|by Brett Wilkison
May 7, 2013
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Sonoma County supervisors hailed a landmark conservation deal Tuesday as they unanimously approved $4 million in open space dollars to help with the $24.5 million purchase of Preservation Ranch in the county’s northwest corner.
“It’s a great day for residents of the county and the entire North Coast,” said Supervisor Efren Carrillo, who represents west county, including the rugged swath of coastal forest where the 19,650-acre property sits.
The funding clears the way for the largest conservation deal by acreage in county history, set to close May 31. It also defuses a prolonged battle over a plan to clear nearly 1,800 acres of forest for winegrapes.
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Supervisors approve landmark deal
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The so-called “Preservation” Ranch is a 19,300 acre development in the heart of the Gualala River watershed. Premier Pacific Vineyards plans to destroy and fragment coastal redwood forest to plant grapes on the ridgetops – and call that “preservation.”