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Coyote Highlands – Coyote Canyon Interim Management Plan

Published on: 5/9/2018 5:12 PM
Coyote Highlands – Coyote Canyon Interim Management Plan 

Project Planner: Cherise Orange

Contact:​; 408-335-2228

Project: The County Parks and Recreation Department (County Parks) has begun the planning process for the Coyote Highlands – Coyote Canyon properties that were acquired in 2016. An interim use plan will be developed to open the property to public access and address natural resource needs; which informs the interim use as well as any future master plan. A master plan will occur sometime in the future. The primary goal of the planning effort will be to investigate the properties to determine existing conditions, opportunities and constraints, and to present recommendations that facilitate opening the properties to public access immediately following plan adoption, ideally by Spring/Summer 2019. Draft documents will be posted on the County Parks website once available. Please check regularly for additional information. 
Location:  Located east of Morgan Hill, the properties are natural undeveloped areas in unincorporated Santa Clara County. The 2,753-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 will complete 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.

To support the above, planning efforts will include:

  1. Recommendations for Public Access.
  2. Natural resource management recommendations that address the long-term management and enhancement of natural resources within the properties.
  3. A grazing management strategy that will use cattle to manage habitat and that is compatible with recreational use.
  4. A California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Document to fully assess any potential environmental impacts of the above.

Current Progress:

We’re ready! County Parks will hold its first public meeting for the project on Monday, June 4, 2018 at the Morgan Hill Community Center from 6:30 – 8:00pm. 

Come offer your ideas for the future of Coyote Highlands – Coyote Canyon! The County Parks Department recently began planning for natural resource management, grazing and public access on this important site, and your input is needed. The intent of this planning process is to allow limited public access into the area on a relatively expedited timeline, however, work does include extensive consideration of existing site conditions, natural resources, history, infrastructure, operational needs, and recreational access. Preliminary background information and access concepts will be shared for discussion at the meeting.

  • Public Meeting Notice Full Bleed

Additional opportunities for input will be available. County Parks will hold future meetings in Summer 2018.​​

Past Presentations:

May 2, 2018 County of Santa Clara Parks & Recreation Commission (PRC)


Compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
County Parks will be reviewing the project for compliance with CEQA. It is anticipated that a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) will be prepared. The draft MND will be made available to the public for review and comment in Fall 2018. 
Comments should be provided in writing via U.S. Mail, email, or by hand delivery. 

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