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Annexation to Preserve Animal Migration Urged

June 26, 1986

Los Angeles Planning Director Calvin Hamilton has called for city annexation of a vast tract of unincorporated land in the Santa Susana Mountains above Chatsworth to protect the area's spectacular rock formations and preserve its role as a key wildlife migration route to the Santa Monica Mountains.

Hamilton, who is scheduled to retire as city planning chief Friday, said he will discuss the proposals with his successor, Kenneth C. Topping, and with Mayor Tom Bradley and City Councilman Hal Bernson.

The annexation would involve about 15,000 acres from north of the Simi Valley Freeway to the top of Oat Mountain and the adjoining ridge, and west from Chatsworth to the Ventura County line.

City and Los Angeles County officials are negotiating a more limited annexation of 1,011 acres south of the Simi Valley Freeway and mainly west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

Hamilton also released a 3-year-old report to the city Planning Department, which recommended the annexation and other steps to preserve the Santa Susanas and neighboring Simi Hills as a route for migrating animals, such as deer, coyotes and foxes.

"This area is the only remaining path of species circulation and gene flow for the Santa Monica Mountains habitat," the report said.

"If development and transportation arteries cut this vital link, the Santa Monica Mountains will, within a few years, become an isolated island habitat, negating many of the resource protection efforts now being wrought in that area."

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