The latest news and information about the District and Preserves.

2018 Sudden Oak Death Blitz

Join us at SOD Blitz events in our area in April and May to gather information on Sudden Oak Death (SOD) in Midpen preserves.

After attending a one-hour training, you will have knowledge and materials to sample symptomatic leaves of bay and tanoak trees, record a few important details, and submit the samples for testing.  Following the training participants will be provided survey packets and detailed trail maps, and will spend two to four hours surveying the preserve.

Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve
Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 10:00am

Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 1:00pm

El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve
Saturday, May 12, 2018 – 10am

Temporary Public Access Closures

The following areas at Mount Umunhum are temporarily closed

  • The area surrounding the base of the radar tower and pathways leading to the area
  • Beginning March 12, the turnaround and accessible parking spaces* at the top of the summit, and the road leading to this area will be closed to the public Mondays through Fridays

*Three accessible parking spaces will remain available in the main Mount Umunhum parking lot. Please note the only access to the top of the summit from this lot is via a staircase with approximately 150 steps.

For additional information regarding ADA access at Midpen contact the District ADA Coordinator at or 650-691-1200.

Summit Closure Area

In November 2017, small flakes of paint containing low levels of lead were discovered near the Mount Umunhum radar tower. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the public, the area surrounding the base of the radar tower and pathways leading to the area are temporarily closed to public access.

In addition, the turnaround and accessible parking spaces* at the top of the summit, and the road leading to this area will be closed to the public Monday through Friday from March 5 through June 2018 while abatement work on the tower takes place. Abatement will include removing existing paint and applying an anti-grafitti coating to the radar tower.

The Mount Umunhum parking lot, trailhead shelter, stairs to the summit, west loop trail, summit shelter and trail to the Bald Mountain staging area all remain open.

*Three accessible parking spaces will remain available in the main Mount Umunhum parking lot. Please note the only access to the top of the summit from this lot is via a staircase with approximately 150 steps.

More Information

  • Rain and wind events in November 2017 appear to have caused small flakes of paint to shed off the radar tower. These paint chips were tested and found to contain low levels of lead.
  • Lead was a common additive used in paint before the 1980s throughout the country, when the former Almaden Air Force Station was active.
  • The former air force station site, including the radar tower, underwent comprehensive abatement and remediation work prior to the construction of the public access improvements.  This work included the removal of peeling paint from the radar tower and the application of a sealant.  Prior to opening to the public the tower was also painted with an anti-graffiti coating on the first floor.  However, it appears that the remnant lead-containing paint that originally was adhered to the structure is now flaking off.  For this reason, Midpen is taking the precaution of closing the area surrounding the radar tower to ensure the safety of the public visiting the summit area.
  • A subsequent project to re-assess the radar tower and identify any additional repairs, to seal and retain the structure over the longer term, will take place over the next couple of years.  There may be closures during this future work as well.

Proposition 68 - Parks, Environment and Water Bond

Midpen’s Board of Directors endorses Proposition 68, a statewide parks and water bond, on the June 5 ballot. Proposition 68 would authorize $4 billion in bonds for a wide range of projects across urban, suburban and rural California aimed at drinking water and drought protection, wildlife and natural resource conservation, climate resilience and park access for all.

Proposition 68 includes significant grant funding for parks and open space projects that Midpen, and many of our regional partners, are well-positioned to compete for. These funds could help facilitate the completion of Midpen’s Measure AA projects, including:

  • Partner to Complete Middle Stevens Creek Trail
    Portfolio #12, Peninsula and South Bay Cities
  • Wildlife Passage and Bay Area Ridge Trail Improvements
    Portfolio #20, South Bay Foothills
  • Loma Prieta Area Public Access, Regional Trails, and Habitat Projects
    Portfolio #25, Sierra Azul

Specific Funding Allocations for the Bay Area

  • $21.25 million for San Francisco Bay Conservancy Program (Coastal Conservancy)
  • $20 million for restoration grants to match Measure AA (Coastal Conservancy)
  • $14 million for the Ocean Protection Trust Fund (Coastal Conservancy)
  • County, city, and special district funding for local parks (per capita and other programs)
  • $3 million for Los Gatos Creek and Upper Guadalupe River (Natural Resources Agency)
  • $3 million for Russian River (Natural Resources Agency)

Summary of Funding Categories with Bay Area Eligibility

State and Local Parks, Greenways, and River Parkways

  • $725 million for the creation and expansion of parks in “park-poor neighborhoods”
  • $290 million in funding for local parks (per capita and other programs)
  • $218 million in funding to “create, expand...and improve state parks and park facilities”
  • $30 million for trail and greenway investments (Natural Resources Agency)
  • $25 million for recreational programs and parks in rural communities (State Parks)

Ocean, Bay, and Coastal Protection

  • $20 million for coastal forests
  • $35 million for marine protected areas and sustainable fisheries
  • $5 million for coastal dune, wetlands, and estuary protection
  • $30 million for “lower cost coastal accommodation grants”
  • $75 million for California Ocean Protection Trust Fund

Climate Preparedness, Habitat Resiliency, Resource Enhancement, and Innovation

  • $443 million to various agencies including:
    - $48 million for wildlife corridors & open space (Wildlife Conservation Board)
    - $115 million for fishery and riparian restoration projects (Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)
    - $60 million for agricultural land conservation and stewardship (Dept. of Conservation)
    - $50 million for “for ecological restoration of forests” including urban forests (CalFire)

* A statewide funding program that could benefit the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

More Information

For complete information on Proposition 68, visit

Conservation Canines at Work

Conservation canine and handler in action. Photo: Jaymi HeimbuchFrom November 12th through the end of January 2018, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be conducting a mountain lion population study in Midpen preserves and surrounding areas. This work is part of a state-wide effort and will involve the use of “Conservation Canines” – dogs that are specially trained to find lion scat (droppings). This is a new method being tested in the area for estimating the size of mountain lion populations. Scat samples can be used to identify individual lions and determine certain health characteristics.

Dogs and handlers will both be identifiable by their bright orange vests with visible Conservation Canine patches. Dogs will be on a leash at all times and will wear a bell to let both the public and wildlife know they are in the immediate area. Signs will also be posted at trailheads when the Conservation Canines are working in the area. Teams may be observed off trail and in areas of the preserves where dogs are not allowed – these dogs are are specially trained to reduce impacts to natural resources, and are operating under a special Fieldwork permit issued to CDFW. 

For specific questions about this research project contact Justin Dellinger at 916-261-3610

For more information about the Conservation Canine program, visit their website at

Coastal Service Plan Community Open House

November 1, 2017 - 6:00 pm

Senior Coastsiders Building - Banquet Hall
925 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA  94019

Join us to learn about projects in the Coastal Service Plan Area, including La Honda, Half Moon Bay, and other Coastal communities. The event will include a presentation by Midpen staff, followed by a question and answer session as well as the opportunity to meet with subject matter experts. Light refreshments will be provided.

LHC Now Open

New public access at La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve!

Audio Tour

Get a "virtual" guided tour of Mount Umunhum!

Now Hiring

Join our passionate, talented and dynamic team as we work collaboratively towards our vision.

Learn more


What's happening in the preserves this month?

Read all about it in our November E-Newsletter.


What's happening in the preserves this spring?

Read all about it in our quarterly Views newsletter.