cattle grazing on open space land

Midpen uses conservation grazing as one of many tools to protect and manage large-scale coastal grasslands with the goals of enhancing grassland biodiversity and increasing wildland fire safety. and supporting viable agricultu sustain the local agricultural economy; and foster the region's rural heritage.

Conservation Grazing Management Policy Amendment

Midpen is updating its Conservation Grazing Management Policy with a science-based amendment guiding proactive prevention of, and effective responses to, livestock-wildlife interactions.

Find out more about the Midpen Grazing Management Policy Amendment

Where does Conservation Grazing Occur?

Since 2007, Midpen has leased approximately 8,000 acres to small-scale, local ranchers for conservation grazing, a valuable tool for managing large coastal grasslands to benefit plants, wildlife and people 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?

  • Coastal grasslands are one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country, and one of the rarest. They evolved with historic grazing wildlife herds and periodic fires intentionally set by Native Americans, and require such disturbances to maintain health, otherwise they are lost to introduced species, shrubs and forest. 
  • 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.
  • Conservation grazing supports viable agriculture use of the land on the San Mateo County Coast, part of Midpen's Coastside mission. 

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.

Midpen, 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 MIdpen-owned lands on the San Mateo County Coast. 

For more information contact Senior Resource Management Specialist Coty Sifuentes-Winter at 650-691-1200.

Conservation Grazing on Open Space Land