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About Juristac

"Juristac (Huris-tak) lies at the heart of the ancestral lands of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band near Gilroy, California. For thousands of years, our Mutsun ancestors lived and held sacred ceremonies at this location in the southern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, above the confluence of the Pajaro and San Benito rivers.  -

“Juristac in a pristine state in relation to the surrounding region. When you look at our other ceremonial sites and our hunting, fishing and gathering places, the vast majority of these places have been lost to development. Juristac is one of the very last remaining undisturbed areas. Our Amah Mutsun tribe maintains that once disturbed by mining, there will be no way to rehabilitate the cultural and spiritual aspects of the landscape.”   —Chairman Valentin Lopez

Proposed Mine

The 6,200 acre property currently known as the Sargent Ranch, is owned by Debt Acquisition Company of America (DACA); Sargent Ranch Management Co. and Freeman and Associates, LLC. They are seeking approval with the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to excavate 300 acres (4 Sacred Hills), extracting about 40 million tons of sand and gravel over a 30 year period.

Environment & Health Concerns

•  Dust: Effects of hazardous materials in dust not assessed.
•  Hazardous Materials, including Mosquito abatement spray

• Sargent, Tar Springs, & Sycamore Creeks, Pajaro and San Benito Rivers, wetland destruction. Groundwater use is projected to be 86,300 gallons/day; 17,260,00 gallons/year; aquifer salt water intrusion.

Wildlife/ habitat (partial list)
•  Endangered and threatened species: steel head trout, California red-legged frogs, California tiger salamanders, American Badger,
•  Critical wildlife route, linking the Santa Cruz Mountains with the Diablo Range to the east and the Gabilan Range to the south for puma, Tule elk.
•  Serpentine grasslands, oak and sycamore riparian woodlands with nesting, rooting, foraging habitats

•  15 to 20 Jobs - Similar salaries range $25,000 - $108,991 (Livable Wage for Santa Clara County is $98,325)

•  Road construction and traffic

Learn more at:

We stand together with the Amah Mutsun to protect and preserve the people, lands, the wildlife and the precious waters.

Our Mission

Welcome to the Friends of Juristac Santa Cruz County.

Time is of the essence as the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) 60 day public comment period could open at any time. This proposed open pit sand mine in the Santa Cruz Mountain foothills would destroy an indigenous ceremonial village site, Juristac.
"Our most sacred site" - Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman Val Lopez.

This group is about action. If you want to get involved with others committed to this cause then you've come to the right place. Join us at one of our upcoming meetings to find out more. Meetings are on the first and third Thursdays of the month at the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz. Check our Events section to find out more about these meetings and other events related to protecting Juristac.

If you haven't yet been, please visit the Amah Mutsun website

Tumsan ak kannis (Thank you in Mutsun language)

Our Mission

Our Vision

Friends of Juristac's vision is to support the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band's vision, to stop the mine project proposed at Juristac (aka Sargent Ranch Quarry), and ultimately be part of the pathway to restore Juristac to tribal stewardship.

Friends of Juristac

 Help Preserve Juristac Today!

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