santa monica mountains national recreation area

(National Park Service photo)

A Ventura County man is accused of shooting and killing a mountain lion. Mountain lion P-38 was found dead in the Simi Valley area in July. The mountain lion was one of the big cats involved in National Park Service research studies, and had a radio tracking collar.

(National Park Service photo)

Researchers monitoring mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains say one of them has accomplished an unusual, but dangerous feat. For the first time in nearly two decades of research, a mountain lion with a GPS collar crossed the 405 Freeway.

A new report shows more than a million people visited two National Parks on the South Coast in 2018, contributing more than $84 million dollars to the region’s economy. In the past year, 867,000 people visited the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation, and an estimated 366,000 visited Channel Islands National Park.

Many hillsides on the Central and South Coasts are covered with lush green and yellow flowers. Even some of the land stripped bare by the recent Thomas, Hill, and Woolsey Fires looks like it’s been revived with the help of a strong rainfall season. But, as pretty as they are, those plants are not what you think. They are black mustard, which are invasive weeds which threaten native plants.

It’s a trail in the Santa Monica Mountains which is a contrast in nature. As you hike into the Coyote Canyon area west of Agoura Hills, you see blackened mountain slopes, and plants charred by last November’s Woolsey brush fire. But, at the same time, there are signs of rebirth. There’s a fresh layer of green grasses, and beautiful, blooming wildflowers.

It’s the largest urban national park in the world, at 156,000 acres. But, the Woolsey Fire has left a huge chunk of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area closed. The National Park Service owns 23,000 acres of the land in the park, mostly between Highway 101 and the coast. Most of it was burned by the huge brush fire.

(National Park Service photo)

A mountain lion known for accomplishing the rare feat of safely crossing the 101 Freeway twice in the Santa Monica Mountains area has died.

National Park Service officials say P-55 's remains were recovered by biologists, but were so badly decomposed it was impossible to determine the cause of death.

(National Park Service photo)

Another mountain lion that’s part of a study of the big cats living in, and around the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area has died, leaving behind a number of kittens.

The three year old adult female known as P-39 was apparently struck and killed December 3rd on Highway 118, just outside of Simi Valley near Rocky Peak Road.

(NPS Photo)

There’s been a rare bear sighting in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

National Park Service officials say there hasn’t been a resident black bear population there since the 1800’s, with the bears now mostly found in the San Gabriel, and Santa Susana Mountains.

It’s extremely unusual for the bears to be traveling south of the 101 Freeway.

A group of teenagers is struggling to line up a post in a hole just perfectly.

These teens are building a fence in a parking lot for visitors to Ranch Sierra Vista, a ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area just southwest of Thousand Oaks.

The 22 teens from Ventura and Los Angeles Counties have passed up on eight weeks of summer vacation to sweat in the sun. They’re participants in the National Park Service’s SAMO Program.

A trail which hikers can use to get from Ventura, to Los Angeles Counties will officially open this weekend.

The Backbone Trail extends 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area. One of the key actions to complete the trail was the donation of a chunk of land in Zuma Canyon by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a business partner to the public. The gift is the single largest private donation for the Backbone Trail.

Hundreds of people are expected to take part in a dedication ceremony at Will Rogers State Park at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

(National Park Service Photo)

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a business partner have donated a 40 acre parcel of land in Zuma Canyon to the public, which will close the final major link in a more than sixty mile long trail between Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.