Open-space district surpasses 60,000 acres

October Farm near Half Moon Bay added to Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

A 270-acre farm near Half Moon Bay will bump the amount of preserved open-space managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) to 60,000 acres, district officials announced Thursday (Nov. 17).

The land-conservation agency has entered into a lease agreement with Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) to manage its 270-acre October Farm property. MROSD will manage the property as part of its nearby Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve.

October Farm is located near Half Moon Bay and will remain under the ownership of POST, a private non-profit land trust that purchased the land in July. The district and POST often work in a public-private partnership toward common land-preservation goals.

The property had the potential for three residential developments. It includes part of the highly visible Irish Ridge and a three-quarter mile of stream frontage on Lobitos Creek.

A large portion of the Lobitos Creek watershed is now under district management, creating opportunities for restoration projects that could benefit species such as threatened steelhead trout, which have been observed in the creek despite fish passage barriers, officials said.

The district intends to continue conservation cattle grazing on the land and would explore possible planting of agricultural crops, it said.

MROSD is a public agency created by voters in Santa Clara County in 1972 in response to rapid development.

The agency has expanded into parts of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties with the goal of preserving a regional greenbelt. The district includes 24 open space preserves with more than 234 miles of free, public-accessible trails.

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