Retracing the Steps of a Mountain Lion (Video), NBC LA, November 2018
Beth Pratt is working with government officials, industry, and the local community to fundraise for a bridge that might save LA's mountain lions from the grim future predicted for them: extinction within 50 years. Aliya Jasmine accompanies Pratt on a 5 day 50 mile hike to retrace the steps of P-22.
“5 Days and 50 Miles: Why One Woman is Retracing the Steps of a Mountain Lion,” NBC LA, October 2018
Beth Pratt hopes her hike will bring attention to the plight of LA's mountain lions and their need for a wildlife crossing.
“Hikers Celebrate LA's Famous Cougar P-22 By Following In His Pawprints,” LAist, October 2018
For the third year in a row, Beth Pratt strapped on her mountain lion tracking collar before starting her 50-mile hike. The California director for the National Wildlife Federation stooped down in front of the Liberty Canyon trailhead and picked up her backpack and the cardboard-cutout she'll carry of P-22, Southern California's most famous mountain lion. Then she turned around and headed straight for the 101 freeway.
“Wildlife Champion Beth Pratt, GET OUTSIDE Podcast,” September 2018
Beth Pratt-Bergstrom was inspired by the NWF’s (National Wildlife Federation) Ranger Rick magazine as a child. Now, as the executive director of the California region of the NWF, she is inspiring others to embrace nature and wildlife—and our ability to coexist in urban spaces. She and Jason met at King Gillette Ranch to discuss her experiences in nature, how P22—the cougar living in Griffith Park—changed her perspective, and why she is leading the charge on establishing a wildlife overpass in Los Angeles.
“Naturalist finds lions in LA city parks, raptors on skyscrapers and foxes at Facebook, proving humans and wildlife can coexist in California,” San Gabriel Tribune, June 2018
Like Pratt-Bergstrom, it’s the wild animals adapting to us that blows us away. It was when she learned about L.A.’s most famous cat, P-22, when she held a California condor in her arms that made her think twice about how we humans see (or don’t see) nature.
It also gave her something most environmentalist don’t have: A positive message. Summed up as: Be in awe of nature. Coexist.
“Bridges and Walls: Wildlife Crossing,” KCRW, February 2018
DnA spoke with advocates and a staunch opponent of the bridge; transit engineers and architects who are using scent and plantings to design a wildlife crossing; and conservationists who have turned P22 into a poster lion for animal-wildlife coexistence
“To build a bridge for mountain lions, wildlife activists need $60 million, “ Los Angeles Times, December 2017
“I spend every waking moment wondering how the heck we’re going to accomplish this,” said Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, the federation’s regional executive director in California. “But we must because time is running out for Southern California’s mountain lions.”
“A Lion Among Men: How One Emboldened and Endangered Mountain Lion Took Los Angeles By Storm,” Men’s Journal, October 2017
“His journey, his celebrity, it’s not empty,” says Pratt-Bergstrom. “He’s getting people to rethink how they view wildlife. That’s huge — bigger even than him.”
"LA’s endangered pumas to be saved by a $60m bridge over highway," New Scientist, June 2017
“Our fundraising target by the end of the year is $10 million,” says Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, California director for the National Wildlife Federation. She’s so enraptured with these animals that she has tattooed P-22 on her bicep, and leads hikes to trace the cats’ path.
"Wildlife Crossings Get a Whole New Look," Wall Street Journal, June 2017
“The old model of conservation—acquire large islands of habitat for wildlife and check the box, done—well, we know that alone doesn’t work anymore,” says Ms. Pratt. “We have to look at large landscape corridors for all wildlife.”
"Lions of Los Angeles," The New Yorker, February 2017
"P-22 has attuned the people of Los Angeles to the unsustainable predicament of their lions. “He is that relatable victim,” Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, the California director of the National Wildlife Federation, says. “He’s a social-justice story, an environmental story, a love story, stranded, as he is, in the park. He is a champion for so many issues—nobody has enough space.”
"Why Beth Pratt-Bergstrom Followed in the Footsteps of L.A.'s Most Famous Mountain Lion," LA Weekly, December 2016
"I think it's the most marvelous thing in the world that L.A. has said yes to mountain lions," Pratt-Bergstrom said. "They just feel better knowing they can coexist with wildlife. I think Angelenos embrace P-22 as an extension of the Hollywood dream that anything is possible here, even for a mountain lion. And L.A. appreciates its celebrities, even the animal kind."
"P-45 cougar drama draws attention to proposed wildlife freeway crossing," LA Daily News December 2016
“He’s dodged a big bullet,” said Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, state director for the National Wildlife Federation, of the cougar spared from being killed or relocated after his widely publicized attack. “We rallied for his cause. But it wasn’t just for one individual cat. We rallied for all the cats, 10 to 15 suffering from inbreeding and genetic isolation. We’re running out of time. Mountain lions are running out of time. They are the most acute case.”
