Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage

conservation for a resilient future

Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range, Coyote Valley is the vital connection between these two mountain ranges, allowing wildlife to migrate, find mates, and adapt to climate change.

A unique Resource

Scientific studies have documented animal movement in the Coyote Valley. These species depend on Coyote Valley as a linkage to live in and move between mountain ranges, in order to maintain genetic diversity and overall  ecological health, especially in the face of a changing climate.

Water resources also play a vital role in Coyote Valley, as storm waters spread in the open spaces, reducing the peak flows in Coyote Creek downstream.  These waters also replenish groundwater into a basin that supplies more than half of Santa Clara Valley’s drinking water.

Protection and restoration of Coyote Valley will benefit a wide variety of wildlife including:

  1. Mountain Lion
  2. Gray Fox
  3. Bobcat
  4. American Badger
  5. Swainson's Hawk
  6. Western Burrowing Owl
  7. Tricolored Blackbird
  8. California Tiger Salamander
  9. California Red-legged Frog
  10. Western Pond Turtle
  11. Bay Checkerspot Butterfly

A clear vision for conservation

The incredibly rich biodiversity of our region depends on protection and restoration of Coyote Valley's linkage before this opportunity is lost. To establish a clear vision of a functional land connection for wildlife and protected water resources, the Authority assembled a team of scientists, hydrologists, and conservation planners to design a landscape linkage for Coyote Valley.

Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage Report
Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage Brochure
For more information about Coyote Valley, visit our news page.

The linkage report identifies the necessary essential elements for protecting and restoring a broad and resilient landscape linkage; one that can sustain biodiversity and facilitate wildlife movement in a changing climate.

Elements Include:

  1. A focus on northern Coyote Valley, where the two mountain ranges are the closest, as the most important crossing point for wildlife and with the largest intact floodplain area and aquifer recharge zones
  2. Laguna Seca, the County's largest freshwater wetland and the linkage design's centerpiece, slows storm waters and serves as habitat for a wide range of birds and waterfowl, including many stopping along the Pacific Flyway
  3. Fisher Creek, a tributary to Coyote Creek that already supports wildlife movement across the Valley
  4. Tulare Hill, at the northern tip of Coyote Valley, sports terrain dense with sensitive species, and serves as a bridge for the threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly

See Map

The Science Team:

  • Galli Basson, M.S.

  • Tanya Diamond, M.S.

  • Matt Freeman, M.C.R.P.

  • Sasha Gennet, Ph.D.

  • Morgan Gray, Ph.D.

  • Robin Grossinger, M.S.

  • Nicole Heller, Ph.D.


  • Dave Johnston, B.S.

  • Jodi McGraw, Ph.D.

  • Adina Merenlender, Ph.D.

  • Jim Robins, M.S.

  • S. Bry Sarté, PE, LEED AP

  • Neal Sharma, MLA

  • Jake Smith, M.S.

  • Jim Stritthold, Ph.D.

  • Ahiga Snyder

  • Lynne Trulio, Ph.D.

  • Stuart Weiss, Ph.D.

  • Chris Wilmers, Ph.D.