Land Trust Buys 159 Acres of Open Space by South San Jose

The Peninsula Open Space Trust and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority on Tuesday announced the purchase of a 159-acre property that widens a vital linkage between the authority’s Rancho Cañada del Oro and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s Sierra Azul open space preserves.

This provides opportunities for connecting recreation options across the two preserves, while securing wildlife habitat and expanding a protected corridor between Highway 17 and Coyote Valley. The property, known locally as “the Punch Bowl” because of its bowl-shaped terrain, is now protected as open space, the trust said in its announcement.

It borders properties in Barrett Canyon that were protected earlier this year and was purchased for $400,000, funded in part by a $130,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The trust and the authority are funding the remainder.

The land was previously under private ownership, according to today’s announcement. Entirely undeveloped, it features diverse topography and native habitat, including serpentine soils, coast live oak woodland, California bay laurel forest and the headwaters of Barrett Creek, which flows to Almaden Reservoir.

The property is now owned and managed as part of its Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve. With this acquisition, the authority said it gains more contiguous management of a critical fire break that helped control the 2016 Loma Fire. The Authority will partner with Midpen to eventually establish trails across the property to connect to an existing network of 37 miles of trails across both Rancho Cañada del Oro and Sierra Azul, including the popular Bay Area Ridge Trail.

“This acquisition is the latest piece in the puzzle of creating effective landscape linkages across the Peninsula and South Bay for wildlife and for people,” said Walter T. Moore, president of the trust. “We are grateful to the Authority as an essential partner in creating a network of protected lands where nature and people can connect and thrive.”

This article first appeared in our sister publication, the Gilroy Dispatch. 


  1. 1970’s ranches going for $1M+ and more land goes to open space, how can you progressives stand by and accept this. So the poor can commune with nature on their many spare hours to salve the wound of paying 50%+ of their pay in rent?

    • More sprawl into undeveloped spaces far from jobs and resources and transit hubs doesn’t help poor people. Affordable family home density in urban centers does.

      • Not possible with the UGB and the demand for infill in the Bay Area. Sprawl absolutely makes real estate more affordable.

  2. This is great news. Preserving open space is a legitimate government function and I’m glad we’re doing it.

      • Sorry SJOTB. I think you and I are usually on the same page politically.
        But to me, using tax dollars to acquire land and protect it from development is supportive of some of the goals that we both favor. And, most importantly, it doesn’t take a gigantic, expensive bureaucracy and an army of overpaid government workers to maintain.

        • Galtus:

          Parks and monuments are good things — in moderation.

          “Open space preserves” are a scam to move people off the land and into — ultimately — “urban transit villages”. On other words, “reservations”. The “preserves” remove land from the property tax rolls “in perpetuity” and shift the burden to working class schlubs.

          Very few people seem to have the “privileges” to enjoy the “open space” of the “open space preserves”. The “elites” seem to build comfortable “centers” on the preserves, used mainly by them, to hold “conferences” on how to push more schlubs into denser and denser transit villages.

  3. Both the Peninsula Open Space and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority are not government agencies. Essentially they are both terrorist organizations that grab up land with funding and donations from rich folks. Well I guess that’s ok, except once they obtain the land they then try to dictate how surrounding landowners should be able to use their land and impose limitations by any means available to their organization.
    My favorite money grabbing scheme was how the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority freely imposed a property tax assessment on all Santa Clara County residents which was deemed an illegal tax by the courts and they were ordered to repay any and all tax money received to property owners. Got a letter months later from the SCVOSA asking if I wanted to donate my refund. Take my word, these open space are not good people and are not providing any useful service.

  4. Yes, they are government agencies. They have elected officials and taxing ability.

    This purchase is fine, but I wish Coyote Valley would be been built out. CSJ was planning to add 50,000 jobs and 25,000 homes plus they planned a lake in the middle of the development. CV would have taken cars off the freeway by building a major job center in south SJ. Now, the environmentalist have latched onto CV, it will never happen.

  5. Just wondering, when it all catches fire and burns 10,000 adjacent homes and kills a hundred people because it’s all overgrown and no one is maintaining it, Do the share holders at PGE get to pay for it all?

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