Tag: Santa Monica mountains

Hiker Rescued In Pacific Palisades

April 1, 2024 ·

A hiker was rescued in the Santa Monica Mountains. Photo courtesy of Clement M F via Unsplash.

PACIFIC PALISADES—On Sunday, March 31, the Los Angeles Fire Department disclosed that a hiker was rescued. The LAFD reported at 8:08 p.m. a hiker was rescued in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The LAFD ground and air responded to an adult male hiker stranded in darkness on a rain-soaked remote section of Temescal Ridge Trail south of Skull Rock in Topanga State Park.

A hovering LAFD Rescue Helicopter found the man and lowered a Flight Paramedic to perform an initial medical assessment. The hiker indicated he was uninjured. He and the LAFD Flight Paramedic were hoisted aboard the hovering helicopter, to shuttle the victim to a safe location beyond the wilderness.

By Trevor

Flooding And Evacuations Due To High Surf

December 31, 2023 ·

MALIBU—On December 30, the Ventura County Emergency (VC Emergency) information source announced a flood advisory issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) that was in effect until December 30, at 11:00 a.m. PST for southwest California, including portions of southern Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County.

In addition, VC Emergency announced evacuations for residents bordering the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from Seacliff Avenue South to Emma Wood Group Camp. As of December 30, at 2:50 p.m., these evacuations were lifted.

Flood warnings remain for the PCH, into the area of the Santa Monica Mountains and North of Malibu in the Canyon News coverage area along with the aforementioned areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. 

High Surf Warnings are still in effect. VC advises residents, and those traveling in these areas, and North of Malibu to avoid all coastal jetties and piers. Due to high waves that could wash people off the jetties and rocks without warning, and rip currents that increase the risk of drowning.

The following beaches and piers are closed through December 31, 2023, due to flooding and possible beach erosion, especially during high tide each morning.

All California State Parks, Ventura State Beach, All City of Ventura public beaches, Ventura Pier, All City of Oxnard public beaches, Port Hueneme Pier, Faria Beach, the Rincon Parkway RV area, Kiddy Beach, Silverstrand Beach, Hollywood by the Sea, McGrath State Beach, Mandalay State Beach, San Buenaventura State Beach, and Emma Wood Campground are all closed.

Channel Islands Harbor Entry and Ventura Harbor Entry are closed.

The following information came directly from the VC website. Those with questions regarding the presence of sandbags are encouraged to contact the City Corporate Yard at 1060 Pacific Avenue in Oxnard, or call (805)385-7950.

Sandbags can be expected from Ventura-Marina Park at 2950 Pierpont Boulevard in Ventura through to the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 W. Harbor Boulevard, and to Fire Station 25 located at 5674 Pacific Coast Highway.

By Sharon

Mountain Lion Activity Reported At Solstice Canyon

October 26, 2023 ·

MALIBU—On Tuesday, October 24, officials with the National Park Service (NPS) in the Santa Monica Mountains announced the temporary closure of Solstice Canyon due to the presence of a young mountain lion that attempted to attack a small dog that was being walked on a leash.

The dog was not injured during the incident. The NPS reportedly rendered aid to the dog’s owner who was reportedly hiking when the mountain lion went after the dog. The hiker received some minor lacerations on his hand when he grabbed his pup to pull him out of harm’s way.

The National Park Service’s Chief of the Wildlife Division, Seth Riley described the injury telling the LAist that the victim received a puncture wound, and it was “A scratch basically, just minor injuries.”

Officials with the NPS reported seeing a second young mountain lion in the vicinity and as a precaution closed Solstice Canyon until 8 a.m. Thursday, October 26.

By Sharon

Solstice Canyon Trail Closed For Bee Hive Removal

July 31, 2023 ·

MALIBU—On July 29, the National Park Service announced the temporary closure of Solstice Canyon Trail, the educational shelter structure, and the TRW Overlook Trail following multiple reports of bee stings.

Photo By Wolfgang Hasselmann Via Unsplash

Photo By Wolfgang Hasselmann Via Unsplash

According to NPS officials, the aforementioned areas will be closed for proper bee removal for at least the next seven days or “Until Further Notice.” The beehives are concentrated near the trailhead in the NPS buildings. NPS contacted Apiarist (a bee specialist) for assistance in removing the bees from the recreation areas. According to experts, the bees must be agitated for several days for them to move on. On the government website for Solstice Canyon, NPS reminds visitors to be prepared stating: “BE PREPARED by taking water, food, a flashlight, a map, and first-aid supplies. Be alert for ticks, bees, rattlesnakes, and poison oak. Let someone know where you are going.”

