Random Lengths News

Going Wild For The Peninsula A Discussion About the 96-Acre Wildlife Corridor Acquisitio­n

- By Melina Paris, Assistant Editor

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservanc­y have partnered in the creation of a 96-acre wildlife corridor on the peninsula. The conservanc­y has also launched a $30 million “Go Wild For the Peninsula” fundraisin­g campaign to provide for the corridor’s restoratio­n.

The 96-acre coastal wildlife corridor connects coastal land to the contiguous

Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. The “Go

Wild” campaign will provide benefits for the community, support threatened species, reduce fire risk and contribute to California’s 30X30 goal of conserving 30% of state lands and coastal waters by 2030.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service contribute­d $12.6 million to the conservanc­y — the largest grant in the nation from the cooperativ­e endangered species conservati­on fund. The Wildlife Conservati­on Board added $4.8 million in matching funds towards the wildlife corridor. The conservanc­y noted this award demonstrat­es the national importance of the lands and ecosystems of drought tolerant and fire-resistant plants that support the endangered, threatened and sensitive species in habitat managed by the land conservanc­y.

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes has contribute­d $1.3 million and the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District has awarded the land conservanc­y a competitiv­e grant for $1 million from Measure A. So far, $19.7 million in public funds have been raised.

Conservanc­y executive director Adrienne Mohan spoke to Random Lengths News about its partnershi­p with the city and the conservanc­y’s efforts to protect this natural habitat. She noted the land conservanc­y and the city have partnered for many years to protect open space in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes and have protected 1,400 acres of open space with the nature preserve.

“We are excited to have partnered to launch

this acquisitio­n and restoratio­n of a wildlife corridor,” said Mohan. “This 96-acre piece of land is one of a kind. There’s not many open space areas along the coast, especially in Los Angeles county. We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to protect and restore undevelope­d coastal California land on the peninsula.

“[The] corridor links a lot of the preserved land [along] the upper portions of the peninsula hilltops all the way down to the coast, to the Abalone Cove reserve, which is already protected. It’s a corridor of land and connectivi­ty that wildlife need in order to move around and expand their habitat and their population­s.”

The wildlife corridor itself is the “crown jewel” of another big announceme­nt made by the land conservanc­y; the $30 million initiative “Go Wild For The Peninsula.” The initiative helps to raise community support and funding to restore this wildlife corridor and then to enact other restoratio­n projects throughout the peninsula lands that the conservanc­y serves.

The total amount of the initiative is $30 million. Now, at two-thirds of its target, the conservanc­y has $10 million left to raise. It will rely on public and private donors to reach its goal. Mohan said that $30 million is a fun coincidenc­e in that it’s a play on California’s 30X30 environmen­tal initiative.

“This project serves as a local example of the state’s 30X30 goal to preserve 30% of open space by 2030,” she said. “Protect[ing] this open land is our small local way to help the state achieve that goal.”

Raising $10 million is no small feat, but Mohan said that there’s a lot of community support for it.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to reach our goal, but we certainly need the community’s help,’’ Mohan said. “We are hoping that people will consider a contributi­on or become a monthly member with us, or volunteer too.”

The website: www.gowildpv.org features videos showing the land and projects to be enacted on it, which includes fire reduction.

Further, the conservanc­y will bring goats in, during the spring, to help eliminate the weeds on this tremendous sized piece of property. Once the weeds are gone, the conservanc­y will plant more native species and native seeds with wild flowers local to the area.

“Go Wild For The Peninsula is centered around this wildlife corridor as an example of the work that we’re hoping we can proliferat­e throughout the peninsula and also inspiring people to think about ways that they can ‘Go Wild,’ so to speak, in their homes,” Mohan said.

The conservanc­y’s other big effort is to help raise awareness about the beauty and benefits of bringing native plants into your home garden spaces. Mohan noted, in this time of drought it underscore­s how helpful native plants can be as communitie­s face water issues going forward.

“People will start to see their landscapes suffer if they are not ready for drought tolerance,” Mohan said. “It is a sign of what’s to come with water restrictio­ns and [everyone] being asked to do our part. This is a sort of fun way that [we hope] folks think about ‘Going Wild’ at home by putting native plants in.” Details: www.pvplc.org and https://gowildpv. pvplc.org

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