Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Seen any bobcats? Seen plans for a 120-condo development?

A few days ago, Diane Edwardson, who maintains the excellent Corralitas Red Car Property blog, wrote me an email asking if I had seen any bobcats recently.

And yesterday I did see a bobcat. It was in a cage -- a rescue of sorts, alive but cooped up and acting cagey -- at STAR Eco Station in Culver City. (According to our guide, the cat's mother had been killed by the owner of chickens when the cat raided the coop; then the dead mother's kitten was adopted by an animal wrangler for movies; but the wrangler was killed that same week in a car accident; the kitten was then off-loaded to someone who grew scared of him as he got bigger; so he ended up in an indoor cage at the "Station." In the movie version of this story, the bobcat breaks free and makes his way to L.A. City Hall, where he extraverbally convinces a panel of council members to legislate in favor of hiking/wildlife corridors in the extraordinary city of Los Angeles.)

But ... Edwardson was not asking about caged beasts. It's the wild ones she cares about. Many who were in Echo Park in 2007 after the Griffith Park fire will remember the refugees who came to Elysian Park -- a bobcat, for one, deer, coyotes, all kinds of birds. Except for the birds, perhaps, they got here via a thin but well-established wildlife corridor that uses paths and trails near the L.A. River and little strips of land near the 2 Freeway. Some of this corridor is supposed to be protected by law. But, Edwardson reports, the developer of the Menlo property, above Riverside Drive -- near the Red Car property -- has been taking steps to erase the inconvenient horse-and-hiking trails that wild animals also use. The public trail is mandated by Community Plan, but the city has allowed the developer to do away with it. (Edwardson is a volunteer community activist.)

According to Edwardson's blog, "The Griffith Park to El Pueblo Trail has been in the Silver Lake - Echo Park - Elysian Valley Community Plan since 1984."'s in the community plan, but the city is not requiring that it be accommodated in the 120-condo plan. Chicken Corner doesn't understand this part.

Neither does the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which is appealing the City's decision, in a hearing scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday (tomorrow -- details after the jump).

More by Jenny Burman:
Up close at Caine's Arcade
LAAS New Hope connection on block
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Bear in tree
Polly want a better cage
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