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Land deal grows protected area of N. California. coast

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POSTED July 23, 2013 9:38 p.m.

POINT ARENA . (AP) — Another piece of California's North Coast will join a patchwork of coastal lands where development is banned and public use is encouraged, a preservation group said Monday.

The Trust for Public Land said the $5.3 million land deal sets aside a 409-acre parcel near the Point Arena Lighthouse in Mendocino County, completing a two-pronged plan that has preserved more than a mile of coastline, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/13AFEzQ ).

The deal was expected to be completed Friday.

The site, previously owned by the Cypress Abbey Co., is adjacent to another 123-acre parcel that was purchased for $2.7 million in a separate deal last year.

Once the latest purchase is completed, about 10 miles of connected parcels, including the Stornetta Public Lands, will have been preserved in the area.

The dramatic bluffs and beaches are home to endangered species like the Behren's silverspot butterfly and the Point Arena mountain beaver.

The site also is where the Garcia River meets the sea, and it's home to steelhead, coho salmon and other struggling aquatic species.

"It's absolutely beautiful," Merita Whatley, a Point Arena Lighthouse manager, told the newspaper. "You're looking out at the coastal offshore rocks, sea caves, arches and pinnacles."

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the areas surrounding these new public lands, will manage the parcels.

"Putting this land into public ownership will connect a population that lives on the coastline to the coastline, and it will provide people traveling along the coast a spectacular destination," said Markley Bavinger, the project manager for the trust.

 

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