Author: Alice Kaufman, Legislative Advocacy Director
Great news! The campaign to protect Coyote Valley got a big boost last month when Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 948, creating the Coyote Valley Conservation Program.
“What Coyote Valley offers is irreplaceable: vibrant wetlands, an essential wildlife habitat and migratory area, active farmlands, a resource to fight climate change and open space for all to enjoy,” State Assemblymember Ash Kalra stated when he first introduced this bill in April. Now that it has passed with bipartisan support, it’s clear that the State of California recognizes the importance of protecting Coyote Valley.
AB 948 names Coyote Valley as a landscape of statewide significance for its natural ecosystem benefits, including flood risk reduction, climate resilience, and wildlife protection. The Coyote Valley Conservation Program will be administered by the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, and will cover over 17,000 acres of both the Coyote Valley floor and the hills on each side (up to the first ridgeline).
But our work is not over! While AB 948 recognizes Coyote Valley’s importance as a natural area, it doesn’t prohibit development. And San Jose’s General Plan still designates North Coyote Valley as a site for industrial development.
We’re pleased to see Coyote Valley’s regional significance being recognized and the growing awareness of the need to protect its opportunities for recreation, its water sources, and its critical wildlife corridors. We need to continue to spread this message in order to protect Coyote Valley for future generations!