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News, Environment, Santa Monica

Board Of Supervisors Vote To Help Fund Purchase Of Critical Wildlife Habitat

Posted Jul. 30, 2014, 9:26 am

Staff Report

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to help fund the acquisition of 74 acres in Agua Dulce as part of a critical wildlife corridor connecting two major sections of the Angeles National Forest.

"That land is so important," said Paul Edelman, chief of natural resources and planning for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

The acreage lies along Agua Dulce Canyon Road where it runs beneath the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway.

"Everything leads back to the underpass,'' Edelman said.

Completion of the Agua Dulce Wildlife Corridor will require the acquisition of at least another 1,000 acres and perhaps as many as 2,000 more, according to Edelman. The project is part of a larger state plan to protect essential habitat and allow wildlife to travel along natural corridors that have been choked off by development.

Edelman said "just about every single animal that lives in the San Gabriel Mountains or the Sierra Pelona Mountains," other than aquatic species, would travel the wildlife path bridging two mountain ranges.

The board's unanimous vote allocated $280,000 of funds for a grant to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

The total purchase price for the land is estimated at $717,000. In addition to the board's allocation under the Safe Neighborhood Parks Proposition of 1996, money will come from state Proposition 12 and Santa Clarita Watershed Recreation and Conservation Authority funds.

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