Creative thinking and ecologically-minded construction efforts seem to be the next steps in conservation strategy, and the National Wildlife Federation’s website recently shared the incredible environmental strides taken by the city of Los Angeles.
In Liberty Canyon, a range of species have struggled to connect with other wildlife. And unfortunately, the 101 Freeway cuts through mountain lion territory, isolating populations from each other.
However, the Wallis Annenberg Foundation is coming to the aid of the National Wildlife Federation in order to challenge donors to support a new and exciting initiative — building a crossing over the 101 Freeway.
The goal is to reconnect the Santa Monica Mountains and the Simi Hills, according to Collin O’Mara, who is the president and CEO of the NWF.
He also shared some of the benefits of the initiative. “Wallis Annenberg’s grant will protect this global biodiversity hotspot – recognized as one of only 36 biodiversity hotspots worldwide – and ensure that California’s iconic mountain lions and other wildlife can find the food and mates they need to survive.”
So far, $44 million has been raised, and in order to unlock the Annenberg’s challenge grant, $35 million more is necessary before the crossing can be built.
Ben Pratt, the leader of the #SaveLACougars campaign, also reflected on the grant’s impact. “We hope this game-changing gift will inspire other philanthropists and public agencies to step up so we can ensure we break ground in November.”
Not only is the NWF’s plan a vital innovation in conservation, but it is also an incredible feat of construction.
According to the NWF’s website, the bridge will be 210 feet long over the 10-lane highway. There have been marked successes in similar projects in Banff National Park and an overpass in Utah and research from state parks spanning the last two decades.