Los Altos-based Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District announced this afternoon that it paid $3.5 million from the Peninsula Open Space District (POST) to acquire October Farm, 270 acres of land near Half Moon Bay located south of the Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve.
"It forms a critical piece of the Coastside conservation corridor and provides the District another opportunity to support agriculture on the coast,” said District General Manager Steve Abbors.
Filled with rolling grassland, heavily vegetated canyons and riparian corridors — as well as providing habitat for burrowing owls, badgers, mountain lions and the California red-legged frog — the farm reaches an elevation of 845 feet.
It seems like an active week for land preservation groups. Tuesday, the Los Altos-based Sempervirens Fund announced it was donating $250,000 to keep a portion of Castle Rock State Park—slated for closure as many state parks have been—open to the public, according to a Mercury News report by Paul Rogers.
The acquisition of the land also expands the District's stewardship of Lobitos Creek. The organization says it plans to enhance the creekside habitat to provide migration and spawning grounds for the , another California endangered species.
The 270 acres extends across Lobitos Creek Road and also includes the lower portion of Irish Ridge which separates the watersheds of Tunitas and Lobitos creeks.
"It’s a beautiful property with stunning views in all directions,” Abbors said.
Transition of the land to the District's jurisdiction began last year when it of October Farm from after signing a lease with the Palo Alto-based POST in November.
"October Farm is one of several key links in a chain of protected lands that running from Skyline Ridge to the sea delivering multiple benefits to people and wildlife," said POST president Walter T. Moore.
The District also plans to return the farm back to its traditional use for beef cattle production this summer, when it says it will reintroduce grazing on the land. It also anticipates completing a comprehensive grazing plan.
Until October Farm has been incorporated in long-term planning efforts as part of the Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve, it will be closed to the public, the District said.
"This property is an excellent addition to the network of open space that POST and the District have worked together to save in the Lobitos Ridge area," Moore concluded.