Resource Management

Bruce Everett/Powder Canyon

Bruce Everett/Powder Canyon

The Habitat Authority is committed to protecting, maintaining and restoring the native environment to increase biodiversity for the public benefit. Ecological sustainability and recreation are managed in a balanced approach. The Habitat Authority developed a Resource Management Plan (RMP), which was approved in 2007. The RMP is designed to guide the preservation and recreational uses of land managed and/or owned by the Habitat Authority. The main components of the RMP include habitat restoration, fuel modification management, a trails plan, an interpretive element and cultural resource management all within the Puente Hills.

One responsibility of the Habitat Authority is to inform and educate the public with respect to ecological aspects of the Puente Hills. Please visit our Ecologist’s blog (Puente Hills Nature) for posts on various topics. We encourage comments and questions.




Habitat Restoration
The term “habitat restoration” refers to the process of restoring the functional aspects of a given ecosystem to a semblance of its pre-disturbed state. As a result of more than 100 years of human land use, the majority of the Puente Hills contains disturbed habitats, including those dominated by non-native vegetation. The Habitat Authority has implemented or participated in restoration projects on approximately 300 acres of disturbed Authority lands, including coastal sage scrub, native grassland, riparian habitats, and oak/walnut woodland. Click here for more information on habitat restoration, and here for information regarding mitigation opportunities with the Habitat Authority.

Powder Canyon Habitat Restoration – In 2016, a 60-acre habitat restoration project started in Powder Canyon, La Habra Heights. Click here for more information.

Wildlife Camera Study – Launched in 2020, and extended into 2021, this study investigates the relationship between wildlife and recreational use patterns across the Preserve. Click here for more information.

Camera Study Update (2022) (click here)

Click here for a full list of study publications available online.

To help us better manage the hills, we have supported and/or participated in several biological scientific studies such as:

  • A study of the effects on wildlife movement of the Harbor Boulevard underpass, which was completed in 2006 by the Habitat Authority (2004-2007. David Elliot and Dr. Paul Stapp, California State University Fullerton).
  • Botanical surveys and rodent surveys of Habitat Authority managed lands (2005. LSA Associates, Inc.).
  • A study of bat species in the Puente Hills (2005-2006. Stephanie Remington).
  • Protocol surveys for the coastal California gnatcatcher on lands managed by the Habitat Authority. The gnatcatcher is a federally protected songbird, listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act (2005. LSA Associates, Inc.).
  • A study of wildlife associated with “guzzlers” constructed on Habitat Authority managed lands (2004. Anni E. Bladh, Humboldt State University).
  • A study on the human impacts on wildlife movement at a Colima Boulevard underpass used by wildlife (2002. Chris Haas and Greta Turschak, U.S. Geological Survey).
  • A study of the herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) of the Puente/Chino Hills (2002. Dr. Robert Fisher of San Diego State University and U.S. Geological Survey). Funding for this study was a joint effort between the Habitat Authority, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Wildlife Corridor Conservation Authority, and the Rigler Foundation.
  • A wildlife use study of the Puente-Chino Hills (2000. Chris Haas of California State Polytechnic University Pomona, and Dr. Kevin Crooks of the University of California San Diego).
  • A comprehensive avifauna (birds) study (1999. Dan Cooper and Dr. Tom Scott of the University of California Riverside).
  • Monitoring of controlled burn areas in the Whittier (Dr. Cheryl Swift and students of Whittier College).

Harbor Boulevard Wildlife Underpass: First in Los Angeles County
In May 2006, construction of a new wildlife underpass was completed at Harbor Boulevard. Our wild neighbors now have an underpass designed and built exclusively for their safe passage under this busy thoroughfare. It is a win-win for the wildlife and for the motorists on the road too! It is the first wildlife underpass built in the County of Los Angeles.

As the first purpose-built wildlife underpass in Los Angeles County, the Harbor Boulevard Wildlife Underpass is the linkage point within this Corridor for approximately 4,600 acres of publicly protected habitat to the west and about 14,000 acres of publicly protected habitat to the east. It strengthens the biodiversity of all lands to the west and adds to the richness in the east. Harbor Boulevard was constructed in 1990 with oversight to wildlife movement in the area. Wildlife populations west of Harbor, especially the bobcat population, would have become completely isolated, and possibly extirpated, if safe passage across Harbor Boulevard was not created.

Click here for more information.