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Why We Need to Protect Coyote Valley

By Chuck Cantrell, Member of the Board, Committee for Green Foothills

Welcome to Coyote Valley

Stretching seven miles between San Jose and Morgan Hill this valley is a critical connection — a vital landscape linkage — between the Diablo Range and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes and a host of other creatures depend on Coyote Valley. It’s one of the last undeveloped valley floor habitats in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Wildlife live and move between the two mountain ranges to find food, water, shelter and mates. It’s been called one of the most endangered American landscapes and its remarkable Coyote Valley still exists.


Coyote Creek at Ogier Pond. Photo credit: Ron Horii


Historically, this region was a multi-thousand-acre wetland complex that turned into a lake during the rainy seasons. Fisher Creek flows through Coyote Valley and connects with Coyote Creek as a part of the largest watershed in Santa Clara County.

Coyote Valley is also home to popular trail systems used by families — both human and wildlife.

Laguna Seca in northern Coyote Valley is the largest freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County rich with migrating waterfowl.

For decades there have been proposals to pave over Coyote Valley, most have been defeated. But not all very recently plans for a large warehouse were thwarted when the land was purchased and permanently preserved, an important step in protecting Coyote Valley and wildlife in generations to come. While this project will never happen the pressure to develop Coyote Valley is not over. Some of our most iconic natural places exist today because of organized efforts to preserve them.


Golden eagle flies over Coyote Valley. Photo credit: Sally Rae Kimmel


As the city of San Jose grows and re-envisions its future it is more important than ever to protect Coyote Valley. A place that has the potential to become a landmark destination for nature lovers everywhere. A shining example of thoughtful, climate smart urban planning, and a symbol of San Jose’s leadership and innovative urban design.

Let’s protect Coyote Valley together. Add your voice today.

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About Protect Coyote Valley

The Protect Coyote Valley campaign is led by the Committee for Green Foothills and supported by Greenbelt Alliance, Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, and SAGE — Sustainable Agriculture Education. It aims to preserve Coyote Valley, San Jose as open space that offers flood-buffering wetlands, an essential wildlife habitat and migratory area, and active farmlands.