Addressing Climate Change
and Protecting Natural Resources for our Environment
Climate Change and Natural Resources are major priority issues for our League. We have a committee which usually meets once a month to discuss current projects and action. Contact the Co-Chairs Judy Chamberlin and Virginia Holtz for more information or to join the committee.
Why this is important to us.
Recently, we have followed issues about these areas:
The League has been advocating for the protection of Coyote Valley for many years, and we see Coyote Valley as a key part of San Jose’s climate resilience strategy. The protection of Coyote Valley supports flood protection, aquifer recharge, policies related to reducing VMT (vehicle miles traveled) in support of reduced greenhouse gas emissions, wildlife migration, and Climate Smart San Jose policies. It also encourages job growth in agriculture and in careers related to open space management and restoration. New methods of agriculture that provide locally grown, sustainable produce benefit us all. LWV San Jose / Santa Clara did a League study of Coyote Valley (see P. 12), has written numerous letters in support of the valley’s preservation, and supported local funding Measures Q and T. There are ongoing threats to Coyote Valley, and we continue to advocate for its preservation.
Sargent Ranch Quarry Project
We have been monitoring a proposal for a quarry at the Sargent Ranch property, 4 miles south of Gilroy. The proposal is for an open pit sand and gravel mine that would operate for 30 years and then be reclaimed. The Draft EIR was released in 2022, and it lists various significant and unavoidable impacts, including biological resources (wildlife corridors), air quality, and transportation (vehicle miles traveled). There are also concerns because the proposed quarry is on a sacred site of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. Our League commented on the Draft EIR and will continue to follow this project.
Community Forest Management Plan (CFMP)
San Jose released a Community Forest Management Plan (CFMP) in 2021, and it showed that between 2008 and 2012, the city lost 1.8% of its trees, leaving only 13.5% of the city covered by shade (compared to Seattle (28%), Boston (27%) and Pittsburgh (40%). Our League believes that a healthy community forest is an integral part of San Joe’s climate resiliency. We have additional concerns because the CFMP shows marked inequities in tree canopy in some San Jose neighborhoods. The League has supported the CFMP by attending meetings and writing letters supporting improvements in the plan. We continue to follow the San Jose urban forest; the annual report of the Community Forest Management Plan is scheduled for a spring meeting of San Jose’s Transportation and Environment Committee. We are pleased to see that various questions and concerns that we raised have been addressed in the recently released City Auditor’s Report.
We address (list each and add about one sentence of info for each)
Climate Smart San Jose including Reach Codes
The League has strong positions on natural resources and climate change.