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SANTA ROSA, CA-The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the largest purchase of open space land in county history this week. Serving as the county’s Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the supervisors voted unanimously to purchase the 19,064-acre Cooley Ranch and preserve as wilderness some 14,000 acres.

Funds for the $6-million conservation easement purchase came from a quarter-cent sales tax approved by voters 12 years ago. The land in the easement was assessed at nearly $12 million.

Sonoma Supervisor Mike Cale said at the meeting that this, without a doubt, is the greatest acquisition made by the county to date. Ranch owner Crawford Cooley, whose family has owned the property for 90 years, said he was pleased with the deal and has wanted to see the land preserved for a long time.

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