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Congress Approves $5 Million for Federal Protection of POST's Rancho Corral de Tierra

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               

November 16, 2009

Contact: Nina Nowak
Director of Communications
Phone: (650) 854-7696, x. 306
nnowak@openspacetrust.org
www.openspacetrust.org

Congress Approves $5 Million for Federal Protection of POST's Rancho Corral de Tierra

Palo Alto, CA — Congress has approved $5 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for protection of 4,262-acre Rancho Corral de Tierra near Montara. This is the third installment of appropriations necessary to complete the transfer of Rancho Corral de Tierra, located 10 miles south of San Francisco and currently owned by Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). To date, Congress has set aside a total of $11 million in appropriations for eventual federal protection of this property.

In 2001, POST acquired Rancho Corral de Tierra, one of the largest pieces of undeveloped land on the San Mateo Coast, for $29.75 million as part of its 2001-2005 Saving the Endangered Coast campaign. Since then, POST has worked with federal legislators to secure permanent protection of the land rising up from Highway 1 and surrounding the coastal towns of Montara and Moss Beach. POST plans to transfer the land to the National Park Service through a bargain sale of the property for approximately half the original purchase price.

“With this funding, Rancho Corral de Tierra is now on the fast track for transfer to the National Park Service as the new southern gateway into the GGNRA, the phenomenal complex of national park lands right here in our own backyard,” said POST President Audrey Rust. “Massive parks and open space projects like Rancho Corral de Tierra don’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, patience and persistence to maintain momentum even on critical initiatives like this one, and we are grateful to our Bay Area Congressional delegation, especially Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Anna Eshoo, who have long championed this landmark project in Congress.”

“How proud I am to have been part of the effort to purchase Rancho Corral de Tierra.” Rep. Eshoo said.  “This funding assures the permanent protection of 4,262 acres of precious land.  Generations to come will enjoy the fruits of this effort, and it represents a great environmental victory.”

Added Rust, “Rancho Corral de Tierra is rich in natural resources—from dramatic mountain scenery and miles of trails to critical watersheds and rare plant and animal life. As part of our National Parks, this signature landscape of the San Mateo Coast will finally be open to the public and get the federal protection a world-class destination like this deserves.”

Four years ago, the Interior Department supported the expansion of the GGNRA to include Rancho Corral de Tierra within its boundaries. Inclusion of the land into the GGNRA will enhance recreation in the area by connecting the Bay Area Ridge Trail with the California Coastal Trail. It will also provide permanent protection of four Coastside watersheds (Denniston, San Vicente, Montara and Martini creeks) as well as habitat for unique and endangered plants and animals, including Montara manzanita, Hickman’s cinquefoil, peregrine falcon, San Bruno elfin butterfly, San Francisco garter snake and California red-legged frog.

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POST is a leading private, nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving the beauty, character and diversity of the San Francisco Peninsula and Santa Cruz Mountain range. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving 63,000 acres as permanent open space and parkland in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Visit POST on the Web at www.openspacetrust.org.  

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