Feet may soon tread on La Honda’s paths

Douglas firs, redwood trees, steelhead, salmon and the endangered California red-legged frog have all made themselves at home in the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve. But, if all goes according to plan, respectful hikers may also be allowed a visit.

The Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District, which owns the 2,100-plus-acre preserve, will be unveiling a draft of a comprehensive plan tuesday that analyzes how certain areas could potentially be opened up to hikers while protecting the land and its inhabitants.

The site is located near Skyline Boulevard and Highway 84 and, despite its size, only allows hikers and horseback riders on a 3.7-mile trail along its northernmost parcel.

“If you don’t have a plan, you end up with a lot of isolated issues and problems that could adversely affect the whole preserve,” district spokesman Rudy Jurgensen said.

While part of the extensive plan is also to open up the land to more low-intensity recreation, such as hiking and horseback riding, the plan also seeks to eventually restore a coho salmon habitat that has no longer flourished due to continued sediment flows into the creek.

Controlling the water quality, district officials said, is vital to the survival of certain species of fish, such as the steelhead.

But limiting the sediment flow could prove challenging. La Honda is no stranger to landslides. Homes in and around the Skyline Boulevard and state Route 84 area have historically been red-tagged — a government order to vacate a property in peril — due to earth movement. A so-called “prehistoric landslide,” in fact, continues moving slowly near La Honda to other spots along state Routes 84 and 92, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

La Honda Creek itself is continually filled with sediment, especially during rains as land starts moving around, as it is wont to do in this area.

Opening up the antique red barn in the former McDonald Ranch and some of Driscoll Ranch area to hikers, nature groups and the like, is also part of the proposal, according to the draft plan.

Cost estimates for the projects have not yet been crunched, but the district would fund all the studies and improvements with the help of any grant funding that might be available at the time, Jurgensen said. The district hopes to at least have the plan adopted by late spring 2008, according to the expected timeline.

tramroop@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Alison Collins says that she and other members of San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education facing potential recall “represent constituents that are often erased or talked over.” <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Alison Collins speaks: Embattled SF school board member confronts the recall effort

‘It’s important for folks to know what this recall is about. It’s bigger than any one of us.’

Is the Black Cat incident a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor London Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20?<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)</ins>
Club owners to maskless mayor: Are we the new fun police?

Black Cat affair highlights difficult recovery for nightlife industry

BART’s Powell Street station in The City was the site of a fatal accident on Sept. 13.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Most Read