drivers who stopped to see if the animal could be assisted, said the lion darted in front of them suddenly and was hit by a second car. The animal died of it's injuries.

Mountain lions routinely make the area of the Verdugo and San Gabriel Mountains, near the Angeles National Forest but also a stones through from populated areas, their home. Given the semi-rural and low density nature of the Sunland-Tujunga and La Tuna Canyon communities, these incidents are rare.

But a change in city planning policies could change that as a record amount of additional housing density is planned for the last remaining pieces of open mountain space in Los Angeles.

Just feet from where this majestic animal was needlessly killed, developers from out of town plan to slam 250 luxury homes at the bottom of a canyon at the head of a mountain pass, on the site of the current Verdugo Hills Golf Course. Residents are fighting an uphill battle to prevent that. Other similar developments in Big Tujunga Canyon - as well as a proposal to route the California High Speed Rail through the Angeles National Forest and the Tujunga Wash - are creating a crisis like environment for those who wish to preserve the last remaining open space and habitat for hundreds of native species.

So the question is - how any mountain lions must die before we learn our lesson?

(Mountain lion's death details from Christina Gonzalez and photo credit Micki Greslie)

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