By Alice Kaufman, Legislative Advocacy Director
Juristac, a critical wildlife corridor and sacred Native American landscape, is threatened by a proposed sand mining operation that would dig giant cavities hundreds of feet deep, destroying over 300 acres of habitat and blocking wildlife migration in and out of the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Juristac is also the most sacred site of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, who held ceremonies here for thousands of years.
The County of Santa Clara is poised to release the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Sargent Ranch sand mine in the coming days. We will send an Action Alert with a link to submit comments on the DEIR when it is released. Please tell the County not to approve this destructive sand mine!
Sargent Ranch Quarry: A destructive mining operation proposal
The Sargent Ranch Quarry proposes a sand mining operation that would scoop out 4 massive open-pit mines in Juristac’s hillsides. The sand mine would operate for at least 30 years and would destroy over 300 acres, permanently scarring the landscape and pumping about 76,000 gallons of groundwater daily.
Committee for Green Foothills is working with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to organize a coalition of over 30 environmental, social justice, and indigenous rights organizations in opposition to the Sargent Ranch sand mine proposal. We are meeting with elected officials, gathering signatures on a statement of opposition to the sand mine, and mobilizing the community to take action.
At Stake: a vital wildlife migration route, threatened species and sensitive habitat
Juristac encompasses about 6,500 acres of nearly pristine hillsides, serpentine grasslands, oak woodland, creeks and wetlands. Located at the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Juristac is a vital migration route for wildlife to the Diablo Range to the east and the Gabilan Range to the south. Populations of mountain lions and badgers in the Santa Cruz Mountains are isolated and at risk of inbreeding without this wildlife corridor. Sargent Creek, which runs right between two of the mining pits, is home to threatened California red-legged frogs.
This beautiful place doesn’t have to be scarred with an open-pit mine. There are conservation organizations and agencies who are ready to purchase the entire 6,500-acre property and permanently protect it. However, the landowner is intent on pursuing this mining proposal instead. Regardless, Santa Clara County should deny the proposal because it’s in the best interest of the public and the environment.
Watch for an Action Alert from Committee for Green Foothills in the coming days and support our efforts to protect this incredible landscape by making a donation today.