Open Space Authority Preserves First Redwood Property, Gifted by McPhee Family

The Julian McPhee family donated a 112-acre property adjacent to Uvas Canyon County Park in the eastern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. The Authority's Board of Directors previously voted to accept the gift, which will be the Authority's first acquisition that permanently protects part of a majestic redwood forest.

The Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, the Authority's 30-year conservation vision, indicates that this property has very high conservation values in terms of biodiversity and water resources. It is located in an area that receives the highest amount of rainfall in the County. A tributary to Uvas Creek and a main stem of Croy Creek run through the property, which contain habitat for native fish, such as rainbow trout and riffle sculpin, and potential habitat for the threatened California red-legged frog and the foothill yellow-legged frog. The property is also located within a critical landscape linkage that connects habitat in the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Gabilan Range. In the long term, its strategic location next to Uvas Canyon County Park provides an important opportunity to implement Santa Clara County Parks’ county-wide Trails Master Plan.

“This property has been in our family for many years and was used as a weekend getaway,” said Rick Lavelle, grandson of Julian McPhee. “We are so pleased that the land will be protected in perpetuity and provide wildlife habitat, scenic views and future hiking and recreation for the public.”

“The Open Space Authority is thrilled to permanently protect this generous property gift from the McPhee family,” said Andrea Mackenzie, the Authority’s General Manager. “The land is ideal for its multiple conservation values, including water and habitat protection, and providing future visitors with a unique redwood experience.”

February 26, 2018