Project Manager: Cherise Orange
Project Manager: Jeremy Farr
Since the purchase of the Coyote Canyon Property (Property) in 2016, the goal of the County Parks and Recreation Department (County Parks) has been to manage the existing resources and provide public access onto the Property within two to three years. From 2018 to 2019, the County Parks undertook a planning process that resulted in a Natural Resource Management (NRM) Plan for the entire Property and an Interim Access (IA) Plan that makes recommendations for the development of public access in a limited area of the Property. On December 10, 2019, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved the Coyote Canyon Natural Resources Management Plan & Interim Access Plan and adopted the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration.
The approved Coyote Canyon Natural Resources Management Plan & Interim Access Plan is available here
Located east of Morgan Hill, the property is situated within agricultural, residential, and natural undeveloped areas in unincorporated Santa Clara County. The 2,741-acre acquisition provides a regionally significant ecological linkage, connecting north to Anderson Lake County Park, east to Henry Coe State Park, and Coyote Lake – Harvey Bear Ranch County Park to the south. Coyote Creek bisects the Coyote Canyon portion of the property.
Goals of the Planning Process
County Staff has completed an informative and fact-based investigation to determine the most suitable property access solution for the public while balancing natural resource management goals. This interim planning process does not evaluate Coyote Highlands nor the east-side of Coyote Canyon for public access. A full master planning process that would expand public access into the full extent of the Property will come in future years.
The development of the Plan was guided by the following goals:
- Assess the existing condition of the Property;
- Evaluate the feasibility of providing interim access to the Property via trail for hiking, equestrian, bicycling, and dogs on-leash uses (multi-use);
- Recommend ways to manage recreation, development, and land use impacts through monitoring and adaptive management strategies;
- Pursue efforts that balance the preservation, conservation, and enhancement of existing natural resources and ecological processes on the Property within staffing and budget constraints.
Compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
The IS/MND for the Coyote Canyon Natural Resources Management Plan & Interim Access Plan (Proposed Project) was previously circulated for a 30-day public review period beginning April 30, 2019, and ending May 30, 2019, and was submitted to the California State Clearinghouse (SCH# 2019059009). During the public review period, the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board submitted a comment that identified additional potential permitting requirements for portions of trails that may occur in waters of the United States which fall within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The Department recirculated the IS/MND for the Proposed Project from August 10, 2019 – September 10, 2019.
The Department filed a Notice of Determination with the County of Santa Clara Office of the Clerk-Recorder on December 11, 2019.
The Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration was adopted by the Board of Supervisors and is available here