Palo Alto-based Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) recently announced the purchase of Lakeside Ranch, a 1,986-acre property in California’s Santa Clara County, for $22.36 million ($11,258 per acre). One of the largest remaining intact ranches in the South Bay area, Lakeside Ranch adjoins previously protected lands on three sides. Its acquisition increases the permanently protected land network in and around Coyote Valley to more than 8,700 acres, according to POST.
Held by the Lakeside Corporation since 1954 — an entity controlled by the Bechtel family, according to reporting by the Monterey Herald — Lakeside Ranch had been used as a cattle ranch and was home to an equestrian stable. Under the new purchase, the land will continue to be used for cattle grazing, but future, nonagricultural development will be prohibited.
The purchase marks a win for Bay Area environmentalists, who had long opposed Silicon Valley expansion into the area.
According to a POST press release, “the expansive property has for decades been a top conservation priority… [as] it provides connectivity for wildlife moving between the Santa Cruz Mountains in the west, the Diablo Range in the east, and the Gabilan Range to the south.”
Critical Native Habitat
Featuring both grasslands and mature oak woodlands and access to Llagas Creek, Lakeside Ranch is home to a variety of native wildlife, such as the western pond turtle and black tail deer, plus endangered and protected plant species, including the Santa Clara Valley dudleya and Hall’s bush mallow.
Lakeside Ranch now joins other nearby protected properties, including Tilton Ranch, Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, and Rancho Cañada del Oro Preserve, in establishing a conserved corridor that serves as “a significant wildlife linkage across the region,” according to POST.
POST plans to work with partners at Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency to develop a long-term stewardship plan for Lakeside Ranch, whose purchase was made possible with support by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
About Peninsula Open Space Trust
Since its founding in 1977, Peninsula Open Space Trust has protected more than 86,000 acres of permanent open space, farms, and parkland in California’s San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties.