Here at Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., we like to share blog posts from outside sources that are informative on the issues of wildlife corridors.
Our friends at Oregon Wild do a great job of describing wildlife corridors and why they are important for the resiliency and health of our ecosystems. We look forward to a time when our own Coast to Cleveland Wildlife Corridor in Irvine, California is completed and connecting coastal and mountain habitats in our community.
Read Orgeon Wild’s post here.
Here’s some Sunday reading about Jim Dilley and the history behind the Laguna Greenbelt and our 22,000 acres of South Coast Wilderness Preserve. Featuring Laguna Greenbelt, Inc.’s own Bob Borthwick!
Last week, Harry Huggins, a Director at Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., spoke to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), a regional association that helps the six counties in southern California coordinate planning efforts in transportation, sustainable development, and other issues. As SCAG works on the next iteration of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) – documents that will guide our region’s future development – community members’ comments can help the agency better understand the needs of our region. More information about SCAG’s process for updating the RTP/SCS can be found here. Thanks, Harry, for voicing the need to incorporate wildlife corridors into our urban landscapes! An excerpt of his speech is below:
“Wildlife corridor awareness is blossoming at many levels of government in California, from the recent passage of SB498 to efforts at CalTrans to incorporate connectivity into new projects. I know that SCAG has already supported efforts in Los Angeles County at Liberty Canyon to create a wildlife corridor over the 101 Freeway. Kudos for your fine work, but know that this is just one of many efforts underway across the region to connect natural lands to one another. Wildlife Corridors are very important to the region and its biodiversity because they allow species to migrate, forage and expand genetic diversity. Personally, I think this is what we all want for our families.
Right now, my organization is part of a coalition that is re-establishing an important connection between two protected open spaces: the Laguna Coast and the Santa Ana Mountains. Wildlife populations suffer dramatically when they do not have enough room to roam, cannot find suitable mates, don’t have appropriate nurseries for their young, or aren’t able to repopulate nearby natural lands after an ecological disaster (like a fire or flood in their own territory). Completing this Coast to Cleveland Connection—a wildlife corridor— will correct a planning error. It may also help the region to better cope with changes caused by climate change, a concern that the State of California is addressing on many fronts.
The 2016 RTP/SCS would be stronger if it supported the enhancement of and/or protection of documented and regionally significant wildlife corridors, especially those that are impacted by infrastructure projects. Our wildlife know no geographical-political boundaries, so let’s work together to connect our landscapes.”
-Harry Huggins, Board Director, Laguna Greenbelt, Inc.
It’s always good to hear about efforts underway to preserve land for wildlife corridors outside of our region. This story comes to us from Washington State, where urbanization has threatened the natural movement of animals and plants in the region. Congratulations to Columbia Land Trust, which will complete this wildlife corridor with the acquisition of Mill Creek Ridge.
Read the story here.
*Photo courtesy of Hood River News, via Columbia Land Trust
People living in Orange County know that coyotes have been making it into the papers the past several months. Elisabeth Brown, Ph.D., Laguna Greenbelt’s president, expressed her point of view on coyotes in an op-ed earlier this month. Check it out to learn more about why coyotes are essential to maintaining our ecosystems, and what we can do (and not do) to help people and wildlife coexist in our urban and urbanizing neighborhoods.
Read Dr. Brown’s piece in the Laguna Beach Independent.