cattle

Midpen uses conservation grazing to manage fuel (flammable vegetation) for fire protection; enhance the diversity of native plants and animals; help sustain the local agricultural economy; and foster the region's rural heritage.

Where does Conservation Grazing Occur?

Midpen uses conservation grazing on approximately 10,800 acres as a tool to manage grassland habitat on portions of these 5 preserves:

  • Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
  • Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve
  • Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
  • Tunitas Creek Open Space Preserve
  • La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve

Tips for Hiking among Grazing Animals

What are the Benefits of Conservation Grazing?

  • Cattle may eat some non-native plants, providing opportunity for native vegetation to grow
  • Grazing is an effective way to reduce wildland fire fuels. Cattle eat dry vegetation across many acres, often on steep terrain which may be inaccessible to other treatment options.
  • Stock ponds originally constructed for livestock watering are managed to provide habitat for rare aquatic species.

Agriculture on the San Mateo Coast

Agricultural production on the San Mateo Coast has a rich history.  Today, small family owned farming and ranching businesses play a role in the coastal economy, production of locally sourced food, and continuing the agricultural heritage of the area.

The District, as part of the Coastside Protection Area Service Plan, has committed to conserving open space and agricultural land, preserving agricultural operations on the coast, and encouraging viable agricultural use of District owned lands.  Much of the District owned lands along the San Mateo Coast are leased to local ranchers who graze livestock under the District’s Conservation Grazing Program.

For more information contact Clayton Koopmann, Rangeland Ecologist at 650-691-1200.

Grazing on Open Space Land