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SANTA CRUZ-A 289-acre Buena Vista property in southwestern Santa Cruz County has been rescued from development, according to an announcement today by the National Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization.

A proposal to develop the Buena Vista Country Club has been rejected in favor of preserving the land, along with the birds, fish, reptiles, plants and other wildlife living and growing in the largest plot of undeveloped land in Santa Cruz County.

The developers of the proposed country club, which included a 100-acre golf course, are the Buena Vista Country Club Inc., a group composed of 35 charter members.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife will manage the preserved area as a service satellite to the Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge. The preserved area will be used as wildlife habitat and education service that may possibly include an interpretive center.

“Our partners in this effort are the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” says Margaret Eadington, Central Coast program manager for the Trust for Public Land.

“We’ve been working with both agencies since 1995 in the Santa Cruz area on projects to protect rare, threatened and endangered species and their habitat, and more recently in a public/private effort to protect the entire Watsonville Sloughs Watershed,” she says.

The trust holds an option agreement to purchase the Buena Vista property from a willing seller and expects to complete the transaction by May 2004.

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