Agoura Hills: Wildlife Crossing Project on 101 Freeway Receives $5M Donation From OC Couple

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (CNS) — Newport Beach philanthropists Joann and Frank Randall have made a $5 million donation to the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing project near Agoura Hills, officials announced Saturday.

The crossing will span 10 lanes of the 101 Freeway in Liberty Canyon upon completion in 2025 and is intended to provide a connection between the small population of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains and the larger and genetically diverse populations to the north.

Decades of road building and upgrading have been deadly to animals attempting to cross them and have created habitat islands where wildlife from bobcats to birds and lizards have become genetically isolated.

Animal rights activists hope the crossing can save the threatened local mountain lion population from extinction. They have also characterized the future structure as “a global model for urban wildlife conservation” that will “benefit the wildlife and ecology of the area for generations to come”.

The $85 million project will be the world’s largest intersection of its kind, spanning 210 feet across the highway.

“We applaud the leadership of Joann and Frank with this generous gift and contribution to the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This visionary and monumental public-private partnership broke ground thanks to people like Joann and Frank. We also hope this will inspire other philanthropic leaders to join them in advancing our campaign toward our goal of making wildlife crossing complete.”

Officials said the gift will help ensure critical components of the project are funded, such as: B. the design and engineering expertise of wildlife crossings, the National Park Service’s ongoing pioneering wildlife research, and most importantly, a future educational lookout point on a trail near the crossing. The viewpoint, where information boards will explain the project and the wildlife of the area, will bear her name.

“Joann and Frank truly care about wildlife and wild places and have left a significant legacy not only for this wildlife crossing but for conservation,” said Beth Pratt, Regional Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation in California and leader of the #SaveLACougars campaign . “They are true conservation heroes. I am honored to call them friends and can confirm their dedication and commitment to protecting nature.”

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Copyright © 2022 City News Service, Inc. All rights reserved. Agoura Hills: Wildlife Crossing Project on 101 Freeway Receives $5M Donation From OC Couple

Laura Coffey

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