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In the News

Read about the latest news and events involving the RCD.

Importance of Light & Soundscapes in Wildlife Crossings

Better understand the importance of considering light, sounds and vegetation when building wildlife over and under passes.

How to Harden Your Home Against Wildfire

Get tips from experts on the best ways to prepare your home for wildfire this season. 

Lessons in Oak Restoration from Trippet Ranch

See what the RCD and our oak community learned from woodland restoration at Trippet Ranch.

Other Stories


Wildlife Crossings Benefit More Than Just Mammals

While migratory and larger mammals may intially come to mind when we think of critters that are likely to utilize wildlife crossings, the benefits extend to many more mountainous animals, including our feathered friends! Check out the Audubon article below, featuring LA’s own wildlife crossing, to find out how avian species will take advantage of future crossings.

Read the article here


Discover How to Increase the Fire Resilience of Your Home by 40%

Check out the following news piece from Univision all about creating more fire resilient homes in CA – beginning from construction – featuring the RCD’s Fire Resistent Demonstration Structure!

Watch the video here


The Importance of Light and Soundscapes when Building Wildlife Crossings

Many conservation and transportation agencies throughout CA have become increasingly interested in wildlife crossings, which enable threatened wildlife to traverse over busy highways. But if wildlife do not use these structures due to noise, light or unwelcoming vegetation, these crossings may not entice wildlife to cross at all.

Read the paper below to learn more, which the RCD’s own Executive Officer was a part of.

Check out the paper here


How to Harden Your Home Against Wildfires: 6 Tips from Experts

Check out this article from Realtor.com where you can read our Executive Officer’s (among other professionals) advise on creating a more fire resilient home.

Check out the article here


Oaks Newsletter – Lessons in coast live oak restoration from Trippet Ranch

Jump to page 5 of the Fall/Winter 2023 Oaks Newsletter to read about lessons the RCD and our oak community learned from woodland restoration in Trippet Ranch.

Check out the newsletter here


ABC Eyewitness 7 interviews RCD Biologist about recent rains and the benefit to local wildlife

Check out this interview with our Senior Conservation Biologist, Rosi Dagit and discover how the rains of 2023 have brought welcome relief to Santa Monica Mountain wildlife.

Watch the short clip here


SoCal can expect more birds, rabbits, rats and snakes in wildlife surge after record rain

Check out this article from the LA Times featuring one of our Conservation Biologists and local bird expert, Dr. Dan Cooper!

Read the full article here


Where CA’s remarkably wet year is bringing welcome recovery

“Breathing in the rain-scrubbed air and absorbing the splendor of Topanga Creek, as it danced and pooled before her eyes, Rosi Dagit had to smile.

“This is like heaven for a steelhead,” said Dagit…

Read the full LA Times Article here


Conserving Water at Home Could Save Native Turtles in LA

Discover how you can help native western pond turtles at home and in your local parks in the article below. Special appearance by our Senior Biologist and turtle lover, Rosi Dagit!

LA Times Article


Taking Care of Your Trees During Drought

Find out the best ways to care for your trees throughout dry summer months and ongoing drought.

Get advice from our Senior Conservation Biologist


Wildlife Crossing Bridge Coming to California

Check out this New Yorker article discussing the launch of the largest wildlife crossing in the world!

New Yorker Article by Emily Witt


Malibu Times Journalist Joins an Oak Care Event

Samantha Bravo, a journalist at the Malibu Times, joined our Stream Team during one of our Oak Care Events at Trippet Ranch. Check out her take on this important work at the link below.

Reach the article here.


Clark Stevens Speaks at Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing Groundbreaking Ceremony

Clark Stevens, one of the original designers behind the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing which will enable Los Angeles wildlife to safely traverse one of the busiest highways in the world, was invited to speak at the momentous Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Wallis Anneneberg Wildlife Crossing. Check out a clip from his speech below!

Watch Clark Stevens’s Speech!


Topanga is Officially Firewise Certified!

Topanga Canyon is now officially recognized as a “Firewise” community by the National Fire Protection Association and CalFire. Organizations involved in making this possible include the Topanga Town Council, TCEP, the Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council, Arson Watch, the Topanga Chamber of Commerce, and (of course!) the RCDSMM! This firewise designation means that Topangans have taken a quantifiable number of actions on their property and within the community to make their homes and the wider landscape more resistant to wildfires and the damage they cause. Read more about what this means for our communities at the link below.

What does it mean to be Firewise?


GrizzlyCorps Gratitude

Check out this special shoutout to our incredible GrizzlyCorps Fellow, Pauline Allen! Pauline has been insturmental in scaling up our recently developed Community Resilience programs and helped build long lasting relationships with community leaders. All of us at the RCD will be forever grateful for her contribution and we cannot wait to see what she accomplishes next! PS Pauline is featured on pg 11 of the report linked below.

Read the full gratitude report here.


Architectural Solutions to Sea Level Rise Panel Discussion

Check out this recording of RCD’s Executive Officer, Clark Stevens, as he discusses landscape architecture solutions to sea level rise alongside UCLA Research Professor, Richard F. Ambrose P.h.D. Panel discussion presented by CalPoly Pomona College of Environmental Design.