By Sharon

Black Bear Fatally Struck On 101 Freeway

July 25, 2023 ·

MALIBU—On Thursday, July 20, a car traveling on the 101 Freeway reported a collision, with the lone victim being an American black bear, dubbed by the National Park Service (NPS) as, “BB-12.” Authorities confirmed this bear is the same one seen from the Leo Carrillo State Beaches in Malibu, both north and south of Freeway 118, and into the Santa Monica Mountains, where it was determined that he lived alone.

Scientists have indicated that the nearest black bear population is in the Santa Susana Mountains. There has not been any reported evidence of a breeding bear population in the area.

Multiple reports indicate that BB-12 was killed on his sixth time across the Freeway in the vicinity of Newbury Park and Camarillo. The last reported BB-12 citing was as he crossed the 23 Freeway in Moorpark, approximately 16 miles from where the new wilderness crossing is being built. Reports indicate that the $90 million Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing that began on April 22, 2022, has a completion date of 2025.

According to their website, on May 23, NPS captured 210 pound bear roaming just south of the 101 Freeway. Biologist did a complete examination on the bear and determined it to be a male of approximately 3-4 years of age. It was fitted with a GPS radio tracking collar, an ear tag, and set free.

The following statement came directly from the NPS webpage in May of 2023:

“He appears to be the only bear here in the Santa Monica Mountains, and he’s likely been here for almost two years based on our remote camera data,” said Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist of the park’s two-decade mountain lion study. “This seems to be our first resident bear in the 20 years we have conducted mountain lion research in the area. It will be interesting to see how he shares the landscape with our other resident large carnivores.”

By Sharon

Hikers Warned Of High Heat In Santa Monica Mountains

July 17, 2023 ·

MALIBU—As temperatures are expected to reach triple digits in California this week, local agencies warn hikers of significant heat in coastal valleys and the Santa Monica Mountains through Monday, July 17. 

Malibu Search and Rescue urges the public to avoid hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains unless it’s in the very early hours of the morning. Peak heat is expected to reach from 90 to 105 degrees in coastal valleys and the Santa Monica Mountains.

“We strongly urge you to avoid hiking during daytime (excessive heat) or evening (heat and darkness) hours,” Malibu Search and Rescue said in a Tweet.

Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating, nausea, and weakness. If a person is exhibiting these symptoms, they should be moved to a cooler area, their clothing should be loosened, and they should sip cool water. If symptoms don’t improve, medical help should be sought out to prevent heat stroke. 

Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, dizziness, and unconsciousness. In the event someone is experiencing heat stroke, call 911 immediately. 

Malibu Search and Rescue also warns hikers of the detrimental effects high levels of heat can have on pets.

“Dehydration happens very quickly. DO NOT HIKE AT ALL WITH DOGS IN THIS WEATHER,” the agency said in a Tweet. “Leave your 4-legged buddy at home so they will be there to greet you when you return.”

LA Animal Services reminds the public about hot weather pet safety:

  1. Never leave your pet in a hot car.
  2. Give pets plenty of fresh water.
  3. Don’t leave pets outdoors for a long time.
  4. Avoid hot surfaces.

Signs of overheating in pets can be displays of panting, vomiting, warm and dry skin, or collapsing. 

By Paige Strickland

Wildlife Ordinance One Step Closer To Final Approval

June 22, 2023 ·

HOLLYWOOD HILLS—A proposed Wildlife Ordinance, created to protect the environment surrounding hillside communities in Los Angeles County, was approved by the Los Angeles City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) during a meeting on Tuesday, June 20. 

The Wildlife Ordinance, according to Los Angeles City Planning, aims to “support conservation of local plants and animals while building climate resilience, fire safety, and a healthy watershed.”

If passed, it would become effective in a pilot area consisting of hillside cities between Griffith Park and the 405 Freeway, including Sherman Oaks, Hollywood Hills, Bel Air, Laurel Canyon, and Beverly Crest. 

The ordinance details several new regulations concerning development standards for land and houses in these hillside areas. The regulations include lot size, grading and height restrictions, window and lighting requirements, as well as limitations on the landscaping of native trees and plants. 

