A New Vision For Coyote Valley

Imagine a restored and protected Coyote Valley — a place of meadows and riparian woodlands providing habitat connectivity for animals from bobcats to burrowing owls, thriving small farms practicing sustainable agriculture, and peaceful open space and hiking trails. Join Green Foothills on Wednesday, August 4 from 6:00-7:30 pm for our New Vision for Coyote Valley event to learn what needs to happen to make this vision a reality.

Coyote Valley: A Landscape Linkage

Coyote Valley forms a critical habitat linkage between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range. But to achieve real connectivity, it’s not enough to preserve only a narrow wildlife corridor — what is needed is a broad swath of fully-functional habitat, large enough to allow normal ecological processes such as breeding and nesting to occur. In other words, a functioning linkage requires a functioning ecosystem.

Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, and Neal Sharma, Wildlife Linkages Program Manager with the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), will discuss what is needed in terms of policy, planning, infrastructure, and land acquisition to achieve a true landscape linkage in Coyote Valley.

The Future of Farming in Coyote Valley

Farmers in Coyote Valley face numerous challenges, one of the biggest being difficulty finding land to farm. Development pressure and rising land prices mean that landowners are often unwilling to enter into long-term leases that would enable farmers to make investments in the land. This affects not only farmers’ financial security, but also their ability to employ sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices that would provide ecological and climate benefits for the public. Nevertheless, farmers are persevering — there are about two dozen agricultural operations currently active in Coyote Valley, mostly on small parcels of just a few acres.

What can we do to ensure the continued viability of farming in Coyote Valley and the rest of Santa Clara County? Michael Meehan, Santa Clara County Agricultural Plan Program Manager, Michelle Lieberman, owner of One Acre Farm, and Tyler Flippo, owner of Coyote Canyon Ranch will discuss the challenges facing farmers and what is needed to protect our farmland and promote sustainable agriculture in Coyote Valley.

Upcoming Actions To Protect Coyote Valley

The City of San Jose and the County of Santa Clara are both in the process of taking action to protect Coyote Valley for the numerous benefits it provides for wildlife, agriculture, flood and groundwater protection, climate resilience, and enjoyment of nature for everyone. Through policy changes in the San Jose General Plan and the County’s Climate Overlay Zone, the protection of the Coyote Valley region is finally on the horizon.

Green Foothills Legislative Advocacy Director Brian Schmidt will give an update on these upcoming actions and what you can do to let your voice be heard in support of protecting Coyote Valley.

We hope you can join us on August 4! Registration is required — please RSVP today.

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