by Katie Simon, Communications Coordinator, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
Despite continued threats of development, the last decade brought many changes to the trajectory of Coyote Valley. For the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (the Authority), it remains a top conservation priority. To protect the wide variety of benefits this treasured landscape provides to people and wildlife and to ensure access for all, the Authority and partners continue their progress to permanently protect this region by kicking off the Coyote Valley Conservation Areas Master Plan.
Part of the planning process includes an exciting three-part educational webinar series premiering later this year. Be sure to sign up for the Authority’s Master Plan interest list to receive updates about the webinar series.
The Authority to Lead Continuing Restoration and Protection of Coyote Valley
Through several key partnerships, thousands of acres in Coyote Valley gained protection over the last decade, including another 2,500 acres in the last year.
In August, 2020, the Authority purchased a 235-acre parcel of land in the North Coyote Valley Conservation Area, the last of three properties comprising the 937-acre region. Shortly after, the Authority, through a partnership with Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency, Santa Clara County Parks, and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), purchased Tilton Ranch, a 1,861-acre property, enhancing the wildlife linkage between the two mountain ranges and adding to the horseshoe of protected lands in the region.
And in March, 2021, the progress continued as POST purchased two properties in Mid-Coyote Valley that together span 271 acres across the valley floor. This prevents development, provides passage for wildlife moving between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range, and protects more of the region’s agricultural productivity. POST then transferred management of these lands to the Authority to be included in a larger restoration plan for Coyote Valley.
This restoration work includes a variety of projects, including Laguna Seca, a vibrant, productive, and critically important wetland in Coyote Valley, and Fisher’s Bend, a creekside property with crucial riparian habitat and wildlife linkages in Coyote Valley.
Public Engagement Helps Incorporate Local Communities’ Vision, More Equitable Access
Coyote Valley provides critical connections for increasingly threatened wildlife between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range. Its floodplain offers flood protection for the local area during times of heavy rain, with the potential to offer water security as the severity of California’s drought crisis increases.
These local wetlands also contribute amazing biodiversity, which is key to ecological health and longevity. Additionally, the climate resilience these lands provide contribute to the state’s and country’s larger 30 by 30 goals.
Along with providing essential spaces for wildlife to survive and thrive, the natural and working lands of this region also offer economic sustainability to local communities, and incredible opportunities for public access and recreation. Public access to this landscape is a key goal of the Authority’s Master Plan, which includes a robust community engagement strategy. This strategy allows the Authority to incorporate the vision of the local communities into the process of the plan, and work to provide more equitable access to nature.
The Authority wants community input on the Coyote Valley Conservation Areas Master Plan. Please stay connected and join us for the upcoming three-part educational webinar series later this year by signing up for the Authority’s Master Plan interest list.
The Authority wants community input on the Coyote Valley Conservation Areas Master Plan. Please stay connected and join us for the upcoming three-part educational webinar series later this year by signing up for The Authority’s Master Plan interest list.