SANTA CLARA CO., Calif. (KGO) -- Flying over the sweeping green hills, Coyote Valley can seem a world away from the urban core of Santa Clara County. But when it comes to water, it's connected in ways that are becoming increasingly important in the face of drought and climate change.
By Spencer Christian and Tim Didion of ABC7.
Once known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight, the Santa Clara Valley has a rich agricultural history. For years, the landscape was abundant with orchards, trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, and at one point was one of the largest fruit producing and packing regions in the world. Due to development, the county has lost well over 20,000 acres of farmland in the last thirty years. But that doesn’t mean the Valley of Heart’s Delight is a thing of the past!
California is home to innovative farmers and ranchers using climate-friendly practices that reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and have other health and environmental benefits.
Learn how the Open Space Authority is conserving agricultural land to limit urban sprawl and reduce emissions.
Written by Becca Lucas, California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN) Communications & Operations Manager.
Tibbott: The Synergy of Planning and Conservation: State Investment and Land Use Policy Come Together in Santa Clara County
Read a story of how visionary land conservation interests in Santa Clara County are working to preserve the Valley’s rich agricultural and natural treasures with support from the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program and other state funding.
In January 2022, Julie Morris was appointed as County Agricultural Liaison, a Cooperative Extension position supported by the Santa Clara County Agricultural Division and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Guided by the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan, (written in partnership between Santa Clara County and the Open Space Authority) Morris is working to promote and protect agriculture in the region. With 30 years of experience in ranching, journalism, and food marketing, she is well-qualified to support the County’s efforts to conserve agricultural viability and productivity.
On December 14, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to strengthen protections for Coyote Valley’s natural and working lands. Amendments to the County's General Plan, zoning ordinance, and zoning map will protect important resources in Mid- and South Coyote Valley to safeguard local food production and climate benefits.
“We need to protect Coyote Valley from future development if we want to maintain our already diminishing wildlife habitat, protect our groundwater and agriculture and see our children grow up in a world that still has access to nature and its benefits.” – Assemblymember Ash Kalra
San José Mayor, Councilmembers, and environmental advocates celebrate expansion of lands protected in Coyote Valley
San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmembers Sergio Jimenez (D 2), David Cohen (D4), and Pam Foley (D9) and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority were joined by environmental advocates, Charlene Nijmeh of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, and community partners to celebrate the unanimous City Council vote to approve zoning changes to Coyote Valley that will protect it from urban sprawl. Now, over 3,200 acres of land in Coyote Valley are protected for agriculture, recreation, and tourism uses and spared from the expansion of office and industrial development in the area, preserving it for future generations.
Did you know that hay is a valuable food source for livestock? In the South Bay, hay is one of the most common crops grown by local farmers.
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