landscape view of Cloverdale Ranch

Creating Midpen’s 27th Open Space Preserve: Cloverdale Ranch

(Teddy Miller)

On December 10, the Midpen board approved the purchase of 5,100 acres of Cloverdale Ranch near Pescadero from our nonprofit partner, POST, with the option of purchasing an additional 1,200 acres in 2025. Escrow is expected to close on the first phase of the purchase in spring 2023, allowing Midpen to begin managing the property in alignment with our coastal mission for environmental protection, viable agriculture and ecologically sensitive public access. 

Like much of the San Mateo County Coast, Cloverdale Ranch has a rich agricultural heritage that continues today. POST is retaining 400 acres of Cloverdale Ranch’s active farmlands, with goal of transferring it to farmers protected from development by agricultural conservation easements. The existing grazing operations on Cloverdale Ranch will become part of Midpen’s Conservation Grazing Program. As part of Midpen’s Coastal Service Plan, Midpen offsets any loss of local tax revenue to the La Honda-Pescadero School District and San Mateo County Fire for land acquisitions in the South Coast area, including for the potential Cloverdale purchase.  

Cloverdale is unique on the Coastside for its abundant natural and man-made water sources supporting habitats for rare, threatened and endangered wildlife including Coho salmon and steelhead trout, while also supplying needed water for farmers and ranchers. The property’s large, intact coastal grasslands, one of the most biodiverse and threatened ecosystems in North America and connects with more than 31,000 acres of surrounding open space and parklands creating critical connectivity for animals, and eventually people, to move through the landscape. Midpen’s public access planning process will take time to balance natural resource protection, local community interests and public safety. In the interim, Midpen will keep the existing Wilbur’s Watch Trail open, and plan to provide interim guided access opportunities later in 2023.  

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