Santa Cruz County Supervisors Move to Oppose Mining Permit at Juristac

At Tuesday’s Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board unanimously approved a resolution in support of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s efforts to protect Juristac, urging the County of Santa Clara to deny permits for the proposed Sargent Quarry project.

Black-tailed deer near the proposed project site, traveling under Highway 101 via the Pajaro River corridor. (Pathways for Wildlife 2019)

The motion introduced by Supervisor Manu Koenig authorizes the Chair to write a letter to the Santa Clara County Supervisors requesting that they reject mining at Juristac. The board memo for the resolution to protect Juristac emphasizes regional impacts to wildlife, noting that “although the Sargent Ranch Quarry Project is located in Santa Clara County, the nature of the mining project encompasses issues that would negatively impact the County of Santa Cruz.”

This action by the Santa Cruz County Supervisors comes on the heels of the official close of the public comment period for the proposed Sargent Quarry project. Thousands of individuals, organizations and agencies submitted public comment letters, including Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty whose 11-page comment letter was submitted on August 30, providing detailed critique of the proposed mining project and the associated Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Although the public comment period on the draft EIR is closed, it’s as important as ever for the Santa Clara County Supervisors and Planning Commissioners to hear from you regarding the importance of protecting Juristac and denying this mining project. We expect that they will not be voting to approve or deny the mining permit until sometime next year. So until then, let’s keep the petition signatures and letters of support coming! ★