A Unique Ecological Jewel on the San Mateo County Coast
Midpen is considering purchasing a 6,300-acre uplands portion of a remarkable swath of open space and agricultural land called Cloverdale Ranch, near Pescadero, from our partner Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST).
“This remarkable property is an ecological jewel that is vital to the Coastside’s natural environment and agricultural heritage,” Midpen General Manager Ana María Ruiz said. “Purchasing the Cloverdale Ranch uplands to manage as public open space in perpetuity is one of the top 25 priority projects in Midpen’s community-supported Vision Plan, and it aligns with our unique mission on the San Mateo County Coast.”
The property is made up of coastal terraces rising from the Pacific Ocean to the forested slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The land includes large tracts of biologically rich coastal grassland and coastal scrub habitats that support many rare grassland-dependent species such as the California red-legged frog, grasshopper sparrow, American badgers and more. Cloverdale is unique on the Coastside for its abundant water sources, both natural and man-made, that also support rare, threatened and endangered wildlife, while supplying needed water for farmers. Several creeks flowing through the property host coho salmon and steelhead trout.
POST has preserved and currently owns and manages the approximately 6,700-acre Cloverdale Ranch, including the 1-mile Wilbur’s Watch Trail that is open to the public and leads to a lookout point with views of the ocean and Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Like much of the San Mateo County Coast, Cloverdale Ranch has a rich agricultural heritage that continues today, and POST would retain approximately 400 acres of farmlands as part of their Farmland Program.
“Cloverdale has been a flagship project for POST in both size and positive environmental impact for decades,” POST President Walter Moore said. “At almost 13 square miles, Cloverdale is a true multibenefit property that presents an opportunity for all of us — Midpen, ranchers, farmers and the public.”
The projected cost for Midpen to potentially purchase the Cloverdale Ranch uplands from POST is $16 million. This price reflects a significant discount from POST. The cost to Midpen would also be offset by an $8 million state budget allocation secured by Assemblymember Marc Berman, a grant of $1.4 million from the California Department of Parks’ Recreational Infrastructure Revenue Enhancement Program, and a $500,000 Measure K grant from San Mateo County sponsored by Supervisor Don Horsley. Currently, Midpen is evaluating the property, and will be engaging with partners and the public about the potential purchase.