"Shooting L.A.'s Mountain Lions Won't Protect Livestock. Being More Responsible Will." KCET, December 2016
"As wildlife loses more and more of their territory to more and more people—who bring domestic animals and livestock—we have to take responsibility for creating conditions for coexistence with the native wild inhabitants of the land," says Pratt-Bergstrom.
"It is magical, doing this hike and seeing it through this cat's eyes. I am more admiring that he made it to Griffith Park. I don't know what spurred him on except a sense of adventure and obviously he needed to find a home. But wow, it's pretty cool doing it through his eyes," Pratt-Bergstrom tells KPCC.
California Director of the National Wildlife Federation, Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, tells Cara the story of P-22, Hollywood's famous mountain lion. They also talk about ways we can all aid in conservation efforts, like inviting native wildlife into your home garden and supporting the Santa Monica Mountains wildlife corridor.
“Just because an area is developed doesn’t mean there’s no place for wildlife,” she said. “Bay porpoises have returned to San Francisco after 65 years and humpbacks are feeding in the bay,” she said. “There are wolves in California again. It’s astonishing, wonderful, and they did it on their own. What else will return if we continue to invite wildlife?”
"Stand By Me," Huffington Post, July 2016
"It’s one thing to say we should figure out how to live with other critters and another thing to do it. Beth Pratt-Bergstrom’s new book, When Mountain Lions Are Neighbors: People and Wildlife Working it Out in California, provides a pretty happy litany of species we do still have around, and positive stories about how folks are getting along with them."
"I, for one, believe cities and nature can mix and need to mix for wildlife to have a future. We need to foster a daily relationship with our wild, nonhuman kin. It’s not about habituating wildlife to us, but about habituating ourselves to the wild world."
"L.A. Zoo to the mountain lion that probably ate its koala: No hard feelings," Washington Post, March 2016
“That we have a mountain lion living in the second largest city in the country is something to celebrate,” Pratt-Bergstrom said in a statement. “When the number-one threat to wildlife worldwide is loss of habitat, we can no longer think of our cities or towns or neighborhoods, or even our backyards, as exempt from the natural world—or as off limits to wildlife. For wildlife to have a future in this world where they are running out of room, co-existence is essential.”
"Griffith Park Mountain Lion P-22 Suspected of Killing Koala at L.A. Zoo" Los Angeles Times, March 2016
"Mountain Lions are called ghost cats for a reason," Beth Pratt-Bergstrom said. "They are solitary animals that want to be left alone. P-22 lives in an urban park visited by millions of people and is rarely seen, demonstrating what we already know --- it is possible to peacefully coexist and the risk of danger is very low."
"Lincoln was in the middle of the Civil War -- he had other things on his mind -- but he said, 'this is important,' " said Beth Pratt, head of the National Wildlife Federation's California office.
"Bridge Seen as Key to Mountain Lion Survival Near L.A." Marketplace, January 2016
"I think we owe it to these mountain lions, I think we owe it to all wildlife, and I think it is a great chance for Los Angeles…to show real leadership around the world."
"Santa Monica's Mountain Lions Are Stuck on an Island, and Fast Disappearing," Scientific American, November 2015
"Beth Pratt-Bergstrom is the National Wildlife Federation’s California director, and the founder of Save LA Cougars. To hear her tell it, she’s “not your average tree hugger. I have an MBA, I’m all about capitalism and the value of things. For too long we haven’t incorporated the cost of maintaining healthy ecosystems and wildlife, and this is a pretty cheap solution.”
"California unveils $30 million animal bridge plan," CBS This Morning, Video, September 2015
"I think we owe it to them to give them back their wild spaces. We've taken so much of their habitat," Pratt said.
“I’ve worked on conservation projects in Yosemite,” says Pratt, who lives about 30 minutes from the national park. “I worked in Yellowstone for four years. But I’ve never seen anything like the support around getting this crossing for urban cougars. And P-22 is what did it. It was his cat-footed journey across the freeways to get to Griffith Park that captivated people. It’s been L.A.’s redemption.”
"Yet the project has momentum. Beth Pratt, an energetic campaigner for the National Wildlife Federation, has won support from congressional representatives and local governments for a crossing in the Santa Monicas"
"After twenty-five years of campaigning to protect wildlife and the environment, I finally stumbled on a surefire way to break through the noise and get my message across: get a tattoo."
"He's never going to have a girlfriend, probably," said Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, the California director of the National Wildlife Federation. "He's going to be a lonely bachelor."
"To mark Earth Day 2013, CNN.com asked Pratt to share some of her favorite spots to find nature. Here are some of her recommendations and what makes each wild place special, in her own words:
"What is killing California sea lion pups? Why unusual event is a concern." Christian Science Monitor, April 2013
It seems pretty obvious to the average viewer that there is something going on in our oceans or environments that is driving such extraordinary changes in marine mammal behavior,” she says.