Santa Clara County Approves Coyote Valley Conservation and Protection Plan to Help Local Farmers


SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – The Santa Clara County Supervisory Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to strengthen protection of natural and developed lands in Coyote Valley.

According to the county, the county’s farmland has shrunk by 45% over the past 20 years.

Changes to the County General Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map will aim to protect the important resources of the Central and Southern Coyote Valley in order to preserve local food production and climate benefits.

“The incredible collaboration between the city and the county to change land use plans in favor of protection from paving is unprecedented,” said Andrea Mackenzie, general manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority ( Authority).

“These coordinated efforts are a model for advancing statewide climate goals, including Governor Newsom’s ’30 × 30′ executive order that calls for the protection of 30% of the country’s land and water. State by 2030, ”added Mackenzie.

The movement will also provide financial incentives to protect farmland and natural resources through conservation easements and other mechanisms.

“I am committed to working with our environmental partners to fairly compensate landowners for their lands, then to protect those lands with a permanent conservation easement and to sell those lands to farmers with fewer resources,” the said. Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.

“It’s a win / win solution because it will allow small farmers, who are often farmers of color, to buy land at an affordable price. “

More than 1,400 acres of natural and working farmland will now be protected for conservation in the valley floor, creating a vital link between flora and fauna that connects more than a million acres of habitat in the Diablo Range and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The county says this link allows species to disperse, migrate and change their ranges in response to climate change.

Leading efforts to conserve the valley – Assembly member Ash Kalra drafted Assembly Bill 948 in 2019, which identified the Coyote Valley as a landscape of significance throughout the State.

He also led efforts to secure additional public funding for Coyote Valley as part of the 2021-2022 state budget.

“I am encouraged that the County of Santa Clara has joined with the City of San José in voting to preserve one of the last open spaces in the Bay Area threatened with development,” the member said. ‘Ash Kalra Assembly.

“By providing a wide variety of public safety and environmental resilience benefits, Coyote Valley plays a critical role in addressing climate change, maintaining wildlife habitat, and protecting groundwater.”

The county’s decision also aligns with recent actions by San José City Council that prioritize the Coyote Valley for agriculture, open spaces, and protection of natural resources over developing urban sprawl. .

These actions are parallel to the ongoing purchase of key conservation properties by the Authority, the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and the City of San Jose.

“I applaud the County Board of Supervisors for their actions to protect Coyote Valley’s natural infrastructure and the irreplaceable benefits these lands provide to local communities,” said Walter Moore, President of POST.

“The bold leadership of these local decision makers offers innovative, nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis right here in the Coyote Valley. “

In addition, the Authority plans to continue working with conservation groups, farmers, the County and City of San José to protect local food production, water resources and the multiple benefits offered by natural and cultivated lands. from the Coyote Valley.

The Authority is also participating in the implementation of the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan, which aims to protect agricultural land to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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