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Group Purchases Land Next to Grand Canyon

September 29, 2005

PHOENIX (AP) _ A conservation group’s purchase of two private northern Arizona ranches will help protect a stretch of wilderness from the Grand Canyon’s North Rim to the Utah line.

The Conservation Fund’s $4.5 million deal includes about 1,000 acres, but it will help protect more than 850,000 acres attached to the land through grazing permits.

The acquisition connects three national monuments, two national recreation areas and eight wilderness areas, shielding them from further development.

Conservationists said is was crucial to buy the land because development had moved closer from St. George, Utah, and the Arizona Strip _ the northernmost part of the state cut off by the Grand Canyon.

The land includes the Kane and Two Mile ranches. They include desert areas in Marble Canyon; pinon-juniper forests surrounding the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, where dozens of endangered California condors have been released into the wild; and spruce-fir in the higher reaches of Kaibab National Forest.

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On the Net:

The Conservation Fund: http://www.conservationfund.org

Grand Canyon Trust: http://www.grandcanyontrust.org

Wal-Mart Acres for America: http://www.walmartfacts.com

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: http://www.nfwf.org

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