Fencing materials are also regulated; the use of barbed wire, plastic mesh, concertina wire, and razor wire would be prohibited under the Wildlife Ordinance. All trash would need to be stored inside a building or enclosed area that meets specific design standards set by the ordinance.

Homeowners will not be required to alter existing homes and properties to reflect these rules, and minor renovations would not need to be reported. Only new developments and major remodels will need to follow the regulations set forth by the Wildlife Ordinance. 

Mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes are among the animals that are known to walk through properties at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. A goal of the ordinance is to preserve natural habitats and wildlife corridors as well as prevent harm to animals that frequent hillside areas.

The ordinance was unanimously backed by PLUM Committee members at the meeting on June 20.

“Over the last few decades we’ve seen development in the hillside scale out of proportion, resulting in unsafe conditions not only for wildlife but also for people,” said Council and Committee member Katy Yaroslavsky.

Several members of the community spoke out at the meeting to express their opposition to the Wildlife Ordinance. 

“I’m a homeowner in the Hollywood Hills and I oppose the Wildlife Ordinance,” said Brandon Williams. “This is going to greatly impact private property rights; this will greatly impact the value of property.”

Others were concerned about a sizing regulation that would prevent new buildings, additions, or basements from being more than 50 percent of a lot’s square footage.

“Many homeowners have their life savings tied up in their land value and capping below-ground buildable square footage, which does not harm wildlife in a meaningful way, would be devastating to their property values and put many of them in challenging financial positions,” said Archie Obani, a resident of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Should the Wildlife Ordinance pass and prove successful, the city plans to expand the boundaries to other areas of Los Angeles in the interest of wildlife protection.

In the next step of the finalization process, the Wildlife Ordinance will be voted on by the full City Council. 

By Paige Strickland

Three New Puma Cubs Grace Santa Monica Mountains

May 29, 2023 ·

SANTA MONICA—On May 18, biologists found three baby mountain lions in the Simi Hills of the Santa Monica Mountain range. According to the National Park Service (NPS), the pups are believed to be the offspring of a 5-6-year-old female mountain lion they are tracking named, P-77. She was captured recently in a remote area and recently had a litter.

The father of the kittens is not on the NPS radar. Researchers have indicated that he probably came over from a nearby mountain range during mating season.

“The NPS has been studying how mountain lions survive in increasingly fragmented and urbanized landscapes since 2002. Since then, researchers have monitored more than 100 mountain lions in and around the Santa Monica Mountains north of Los Angeles,” states the National Park Service website. 

The names of the new kits will be: P-113, P-114, and P-115. They too will be captured by NPS to fit with tracking devices.

Regarding the mortality of mountain lions, the NPS reported that as of December 2021, 28 out of 29 mountain lions have tested positive for an anticoagulant rodenticide (rat poison).

It may not be direct poisoning, but secondhand poisoning to kill other rodents. They eat a diet of ground squirrels and other rodents that got poisoned and the mountain lions consume them.

The other cause of death noted by NPS has been from traffic. Despite the wildlife bridges created to protect the mountain lions, the NPS reported that as of 2022, 32 mountain lions (collared and uncollared) have been hit by cars on major roadways.

P-22 was the most famous mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains. He roamed Griffith Park and was the first to grace the front page of a newspaper. He was 12 years old at the time of his death. He was captured after attacking a family dog being walked on a leash. Researchers were concerned about his health due to a noted change in behavior.

According to NPS, when the puma was examined, it was discovered that he had multiple injuries, some to the head, indicating that he may have been hit by a car. P-22 was euthanized. Four local tribes gave P-22, their beloved puma, a proper burial.

The only known mountain lion who lived longer than P-22 was P-1, the father of P-22, who lived 15 years. The birth of P-113, P-114, and P-115 helps the endangered puma population in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Biker Rescued In Santa Monica

December 12, 2021 ·

SANTA MONICA—A mountain biker was injured while riding in the Santa Monica Mountains on Saturday, December 11. He was rescued by Los Angeles Fire Department officials near the Pacific Palisades and Encino region. 

The report was made before 11:30 a.m. along Topanga State Park. The 23-year-old cyclist was found critically injured. He was wearing a helmet. He sustained injuries to his head, arm, and shoulder. Officials were present to medically assist him. 

Rescue helicopters were able to rescue the biker and he was airlifted to a regional trauma center. The name of the biker has not been released. His current condition has not been made public. 

By Christianne