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Wildlife in the Santa Monica Mountains faces a major problem. With freeways surrounding and bisecting the wild spaces, migration to and from the mountains is difficult and can even be deadly. Migration is needed to maintain genetic diversity, without which populations move toward local extinction. But there is a proposed solution for a significant barrier to genetic diversity: a wildlife bridge over the 101 Freeway.
The Wildlife Crossing at Liberty Canyon is a collaboration between the National Wildlife Federation, the National Park Service, Caltrans, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains. The project will not be cheap, with an estimated price tag of about $87 million. However, as reported by Michael Wittner, a significant infusion of funds is moving the project closer to reality. Specifically, the Annenberg Foundation is awarding a $25 million grant to help with the creation of the wildlife crossing which will span ten lanes of highway and pavement and will be covered in nearly an acre of native vegetation.
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