I’d like to respond to Paul Scrivano’s Nov. 30 letter “Wildlife bridge is dangerous, a waste of money.”
If only this statement referred to the writer himself: “Typically, civilization works best when it is devoid of the wild, bloodthirsty, nocturnal predators that get in its way.”
As with so many issues today, broad rhetorical statements make headlines but not sense. The open space surrounding Agoura, so dark and scary at night, conjures the perception of a threat that is grossly overstated.
Let’s shine a flashlight into this darkness.
First there was a bounty and after that sport hunting of mountain lions until Gov. Ronald Reagan signed a law in 1971 to outlaw sport hunting of mountain lions.
When that law expired in 1986, voters passed Proposition 117 in 1990 by a margin of 52 to 48. Voters rejected a 1996 repeal effort (Prop. 197) 58 to 42 with a margin of almost a million votes.
Mountain lion attacks on people are extremely rare: 14 in California in the past 30 years with three fatalities, according to California Fish and Wildlife.
Add another century to find six more deaths, one of which was a turkey hunter dressed in camo, using a turkey caller. The decoy did its job.
The writer has a far greater chance of being killed by a dog, legal execution, lightning strike, discharge of a gun or in a traffic accident than hitting one of the animals a wildlife bridge could keep off the road.
On a recent visit to Banff National
Park in Alberta, Canada, I traveled past a network of fences, tunnels and overpasses on the Trans-Canada Highway. The system has helped more than 150,000 animals cross the road and reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions by 80 percent.
The overpasses there are hardly the eyesore or waste the writer suggests. Civilization is not something devoid of other life. Civilization and the Biblical reference to dominion (Genesis 1:26-28) address a relationship with, and not a destruction of nature, the Earth and others.