View recording here.


Bad Beetles Are Here

Check out this Canyon Chronicle article written by RCDSMM’s Senior Biologist, Rosi Dagit, to learn about invasive shot hole borers, the threat they pose to our native trees and what you can do to help!

Read the article here.


RCDSMM Senior Biologist Featured in Bad Beetle Article

Check out this Malibu Times article all about invasive shot hole borer beetles impacting our native trees. See if you can find our  Senior Biologist’s quote in this awesome article!

Read the article here.


Fire-Wise Landscaping Class Recording

Check out this recording of our virtual Fire-Wise Landscaping class led by Antoine Kunsch. This class was made possible thanks to our partners at the Triunfo Water & Sanitation District.

Watch the recording here.


The Canary in the Coal Mine: Southern Steelhead Endangered Species Status

Check out this article written by Sandra Jacobson about the history of steelhead recovery in California throughout the years.

Read the article here.


Movable Objects: Breaching the Rindge Dam on Malibu Creek

Check out this audio interview of Kyle Baker interviewing Dr. Sandi Jacobson, CalTrout’s South Coast Regional Director, about the removal of Rindge Dam on Malibu Creek.

Listen to the recording here.


Sustainable Defensible Space: Protecting Homes and Landscapes Against Wildfires

Check out this article from Elisa Read Pappaterra of Pacific Horticulture featuring our Community Resilience Department. Read all about sustainable defensible space and how to protect your home and property from wildfire.

Read the article here.


Discussion of Post Woolsey Fire Recovery with Rosi Dagit & the CA Native Plant Society

Check out this recording from Rosi Dagit’s presentation on post fire recovery of riparian habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Watch the recording here.


Fighting Fire with Forecasting: Predicting Woodland Habitat Suitability in the Santa Monica Mountains

Check out this great article featuring NASA, our RCD and other partners as we discuss how to plant for the future!

Read the full article here.


LA Times Article – Creating Steelhead Passage in LA River

“Building this fish passage would be a historic step toward saving steelhead…and helping every other native aquatic species that no longer feels at home in the L.A. River.”

Our senior biologist, Rosi Dagit, was quoted in this LA Times article regarding the creation of Steelhead passage in the LA River. With the help of some incredible biologist and engineers, this city plans on welcoming steelhead back home by, as the Mayor puts, restoring “nature literally down the very spine of this great city.”🌳🌆

Read the full article here.


Topanga New Times RCDSMM Feature

Check out this article in the Topanga New Times featuring our RCD along with other key environmental and advocacy non profit organizations in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Read the full article here.


RCD Coastal Clean Up Events

The RCD co-hosted Coastal Cleanup Day at two locations: Topanga Creek in the town of Topanga and Haskell Creek at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in the San Fernando Valley. The Messenger Mountain News checked in with RCD staff afterward to report on the results.

Read the full article here.


Earth Day 50 with the RCD
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with this awesome compliation of RCD staffers telling you how to celebrate Earth Day from home, what inspired us to pursue a career in working for the environment, and what our earliest memory of being with and amongst nature was!

Watch the full Earth Day 50 RCD video here.


Eco-Science Programs Featured on The Buzz:
Calabasas’s Channel The Buzz covers an RCD Eco-Science Program at Bay Laurel Elementary School.

Check out the video featuring our Eco-Science programs.


Haskell Creek Clean Up is a Huge Success

Thanks to our partners at the San Fernando Valley Audubon, Friends of the LA River, and LA River Master Plan, over 150 volunteers were able to pull tons of trash out of Haskell Creek in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area.

Check out the full article here.


Woolsey Fire Wildlands Recovery Will be a Long Process

The Woolsey Fire burned approximately 60% of the District’s wildlands. It will take years and even decades for the natural areas to recover as discussed in the article below.

See the full article here.


Resiliency Strategies for Malibu’s Built Environment: Building Technologies and Preparing for the Future

On May 15th, 2019 the RCD joined the City of Malibu and the US Resiliency Council for this event, which included a panel of experts discussing best practices for resilience-based design, materials and mechanical systems for extreme weather events and natural disasters.

Check out a video from the event here.


Malibu Lagoon Observations
The Local Malibu followed RCD biologists and field personnel to discover the fish and other inhabitants of Malibu Lagoon. Read the Malibu Lagoon Observations here.


The Drought’s Untold Toll on Oaks
NPS Fire Ecologist Marti Witter and RCDSMM Senior Conservation Biologist Rosi Dagit recount the effects of drought on oaks and other trees of the Santa Monica Mountains. Read about the drought’s untold toll in this Acorn article.


RCDSMM Works with NASA to Study Tree Mortality
RCDSMM scientists and citizen volunteers have been studying tree mortality due to drought and invasive beetles. Collaboration with NASA to get the “10,000 foot” view of trees in the Santa Monica Mountains has greatly enhanced the project. Watch the video about Tree Mortality study for more information.