Progress for Corridor

March 21, 2014

The following appeared in Stu News Laguna on March 21, 2014, under a different title:

Progress for the Coast to Cleveland Wildlife Corridor

The effort to complete a regional wildlife corridor reconnecting the Laguna Greenbelt to the Santa Ana Mountains took a big step forward in November. That’s when the Irvine City Council adopted a ‘Consensus Plan’ for the Great Park segments of the corridor. The plan was the result of a year of negotiations between an environmental coalition led by Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., and Five Point Communities; with input from a panel of wildlife movement experts. The consensus plan was also endorsed by both Federal and State wildlife agencies.

The critical wildlife corridor will reconnect the isolated local coastal wildlands with the much larger habitat areas in the Cleveland National Forest. For the first time, the wildlife corridor has an adopted plan, a funding source and a schedule for completion of the three central, most difficult, and most expensive segments. Unlike other segments, the Great Park segments have to be constructed from other land uses on the closed El Toro MCAS base.

Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., is pleased with the outcome of the negotiations, and will continue working with FivePoint Communities and the City of Irvine on a number of important associated issues before actual construction begins in a few years.

serrano creek view

This photo shows an unimproved stretch of Serrano Creek running through agricultural fields between the intersection of Alton and Culver and the I-5 (top of photo). The corridor in this area will incorporate the creek, but be much wider, with restored upland habitat for the wildlife.

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