By Gerry Hans
Concerns about Griffith Park’s mountain lion (named P-22 by the National Park Service), were addressed at the recent Oaks Homeowners Annual Meeting in March. As many now know, P-22 has recently been sighted walking on residential streets including Hollyridge Drive and Hill Oak Drive without incident. P-22 has also crossed Barham and then returned back to the Park.
Fortunately, the National Park Service (NPS) has been studying the mountain lions of the Santa Monica Mountain Range for twelve years and monitoring P-22 closely since he came to Griffith Park. He sports a collar which transmits GPS information six to eight times per day, mostly during the night when he is most active. During daylight hours P-22 mostly uses dense park habitat to rest.
NPS reports, “P-22 is by far the most urban mountain lion ever studied in and around the Santa Monica Mountains.” Scientists speculate that P-22, a five to six year-old male, is feeling the urge to find a mate and perhaps to find a larger territory to call home. Whereas Griffith Park is approximately eight square miles, male mountain lion territories typically are as large as two hundred square miles.
According to NPS, P-22 continues to spend a great deal of time in the most undisturbed and remote areas of the park and consumes his natural prey, mule deer. P-22’s behavior fits the pattern of other mountain lions studied: testing boundaries in urban areas and then returning to more natural habitat. These lions are shy and elusive animals.
At the Annual Meeting, Park Ranger Adam Dedeaux told us that a remote park video camera recently recorded a lone park hiker and then, twenty-nine seconds later, P-22. This illustrates that our mountain lion has had every opportunity to attack people and has chosen not to do so. P-22 is focused on deer for his meals. Adult mountain lions typically consume one per week, burying the kill and coming back to eat daily.
Various scientific surveys began in Griffith Park in early 2007 and the Oaks Homeowners Association has supported these efforts along with quite a few other organizations and individuals. In recent years, much of the funding for such surveys comes through Friends of Griffith Park. Because of the “Wildlife Connectivity Study,” P-22 was likely discovered (February 2012) soon after he entered the Griffith Park area. Partners in the second year of this work include NPS and United States Geological Survey (USGS). Currently there are about 30 cameras in Griffith Park.
Residents and park users are urged to exercise extra caution at dawn, dusk and evening. An excellent resource is California Department of Fish and Wildilfe's "Living in mountain lion country" website dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/lion.html.
In an emergency, call 911. If you see P-22, call the Park Rangers at (323) 644-6661.
For further information contact Kate Kuykendall, Public Affairs Officer, National Park Service at 805-370-2343.
Basic tips include:
• Do not hike, bike, or jog alone.
• Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night.
• Keep a close watch on small children.
• Protect your pets at night
• If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.
Yes, it’s time to renew your Oaks Homeowners Association membership for 2014.
The annual membership dues are $40 and you can pay online by clicking here.
Please be aware that the dues are paid on an annual basis, so these are the dues for the 2014 calendar year. If you paid at the picnic this year, that was for 2013 – this is a new request for 2014.
Thanks so much. We appreciate your support!
By Alexander Von Wechmar
Cellphone antennas on utility poles, such as those on Canyon Drive, provide many residents of The Oaks with wireless phone service and act as relay stations to transmission towers in other communities. But the pole-mounted equipment is also an eyesore in our neighborhood, blocking views of hillsides and even the Hollywood Sign. Some residents are also concerned about the long-term health effects of around-the-clock exposure to radiation from the radio frequency signals that these cellphone antennas emit.
Until now, the City allowed most cellphone towers to be erected without per- mits. But this situation will soon change: A new ordinance has been drafted by the Los Angeles City Attorney and is expected to be approved by the City Council. Over the past seven years The Oaks Homeowners Association has been a leading voice calling for legislation to regulate the installation of wireless transmitters along residential streets. We have launched petitions, organized press conferences in our neighborhood, attended countless City Council Committee meetings and joined a citywide Working Group on the issue.
In meetings with the City Attorney and his staff we have been able to convince lawmakers to include provisions in the new ordinance that will give residents more say over the location and appearance of cellphone towers in their neighborhoods:
Cellphone companies will be required to mail notifications about a planned new installation to all homeowners and tenants who live within a 250 foot radius of the proposed site. Notifications will also have to be sent to residentsí associations, such as The Oaks HOA.
All notified parties will have the right to appeal any decision the City makes with respect to the project. The majority of existing cell sites in The Oaks are located on Canyon Drive. Some of them are less than 300 feet apart from each other; as a result, nearby residents are burdened with a multiple dose of negative impacts. Since signals from top-mounted cellphone antennas do not reach their immediate surroundings, those residents closest to the antennas do not even get as good cellphone reception as those who live further away from the towers. In light of these facts, we have been pushing for a clause in the new ordinance that would prohibit the clustering of cellphone sites on residential streets.
Meanwhile, the City Attorney has confirmed that some features of the huge AT&T cell tower on Canyon Drive do not comply with current law. It remains to be seen what the phone company is prepared to do to correct the reported infractions.