LAUREL CANYON—I’m really excited to share this news. Our Planning Department is focusing its attention on conserving and protecting local our wildlife corridors.

What’s this all about? The project’s title is the “Wildlife Pilot Study Program.”

What area is being studied? Our backyard – The Santa Monica Mountains from Sepulveda Boulevard to Griffith Park.

Who’s in charge?  That will be the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. There isn’t much up on their website yet. The first community meeting (charrette) was on November 7.

The charrette was well-conceived.  The staff had put together about 12 poster boards explaining the different regulations that are currently in place to protect our “Wildlife Corridor,” along with outlines for in-progress projects to further protect the current areas, and to possibly expand the boundaries of protected areas. On the other side of the room there were another 12 poster boards with potential solutions to the issues that the staff identified and had culled from the community input. They gave us red and green dots to vote for issues and solutions. Red – we hate the idea; Green – we like the idea.

The project will also survey and assess such related areas as Biological Resources (water sources being an important component) and the how the riparian resources and food sources should be factored into future land management.  A lot of this will speak ultimately to regulations to control further development.  Once an area is identified as necessary to the survival of the Wildlife Corridor, it will have a privileged status.

There were a lot of well-informed staff members there to listen to people’s ideas and to get information from those of us who are the eyes and ears on the ground.  It was an intense experience, very satisfying in that the staff had heard our years of feedback. It is a great opportunity to collaborate on a vision for a balance between preservation and development.

There was a lot of consent from other attendees that the outcome of this project MUST be accompanied by actual enforcement, which needs to be built in. Not just lip service with sanctions that are never enforced.  That is a BIG issue for all agencies in Los Angeles.  The failure to cite, fine and collect fines is what under- funds Planning.  A real “chicken and egg” conundrum.

The staff promised to put the charrette’s poster boards up on their website.  Don’t forget to take a look and comment.

PUBLIC COMMENTS to the Planning staff  are welcomed  —  in the “Re” line of your email write: “Wildlife Pilot Study: Open House….(the date you attended a future charrette in your area, or just the date) TO: