The largest land protection initiative ever undertaken by a local land trust was announced here in April, and not a moment too soon. Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) estimates that more than half of the largest and undeveloped properties along the San Mateo County coast are now, or soon will be, for sale. POST’s $200 million, three-year campaign, Saving the Endangered Coast, which aims to preserve more than 20,000 acres, was launched this past spring with two $50 million gifts (from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation). As a private land trust, POST can move with greater agility than public agencies to purchase properties; these properties can then be turned over to public agencies for longer-term management and possible public access. That’s just what POST did on May 8 when it purchased the 4,262-acre Rancho Corral de Tierra near Montara and Moss Beach. POST’s goal is to transfer the ranch—which is known to harbor species such as the endangered peregrine falcon, San Bruno elfin butterfly, San Francisco garter snake, and threatened red-legged frog—to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). A bill to extend the GGNRA and purchase the Rancho has been introduced in Congress by U.S. Representative Tom Lantos (and co-sponsored by the entire Bay Area Congressional delegation). Such expansion of the GGNRA would connect existing national, state, and regional parkland and link the Bay Area Ridge Trail with the California Coastal Trail. To support the bill, contact Congressman Tom Lantos, 2217 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515. To contact POST, call (650)854-7696 or visit www.openspacetrust.org.
Bay Nature magazine ◦ July-September 2001