Protect Juristac and Join the Rally Saturday 9/10

Dear Friends,

We need your help to protect Juristac.
There are 24 days remaining to submit your comment letter on the Sargent Quarry Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed mining project that threatens Juristac. You can find resources to help you prepare your letter at http://www.protectjuristac.org/deir/
We also invite you to join us at the Amah Mutsun Rally for Juristac, coming up on Saturday, September 10th in San Jose. You can find all the event details below.
Finally, you can make a tax-deductible donation directly to the campaign to Protect Juristac here.
Please share this message widely, and we hope to see you on September 10th at the rally.

With gratitude,
Amah Mutsun Land Trust

The sacred ceremonial heartland of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band near Gilroy, CA is threatened by a proposed 403-acre sand and gravel mining operation. Santa Clara County has released an environmental analysis of the project and soon will decide whether to approve or deny permits for the mine.

Join us in front of the Santa Clara County building on Sept. 10 to stand together for the land, for cultural survival, and to show the strength of our collective determination to protect Juristac!

Rally for Juristac webpage: http://www.protectjuristac.org/rally/


Background Information

WHAT IS JURISTAC?

Juristac is the sacred ceremonial grounds of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, located near Gilroy in Santa Clara County. A San Diego-based investor group has applied to the County for permits to establish a 403-acre open pit sand and gravel mining operation that would devastate the hills and valleys of Juristac. These lands also provide important wildlife habitat and an essential landscape linkage for wildlife to move between mountain ranges. 

WHAT IS AN EIR?

Sargent Ranch Partners LLC, majority owned by the Debt Acquisition Company of America, has applied for a conditional use permit from Santa Clara County to operate a sand and gravel quarry. The Santa Clara County Planning Department conducted an analysis, called a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), of the proposed open-pit sand and gravel mine. This review is required through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which mandates that local and state governments consider the potential impacts of a project on the environment and Tribal Cultural Resources before deciding whether to approve it. 
The release of the report started a 60 day public comment period where experts and members of the general public alike can read the draft EIR and make comments on its contents and conclusions. At the end of the comment period the Planning Department will review and respond to submitted comments through a final EIR which will state who commented, what the comments were, and the response of the Planning Department. This is when the Planning Department must address substantive comments, omissions and factual errors. The Planning Department will then present the final Environmental Impact Report to the Santa Clara County Planning Commission, which will vote whether or not to certify the EIR and, probably at the same time, whether to approve the conditional use permit. These decisions are appealable to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, which would then have the final say. Their decision could only be challenged by a lawsuit.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not require an agency to adopt the most environmentally desirable or least culturally impactful alternative. It mandates an environmental review process that details potential project impacts, advances measures to mitigate for those impacts, and outlines reasonable project alternatives. And importantly, it requires that lead agencies open the process to the public and engage with what communities have to say about potential impacts and how they are analyzed. Your voice matters in this process and can provide crucial support in helping the county understand why they should deny this mining permit and protect Juristac!

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