California, Santa Clara County
The property is or will be encumbered by a conservation easement as described below.
Gonzales Farm is a rich agricultural property nestled between two coastal ranges in the southern Santa Clara Valley, located just five miles south of the town of Gilroy and forty miles south of the major metropolitan area of San Jose. The property includes the historic channel of the Pajaro River, which has been targeted as an important connection point for wildlife traveling between the coastal ranges. The farm is currently managed for agricultural row crop production and as grazing land for cattle. The property contains two artesian wells, interior roads as well as access to major regional highways, and is fenced and gated at its outer perimeter.
Primary Conservation Objectives
Gonzales Farm is located in the floodplain of the Upper Pajaro River and contains over 1.5km of the channel of the Pajaro River. This channel offers important habitat for migratory birds and provides a regionally significant wildlife corridor between the Inner and Outer Coast ranges. Preservation of this property would secure an important strip of unfragmented open space, where the woodland, scrub, grassland and emergent riparian and wetland natural communities provide a corridor for passage of wildlife. Long-term management of the property for certain types of agricultural uses, as provided in the conservation easement, will demonstrate how adjacent agricultural operations and wildlife habitat can coexist and provide mutual benefits. Protection of the property for use as a seasonal floodplain also provides important protection for downstream agricultural lands and residential areas within the Pajaro River watershed.
Species found on or likely to use the property as a corridor include mountain lions, bobcats, American badgers, black-tailed deer, and other wide-ranging species of mammals. The Pajaro River also provides cover and habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl, neotropical migratory birds, raptors and eagles, and grassland birds.
Easements and Restrictions
Prior to sale, the property will be encumbered by a conservation easement requiring that agricultural operations not interfere with the property’s conservation values. The property will also be the site for a 2 to 3 year project conducted by The Nature Conservancy and its partners to restore and maintain an approximately 17 acre riparian corridor along the historic river channel. This riparian area would be fenced and not available for row crop cultivation or grazing. In addition to conducting agricultural and ranching operations, the property owner may build within a designated envelope up to two acres in size, including outbuildings and a home site.