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California coastal expanse preserved

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A nearly 6,000-acre expanse of coastal land north of Santa Cruz has been preserved after a conservation group donated it to the public.

The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/1gAJkbG) the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land handed the Coast Dairies property over to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday.

The newspaper says the move secures the protection of what was one of the largest privately owned pieces of land on California's 1,100-mile coastline.

The property _ which features rolling meadows, redwood forests and panoramic ocean views _ was owned for more than a century by two families.

It was preserved in its bucolic state in 1998, when the Save-the-Redwoods League acquired it for $44.5 million.

Two hiking trails on the land will be open to the public by the end of the year.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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