The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) has acquired an additional 98 acres of open space in the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Corridor in Agoura Hills.
“This acquisition will create a block of 2,430 acres of contiguous public open space that is not bisected by a single paved road, including 537 acres of parkland currently owned and managed by the MRCA,” said Paul Edelman, Chief of Natural Resources and Planning of the MRCA.
The new parkland is south of the 101 Freeway, west of Liberty Canyon Road, and north of Cornell Road. It is also near the MRCA’s newly acquired Triangle Ranch property, and just up the road from the National Park Service’s Paramount Ranch, and Malibu Creek State Park.
The property, previously owned by a development company, has been on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy priority acquisitions list since at least 2000.
“The new 98 acres of open space includes the junction of the greater Malibu Creek State Park core habitat and the Liberty Canyon intermountain range wildlife corridor,” Edelman stated in a press release.
The MRCA purchased the property with a grant of Proposition One funds from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, mitigation funds, and Los Angeles County Proposition A funds granted by Third District Supervisor, Sheila Kuehl.
“I enthusiastically support this significant expansion of open space in the Santa Monica Mountains in order to make sure that this wild and beautiful habitat will be available in perpetuity for the people and animals of LA County to enjoy for generations to come,” said Kuehl in the press release..
The announcement from the MRCA states that the purchase will protect an important viewshed, core sage scrub and chaparral habitat, critical linkages for wildlife, and a USGS blueline stream. The new acquisition will also provide opportunities for hiking access from several locations.
Advocates of the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing are celebrating the acquisition as an essential link in the proposed wildlife corridor that will reconnect the Santa Monica Mountains to the neighboring mountain ranges that are separated by the 101 freeway, and as an important step towards ensuring the continued survival of the Santa Monica Mountains’ isolated and increasingly threatened mountain lion population.