California to spend $61 million to keep wildlife safe by fixing these

Michelle Mariscal, an ecologist for the Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority, walks into the Harbor Boulevard Wildlife Underpass in La Habra Heights, on June 30, 2021.

It’d be just another normal day, nearly 17 feet above Highway 101 in Agoura Hills.

A southern alligator lizard and a western toad hide from the heat in the greenery of restored native vegetation. Mountain lion cubs pounce on rocks and jump into the nearby canyons. The sun glints on the feathers of a golden eagle soaring overhead.

This is the scene environmentalists hope will someday become reality on a massive overpass above the ten-lane freeway that cuts through the Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles. The project known as the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing is one step closer to happening now that Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a budget that includes $7 million to help build it — and another $54.5 million for similar projects in other parts of the state.

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