Coyote Valley Steward Fights to Restore Habitat

Greenbelt Alliance’s signature At Risk is the definitive research on the Bay Area’s farms, ranches, and natural areas at risk of being lost forever to sprawl development. Its stories, and the people who tell them, bring to light—out of the depths of planning documents—what the region’s future could look like if we don’t speak up to stop sprawl.

Coyote Valley, just south of San Jose, is featured in the report. About half of this 7,400-acre gem is at risk of development. The land in the valley’s north is rare and valuable for its agriculture, wildlife corridors, groundwater recharge, and recreation—but this land is at high risk. San Jose has zoned northern Coyote Valley for industrial development, and it faces multiple proposals, including a 517,000-square-foot warehouse distribution center for e-commerce deliveries—a growing development threat throughout the state.

“It’s been called Coyote for thousands of years.” The long green valley east of the Santa Cruz Mountains was once part of a vast and thriving Native American region, and at its heart was a village site called Matalan—or Coyote. An important cultural site, Coyote Valley is a critical corridor for wildlife—not just coyotes, but bobcats, foxes, and, in the future, potentially even tule elk. But the city of San Jose has long threatened to sprawl southward into the valley with industrial development.

Advocates like Valentin Lopez have a different vision. Lopez is chair of the Amah Mutsun tribal band, which, together with the Muwekma Ohlone tribe, shares Coyote Valley as ancestral lands. Elsewhere, the Amah Mutsun have made innovative agreements with federal and state agencies to act as indigenous land stewards. They seek to help steward Coyote Valley by restoring it for wildlife, growing and gathering native plants, and teaching people the values and the stories of this unique place.

“Coyote Valley is a place to restore habitat and restore the knowledge of our ancestors. Very few places remain that allow us to do that: to have that intimate relationship with Mother Earth, and fulfill our responsibility to take care of all living things.”

Watch to learn more and sign the petition to stop development in Coyote Valley. To discover more places at risk in the Bay Area, download At Risk: The Bay Area Greenbelt.

 

Sign The Petition

Across the Bay Area, the land at risk covers about 458 square miles—that’s 10 times the size of San Francisco. Pledge your support to protect Coyote Valley and stop sprawl from consuming this vital landscape.

I’ll Sign

Photo by Michael Pham ©

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