With an option agreement set to expire, the fate of six acres at the famous Hollywood Hills intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Mulholland Drive hangs in the balance. What is now a refuge for mule deer, hawks, bobcats and other wildlife, can quickly turn into a housing development, if $145,000 is not raised by August 17th. If we are successful, we will keep the northern gateway to rock and roll history-rich Laurel Canyon on a trajectory to be permanent public open space. If we fail, all points eastward in the Santa Monica Mountains will begin an irreversible decline in wildlife diversity -- not to mention, the 20 million plus motorists who cross the intersection annually will see their commute interrupted by long traffic delays and construction.
Since December 2007, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has pooled $515,000 of public and private funding to keep the Laurel Canyon property under option. The MRCA's contract provides a phased plan to pay off the remainder of the $4 million over two years. Given the wealthy neighborhoods affected by this intersection, one would think raising this money would be relatively easy. Indeed, anyone who has ever tried to make it over the canyon in rush hour sees the importance of our effort. But as the economy has stalled, so has our efforts. That is why we're calling on the LA community, wildlife activists, environmentalists and even rock and roll fans to join us in our movement to protect the neighborhood that has given us extraordinary music from The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and so many others.
As part of a contiguous 500-acre block of urban wilderness, this property is essential for wildlife to cross Laurel Canyon Boulevard to reach Nichols and Runyon Canyons and eventually the 5,000-acre Griffith Park. Scenic Mulholland Drive and the wildlife populations east of Laurel Canyon will never be the same if this land is further developed.
Please urge the community at large to spread the importance of this land acquisition effort and encourage those able to make donations to do so, in order to keep this campaign alive. As incentive, the largest donor will receive permanent park naming and signage rights (make that, tasteful signage rights) for this highly-trafficked area. All donations are fully tax-deductible.
The coming weeks will dictate whether the greater Los Angeles community will forever regret not raising the money necessary to keep the heart of the mountain range breathing, or if it will, as the most popular signs in canyon read, allow it to live in "peace."
For more information, please visit the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.