Talk of the Bay from KSQD
Talk of the Bay from KSQD
Greg Cotten on the proposed open pit mine at Sargent Ranch - a disaster for the environment and the cultural survival of the Amah Mutsun


Greg Cotten is the founding member of Friends of Juristac. Juristac is the local indigenous sacred landscape that is threatened by a sand mine. Greg is of European descent and has been working closely in Solidarity with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band for the last seven years.

Greg is also a local marine biologist and does a variety of aquatic research. Greg’s understanding is that, when our culture broke our relationship with nature, we also broke our relationship with indigenous people. Until we heal our relationship with the indigenous people, we’ll never fully heal our relationship with nature.

Greg says “The oppression of indigenous people and their culture continues here in central California. It’s time we stop. This is our local Standing Rock issue.”

The proposed 403-acre open pit mining operation and processing plant would extract about 40 million tons of sand and gravel over a 30 year period and consume 86,300 gallons of water per day from the local aquifer, which is already threatened with seawater intrusion.

“Juristac is the heart of Amah Mutsun spirituality and culture, and an open-pit sand and gravel mine would forever desecrate this sacred place,” said Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. “This mining project represents a continuation of the destruction and domination that our Amah Mutsun people have suffered for generations. The cultural survival of our tribe is at stake.”

There is a demonstration September 10, 2022, 1-4 PM, outside the Santa Clara County Courthouse at 70 W. Hedding Street in San Jose, to protest the mine. The deadline for submitting comments on the draft EIR is September 26, 2022.