The Press Democrat
May 11, 2004

When it comes to open space purchases, the words "spectacular" and "magnificent" are often overused. But, by all reports, the 3,373-acre coastal property under consideration by the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District meets these definitions -- and more.

The timberland property now owned by Mendocino Redwoods Co. adjoins Sonoma Coast State Beach. The purchase would nearly double the size of California's third most popular state park -- and visitors will have access to wooded hiking trails, creeks and ocean views. While the $20.6 million property would be the largest open space acquisition to date, the costs would be shared with three state agencies. This kind of cost-sharing arrangement will become more important in the future, as the district's approximately $17 million in annual revenues will buy less as land values continue to rise.

The coast property's natural features are truly magnificent -- as is its accessibility. The Board of Supervisors should vote today in support of this spectacular purchase.