As a resident of Orange Estates where many of the coyote sightings and attacks on pets are occurring, I'm relieved that the city has finally taken action on this public safety menace.
After council members heard the collective outrage of residents who lost their pets to coyotes, the problem is now featured on the city web page; an informational article has appeared in this publication; and city leaders have met with State Wildlife officials to develop a coyote management plan.
The city is no longer in denial about coyotes and their role at the top of the food chain in our neighborhoods. However, much more needs to be done.
The homeless encampments near the riverbeds to the west and east of the City need to be disbanded, as the food waste from the people living there attracts coyotes.
The waste collection and disposal infrastructure in the city parks and on DUSD campuses needs to be hardened to prevent access by coyotes.
Abandoned homes and buildings, such as those on the south campus of Rancho Los Amigos, need to be secured to prevent coyotes from making dens in them.
A city-wide, multimedia information campaign about coyotes and how to make our neighborhoods less attractive to them, needs to be developed, launched and sustained.
Cooperation among city, DUSD, SEAACA and state agencies must be sought to develop and support a coyote management plan. Residents have a role to play as volunteers in the Wildlife Watch program State Fish and Game officials recommend that the city include with the adoption of its coyote management plan.
And of course, city funding, resources and political capital need to be committed to the problem for the long term.
Coyotes are here to stay, but they belong in the riparian habitat along the rivers, not in our neighborhoods. We must do everything we can to force them from Downey, before they move up the food chain.