Mountain Lion Crossing: Bay Area Conservationists Raising Funds For Freeway Wildlife Overcross

As we have noted the Liberty Canyon mountain lion crossing has inspired conservationists. Mountain lion crossings are now being considered in other parts of the state. Similar projects are underway elsewhere in the world.

light trails on road at night
Freeways all over the world are barriers for wildlife. Over and underpasses are critical for the survival of many species. Photo by Pixabay on

According to the Los Angeles Times conservationists in the Bay Area are raising funds for a pathway similar to Liberty Canyon. Like the Southern California crossing it will be over the 101 Freeway. That freeway has several dangerous stretches for wildlife and people. A recent “mortality map” showed just how dangerous some roadways are for cougars. Traffic accidents are a serious threat to wildlife. Caltrans and partners are working to make the roads safer.

A map of San Benito County. Rocks Ranch is 2,600 acres near Aromas on the border of Ben Benito and Monterey counties.

The project will be built in San Benito County at Rocks Ranch. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County recently purchased more than 2,000 acres of the ranch.

According to the Times:

“The Rocks Ranch overpass, which would allow animals to avoid the four lanes of speeding traffic, is in the initial stages. Caltrans will complete a feasibility study by the end of the year, and is considering both undercrossings and overpasses along the corridor. Construction is expected to start in 2029.

The project follows the recent completion of an animal under crossing in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Highway 17 that was 10 years in the making. ” About $21 million has been raised for the new project.

brown deer photo
Deer , cougar, bobcats and other animals are among those that benefit from freeway overcrossings. Photo by Martin Alargent on

Mountain lion crossings have been on the radar for years. They received much impetus from the story of the late P-22 a cougar under study by the National Parks Service. The big cat lived for about 12 years and crossed freeways twice. P-22 was struck by a car in his last days. He had to be recaptured and euthanized due to age and injuries,.

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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