WHO WE ARE
AN UNPRECEDENTED PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
It takes a village to save our local cougars—and to build the largest wildlife crossing in the world!
The wildlife crossing at Liberty Canyon is a large-scale public/private partnership, with a core project team of the Liberty Wildlife Corridor Partners: Caltrans, the National Park Service, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservatory/ Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority, the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, and the National Wildlife Federation—along with local and state elected officials.
The #SaveLACougars campaign, which supports the conservation, education and fundraising for the project, is a collaborative effort of the National Wildlife Federation and the Santa Monica Mountains Fund. As one of the oldest and largest conservation groups, the NWF has 6 million supporters across the country and a successful track record of large scale conservation work, such as multi-million dollar projects in the Great Lakes or the Gulf Coast.
“When we started this campaign a few years ago, the crossing was just an idea and had no funding. With the generous donations of our supporters, we have completed the environmental documents, entered final design and engineering, and we will continue our efforts to keep Caltrans on schedule to break ground in 2021.” Beth Pratt, California Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation and Leader, #SaveLACougars
A QUOTE FROM P-22
“TBH, BETH AND THE NWF ARE MY ONLY HOPE AT SURVIVAL. JOIN THEM IN KEEPING ME AND MY FAMILY FROM BECOMING EXTINCT. ”
It takes a village to save our local cougars—and to build potentially the largest wildlife crossing in the world! The wildlife crossing at Liberty Canyon is a public/private partnership. The core project team, which meets regularly to discuss the planning, design and engineering, along with the fundraising and educational activities, includes representatives from local, state, and national agencies and organizations—Caltrans, the National Park Service, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservatory, the Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority, the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, City of Agoura Hills, and the National Wildlife Federation—along with local and state elected officials.
The #SaveLACougars campaign, dedicated to raising funds to support the effort, along with conducting the educational activities and public engagement around the project, was founded by a partnership of the National Wildlife Federation and the Santa Monica Mountains Fund.
Liberty Wildlife Corridor Partnership
CALTRANS is the largest transportation agency in the nation and manages more than 50,000 miles of California’s highway and freeway lanes. The agency is responsible for the development, construction, and maintenance of the crossing.
Since 1980, the SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS CONSERVANCY has helped to preserve over 75,000 acres of parkland in both wilderness and urban settings. The MOUNTAINS REC-REATION & CONSERVATION AUTHORITY is dedicated to the preservation and management of local open space and parkland. These two entities share joint oversight for the land the crossing connects, and will provide the long-term management of the habitat on the crossing.
The NATIONAL PARK SERVICE manages Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area—the largest urban park in the country—where the crossing is located. The agency also conducts the important study of mountain lions and other wildlife in the region.
The RESOURCE CONSERVATION DISTRICT OF THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS partners with public and private landowners to restore native habitat, and to protect and create green space and corridors for sensitive wildlife. Their team provides critical expertise to the project for design, architectural services, and habitat restoration.
As one of the oldest and largest conservation groups, the NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION has 6 million supporters across the country and a successful track record of large scale conservation work, such as multi-million dollar projects in the Great Lakes or the Gulf Coast. The non-profit is responsible for conservation guidance and education, fundraising, and outreach for the project.
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION’S
CALIFORNIA REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Beth Pratt, National Wildlife Federation’s California Regional Executive Director, leads the #SaveLACougars campaign, and has worked in environmental leadership roles for over twenty-five years, and in two of the country’s largest national parks: Yosemite and Yellowstone. From working with wolves to bears, she says “nothing has inspired me more than helping to build this landmark crossing outside of Los Angeles to help save this urban population of mountain lions”.
She is also the author of the book, “When Mountain Lions Are Neighbors: People and Wildlife Working It Out in California” and featured the story of P-22 in her TEDx talk, “How a Lonely Cougar in Los Angeles Inspired the World”.
Puente Strategies is a boutique communication, media relations and creative partnerships practice that has overseen successful efforts across social impact spectrums – from conservation and environmental justice, to empowerment and equity in sports and education.
Ms. Gonzalez was born and raised in Los Angeles and founded Puente Strategies after 10 years of experience working in journalism, media relations and social impact program development. Prior to launching her practice, Ms. Gonzalez worked with Spectrum Sports Networks and in close collaboration with the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Dodgers and LA Galaxy media and community relations teams.
Before that, she directed community affairs efforts for a Major League Soccer team in Los Angeles and prior to that, she was part of the communications team for the Partnership for LA Schools, led by the former Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. Very early in her public relations career, Ms. Gonzalez worked at the Los Angeles Unified School District at Univision KMEX TV Los Angeles and ABC Network News in Los Angeles.
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION’S
URBAN WILDLIFE PROGRAM MANAGER
Korinna Domingo is a wildlife biologist and science communicator from Los Angeles, California. She has worked throughout the Western U.S. to enhance human-cougar relationships through education, outreach, conflict management, and science-based policy. Korinna received her B.Sc. in Wildlife Management & Conservation from Humboldt State University. We first met Korinna when she volunteered during the first ever P-22 Day.
Prior to joining the team, Korinna co-led efforts to list Southern and Central Coast mountain lions under the California Endangered Species Act—a joint initiative of the Center for Biological Diversity and the Mountain Lion Foundation. Korinna is also the Founder and Director of the Cougar Conservancy.
FOUNDER & CEO
HUMANITY COMMUNICATIONS COLLECTIVE
Yanira M. Castro (she/her) is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in telling inspiring stories to audiences ranging from national television shows to leading digital channels. Inspired by a life-altering trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as an Outdoor Afro volunteer leader for Charlotte, she knew that there was more she could do to tell untold stories. Stories people needed to hear.
Yanira founded Humanity Communications Collective in 2018 to inspire people with stories of joy and justice. The team, made up of amazingly talented women and people of color, is highly focused on digital engagement and storytelling, by reminding people to embrace technology, business and life in a way that focuses on people’s humanity.
Yanira loves to stay engaged and celebrate joy, whether that be with her husband of 20 years, her four children or her extended friends and family. She enjoys traveling the world, summit hiking, biking, enjoying everything that nature offers and elevating every hidden story she can find.
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT
HUMANITY COMMUNICATIONS COLLECTIVE
Toni Johnson, Social Media Strategist for #SaveLACougars and Director of Digital Engagement for Humanity Communications Collective, has a passion for creating memorable storytelling and meaningful connections through social media.
Before starting her career in Social Media Strategy, she studied Hospitality Management at Morgan State University in Maryland. From there, she successfully crafted a twenty-year career in leadership in the restaurant industry. Today, her joy is helping brands tell their stories through social media. Whether it’s to help raise millions of dollars for the construction of the awesome 101 Wildlife Crossing or creating to executing a grassroots community-focused campaign for locally owned businesses, Toni’s goal is to always connect the audience to the client’s purpose and foster a relationship between the two.
Toni’s interests include spending time with her favorite fur babies: Sparty and her nephew-pup, Bazooka. She’s in heaven on almost any island beach and can usually be found with a Cafe Americano or glass of Argentinian Malbec in her hand, depending on the time and type of day.