Coyote Valley is 7,400 acres of greenbelt lands between San Jose and Morgan Hill. It is home to lush farmland and a vast open space preserve, providing an awe-inspiring landscape to explore. For decades, Greenbelt Alliance and our partners have protected Coyote Valley from inappropriate development—from technology campuses to sprawling subdivisions. Today, we are working to protect the valley, permanently.
Pressure for sprawl development in the South Bay has increased in recent years, particularly on the flat valley floor, where farming and ranching play a major role in the local economy. But farming isn’t the only value at risk of being lost forever in the valley.
What’s At Stake In Coyote Valley
Two-thirds of Silicon Valley’s water supply is stored underground. Situated at the southern tip of the primary groundwater basin for the county, Coyote Valley is is the largest undeveloped portion of Silicon Valley’s groundwater aquifer. Here, the groundwater basin is most vulnerable to contamination if industrial development were to be allowed. The valley’s wetlands and riparian areas act as natural water treatment plants that improve groundwater quality. Coyote Valley also has over 2,500 acres of floodplain, providing flood protection to residents of Southern San Jose. San Jose has the opportunity right now to protect and restore this amazing water resource for Silicon Valley.
The area consists of the Coastal Range’s Santa Teresa hills to the west, the Mount Hamilton’s Coyote Ridge to the east, and 6,000 crucial acres of farmland in between. This multi-purpose slice of greenbelt connects the region’s agricultural past to its smart growth future.
Urban edge agriculture is now valued like never before, and the nearly 1 million people in San Jose and 2 million people in Santa Clara County benefit from the farming and farm stands in the valley.
The ecological value of Coyote Valley is immense. Wildlife from badgers to mountain lions can cross from the now-isolated Santa Cruz Mountain Range to the much larger Mount Hamilton/Diablo Range complex that connects to the rest of California wilderness. This connection is crucial for keeping these rare species present in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The valley floor is known to be a “hot spot” for many bird species, including Raptors. Coyote Ridge as part of Coyote Valley features some of the best wildflower displays in California on its serpentine soil.
The Endangered-Species-Act listed Bay Checkerspot Butterfly, which drove the formation of the county Habitat Conservation Plan, thrives in the Coyote Ridge. Threatened Steelhead Trout still migrate up through Coyote Creek as well.
Our Goals For Coyote Valley
- Protect Coyote Valley through land-use policies which preserve and enhance the integrity of the natural and agricultural resources and systems of the rest of Coyote Valley.
- Ensure Coyote Valley’s unique values and natural resources continue to be available for residents of San Jose, the Bay Area, and beyond for generations to come.
We Need Your Help!
Read More about Coyote Valley
cover photo: David W Chang via Flickr