The Umunhum Conservancy was founded in 2012 to preserve the historic Radar Tower atop Mount Umunhum. The Tower is a local landmark, seen by more than a million people every day. It is the primary surviving remnant of the Almaden Air Force Station. The Station scanned the skies from 1957 until 1980 protecting the Bay Area from incoming enemy attack.
Mount Umunhum and the Tower are now part of the Sierra Azul Preserve operated by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MidPen). The Tower has undergone extensive repairs, which should preserve the structure for at least 20 years.
Between 2012 and 2016 the Conservancy worked to preserve the Tower in two ways:
- By raising funds to pay for its repair and preservation. Over $100,000 was donated for this cause by the local community, and
- By making the case to have the Tower designated as historic
In 2016 the latter effort resulted in the Santa Clara County Historic Heritage Commission recommending that the Tower be added to the County’s inventory of historic structures. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to do so in May 2016. Because of that, MidPen decided in June 2016 that they would “retain and seal” the Tower, ending their earlier consideration of demolishing it.
Mount Umunhum opened to the public in 2017.
In March 2021 MidPen completed a $2 million project to repair and preserve the Tower. The Conservancy was pleased to contribute $100,000 towards the repairs. These repairs should preserve the structure for at least 20 years.