District Approves La Honda Creek
Open Space Preserve Master Plan
– A long-term vision –
Los Altos, CA –The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s board of directors approved the Master Plan for Honda Creek Open Space Preserve at their regular meeting last night.
“The plan for this preserve protects sensitive species like the steelhead trout and California red-legged frog in rich and varied habitats, supports ongoing grazing and other agricultural uses, and provides for future public access and recreation,” said Steve Abbors, the District’s General Manager. “We are looking forward to fulfilling the potential of this beautiful and unique preserve.”
The Master Plan establishes a long-term vision for the preserve for the next 30 years, including:
• Opening more than 25 miles of new trails, including 9.3 miles of new multi-use trails open to bicycles and 16.7 miles of new hiking and equestrian trails, while retaining an existing 3.7 miles of trails. The trails will be easy access and include a new segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. In the northern portion of the preserve, trails will be opened to dogs on leash following the reintroduction of grazing to the area. Because of special-status wildlife species on the preserve, public access enhancements remain subject to resource agency approval.
• Adding interpretive signs and a picnic area near the Red Barn. In addition, two interim parking areas will be established to expedite public access, with three permanent parking lots constructed over the life of the plan
• Implementing extensive resource management projects to restore creeks, reduce wildfire risk, and improve wildlife habitat. The preserve represents approximately 15 percent of the total acreage of the San Gregorio Creek watershed, a sediment-impaired watershed. Proposed actions include improving roads and trails to reduce sedimentation into creeks, as well as removing barriers to improve fish passage and improving ponds for sensitive aquatic species. Other efforts to protect resources in the preserve consist of expanding conservation grazing and implementing management actions to support the viability of agriculture.
La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve comprises more than 5,700 acres of grassland and redwood/Douglas fir forest, three major creeks, numerous ponds and springs, historic structures, and a 3,682-acre working cattle ranch. Two federally-threatened species, steelhead trout and California red-legged frog, occur on the Preserve, and suitable habitat is present for the federally-endangered Coho salmon, San Francisco garter snake, and marbled murrelet. For more information about the preserve, see http://www.openspace.org/preserves/pr_la_honda.asp.