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Land purchased for Laurel Canyon wildlife habitat

LOS ANGELES — An alliance of land preservation groups has announced the purchase of a 17-acre mountain ridge for open space and wildlife habitat in Laurel Canyon.

The property between Lookout Mountain Avenue and Stanley Hills Drive in the Hollywood Hills was purchased for $1.6 million as the result of the two-year “Let’s Buy a Mountain” nonprofit donation campaign spearheaded by the Laurel Canyon Association and Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife.

The land will be turned over to the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority for management and permanent preservation, said Tony Tucci, chair of Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife.

Government agencies, neighborhood special events, resident and community donations, philanthropic support, and even gifts from some of Laurel Canyon’s storied former residents helped complete the purchase.

Eagles singer Don Henley made a $100,000 donation in memory of his friend and collaborator — and fellow former Laurel Canyon resident — Glenn Frey. “I greatly appreciate your efforts to preserve the rare undeveloped lands that remain in the Laurel Canyon area,” Henley said. “These resources are precious, both in terms of wildlife habitat, and in terms of the human history that resides there.”

The David Schwartz Foundation donated the final $300,000 necessary to close the sale.

“Our family foundation is very pleased to have been a part of this important effort to preserve the wild nature of this land for all time,” said John Schwartz. “Protecting open space within thriving cities brings many unique attributes to our daily lives and informs in very important ways, the character of a community.”

The Laurel Canyon Association stated that protecting the land “is a dream come true” that could not have been successful without the efforts of local residents, environmental organizations and governmental agencies including the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Sheila Kuehl.

Kuehl gave a $100,000 grant to the project and additional government support came from Los Angeles City Councilmembers David Ryu and Paul Koretz.

“We celebrate this important community accomplishment with all of them,” Tucci said. “As a result of our collaborative fundraising efforts, this very large piece of L.A.’s greenbelt will be protected forever from the threat of development.”

“Our parks and hillside open spaces are the lungs of our city and this mountain ridge is critical habitat to a variety of species including deer, coyote, bobcats, pumas, owls and red-tailed hawks,” he said. “This land will be maintained as open space where the preservation of natural vegetation and wildlife come first.”

 

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