Congress has approved additional money toward adding 4,300 acres of open space to the federally managed Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The Peninsula Open Space Trust currently owns Rancho Corral de Tierra, a large tract of land surrounding Montara and Moss Beach. The trust spent nearly $30 million to acquire the 4,262-acre area, one of the largest pieces of undeveloped space on the San Mateo coast, according to spokeswoman Nina Nowak.
POST plans to transfer Rancho Corral de Tierra to the National Park Service for federal protection and oversight. The federal agency will pay approximately half the purchase price for the land, according to POST.
Including the latest $5 million appropriation, Congress has set aside a total of $11 million to date towards the eventual purchase.
The tract of land harbors flora and fauna unique to Rancho Corral de Tierra, according to the trust. The terrain is steep and rugged, offering both impressive vistas and challenging hiking trails. Threatened and rare species found in the area include the Montara manzanita, Hickman's cinqefoil, peregrine falcon, San Bruno elfin butterfly, San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog. The land is also home to several critical watersheds.
Incorporating Rancho Corral de Tierra into the GGNRA would connect the Bay Area Ridge Trail network with the California Costal Trail system.