San Jose CA (PRWEB) March 28, 2014
The Open Space Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, a detailed land and resource conservation vision that will guide the Authority’s work over the next 30 years. The Valley Greenprint identifies nearly 122,000 acres of natural and agricultural landscapes for conservation, including the top 10 geographic priorities. The vision provides strategies for open space land acquisition and stewardship for the protection of water, wildlife, greenbelts, farms and ranchlands, and for connecting urban residents to nature.
“Santa Clara County is the fastest growing county in the Bay Area region,” stated Andrea Mackenzie, the Authority’s General Manager. “The population is projected to increase by 36%, which means adding 700,000 people by 2040. We spearheaded the Valley Greenprint to achieve a critical balance between rapid growth and development, in order to preserve our quality of life for generations to come.”
The Valley Greenprint concludes that despite a rich legacy of open space protection in Santa Clara County, there is an urgency to conserve the region’s most critical water resources, farmland and wildlife habitat. It identifies the 10 highest priority areas for conservation– Conservation Focus Areas – such as the Baylands that provide habitat for more than 500 species; and the Coyote Valley, which encompasses about 3,700 acres of active farmland and is a critical landscape linkage for wildlife movement between the Santa Cruz and Diablo Mountains.
“The Valley Greenprint outlines an innovative, 21st Century approach to land conservation,” explained Mike Potter, the Authority’s Chairperson of its Board of directors. “By mapping landscapes and prioritizing those with multiple conservation values such as drinking water supplies, flood protection, natural communities, and biodiversity, we can make well-informed decisions about where to invest our limited funding for the greatest results in achieving our conservation goals.”
Key Findings in the Valley Greenprint
“The Santa Clara Valley Greenprint provides a roadmap to help navigate a difficult and changing landscape and make informed conservation decisions and wise investments. Our ultimate goal is to achieve healthy, sustainable and livable communities well beyond the 21st Century,” stated Matt Freeman, the Authority’s Assistant General Manager.
The Valley Greenprint was prepared with input from scientists, planners, stakeholder groups and the general public. The Valley Greenprint is available on the Open Space Authority’s website.