Pasadena Health Department to Update Committee on Progress of Urban Wildlife Management Plan

Published : Monday, November 5, 2018 | 6:16 AM

Pasadena’s Public Health Director Michael Johnson will brief the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on Monday about the progress of an Urban Wildlife Management Plan that the department is preparing to provide guidance for City staff and area residents.

According to a timeline contained in the agenda for Monday’s meeting, the Urban Wildlife Management Plan has been under development since last July and may be ready for presentation to the Pasadena community for feedback by either January or February 2019.

Johnson is expected to emphasize that during the plan’s preparation, active participation on the part of the entire community – residents, homeowners associations, volunteers and city personnel – will be needed to perfect tyhe plan.

By March 2019, Johnson hopes to present a thorough draft of the plan for adoption by the Pasadena City Council.

Based on a preliminary outline, the Plan will contain sub-sections such as a Coyote Management Plan, a Bear Awareness Plan, a Cougar Awareness Plan as well as a general plan for other wildlife.

It will also contain a section on Wildlife Surveillance.

Johnson stressed that the City’s strategy for managing wildlife is based “on balancing respect and protection for wildlife and their habitats without compromising public safety.”

He said the strategy will consist of a three-pronged approach which includes public education designed around coexistence with wildlife, the enforcement of laws and regulations prohibiting feeding wildlife, and ensuring public safety by implementing appropriate responses to wildlife-and-human interactions.

City residents have been reporting sightings of wildlife over the years, including periodic visits by bears to some neighborhoods in Pasadena and reported sightings of mountain lions, some of which turned out to be actually bobcat sightings.

The Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA has come out with extensive information material about urban wildlife, including bears, coyotes and deer, and even hosted a “Coexisting with Wildlife” workshop in May last year because the long drought had been causing wild animals to venture out from their natural habitats into neighborhoods nearby.

Other cities in Southern California have already put in place their own urban wildlife response measures.

A Coyote Management Plan for the city of Calabasas includes an explanation of the coyote’s natural habits and how humans should respond when they encounter coyotes near their residences or when they’re out hiking or camping.

In the city of San Gabriel, a Coyote Management Plan has been in place for the past two years; in fact, the city has proposed a review of the plan earlier this year.

Most of the current urban wildlife plans follow templates prepared by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA also subscribes to in their Dealing with Coyotes webpage.

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The Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday begins at 4:30 p.m. at the City Council chamber, Room S249 at City Hall.

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