looking out over agricultural fields towards the hillside open space beyond

Conservation-Agriculture Connection on the Coastside

(Leigh Ann Gessner/Midpen)

A Message From The General Manager

The public benefits of conserving land as open space are many: clean air, clean water, biodiversity, climate resiliency and the well-being that comes with spending time in nature.

On the San Mateo County Coast, undeveloped land typically has a long history of agricultural uses and our Coastside mission includes preserving agricultural land, encouraging viable agricultural use of land resources and preserving rural character. This work yields additional, perhaps less obvious benefits.

To date, Midpen has preserved more than 12,000 acres of open space in our Coastside Protection Area. About 75% of that land is leased to small-scale, local ranchers through our conservation grazing program to maintain coastal grasslands, one the most biodiverse and threatened ecosystems in North America. Several endangered, threatened and special-status species, like San Francisco garter snake, badgers, burrowing owls and California red-legged frogs, depend on grassland habitat. As Midpen restores grassland and pond habitats for the benefit of wildlife and to support local agriculture we successfully preserve the ecological function of our coastal lands. Midpen also leases 130 acres to farmers producing various crops and flowers.

Our nonprofit partner, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), plays a complementary role in agricultural conservation, working with farm owners and operators to preserve farmlands and natural resources, protecting our regional agricultural heritage and important open space lands.

Join us in our work balancing preservation, restoration, agriculture and recreation on the Coastside at upcoming public meetings this fall.

Agricultural Policy Update
We are updating our agricultural policy to clarify Midpen’s role in preserving significant local agricultural lands and encouraging viable agricultural use of land resources. Learn more and stay informed of public meetings this fall at openspace.org/ag-policy.

Potential Cloverdale Purchase
Midpen is considering a partial purchase of a property near Pescadero known as Cloverdale from POST. This ecological jewel is one of the largest contiguous open spaces remaining on the Coastside. Its coastal grasslands and abundance of water supports rare, grassland-dependent and aquatic species. With several active farms and active conservation grazing, Cloverdale benefits local people, plants and animals. Learn more and stay informed of upcoming public meetings this fall at openspace.org/Cloverdale.


Photo of General Manager Ana Ruiz

Ana María Ruiz
General Manager

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