A proposed sand and gravel mine at Sargent Ranch, a sprawling 6,200-acre plot of land in Santa Clara County, is causing a firestorm in the South Bay after the release of the project’s draft Environmental Impact Report revealed it could significantly damage sacred Native American burial sites and historic artifacts. In a contentious public meeting on Aug. 25, nearly 100 people protested the mine — which would extract mineral for 30 years on a 300-acre site — saying it would “erase” and “destroy” indigenous history.
The project site, which has been dubbed a “magnet for real estate developers, a Holy Grail to nature conservationists and ‘most sacred grounds’ to a local Native American tribe’” by the Morgan Hill Times, has been mired in controversy for years. In 2016, it was reported that developer Wayne Pierce once envisioned building casinos, golf courses and thousands of suburban homes on the massive swath of land. The Silicon Valley Business Journal said Pierce was met with intense pushback and his audacious plans never materialized. Now, stakeholders are returning with yet another development that’s outraged local communities.