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Enchanted Forest, California - On a steep hillside along the spectacularly rugged

Enchanted Forest, California - On a steep hillside along the spectacularly rugged Mendocino County coast, is an 11-acre grove of ancient redwood trees with twisted trunks and branches that shoot out wildly in all directions as if frozen in the middle of a conniption fit. The grove of "candelabra" redwoods, known as the Enchanted Forest, is one of the primary reasons San Francisco's Save the Redwoods League purchased the spectacular 957-acre piece of coastline known as Shady Dell, where the gnarled old trees live. Complex transactionThe acquisition, completed Oct. 27 and announced today, is part of a complex transaction designed to preserve 50,635 acres of redwood forest in a remote coastal area north of Fort Bragg where environmental activists and loggers once battled over the fate of California's stands of timber. Timber sales will help the foundation pay for interpretive programs and environmental improvements and assist local communities and American Indian tribes. The clear-cutting began in earnest after World War II, when mechanized equipment was brought in, according to Art Harwood, a former logging company owner in the area. Pristine natural wonders Only Shady Dell includes a beach, but there is no question that the wind-twisted trees of the Enchanted Forest are the most spectacular and pristine natural wonders in the newly formed preserve. The thick, sprawling branches create habitat for bats, mammals such as red tree voles, spotted owls and a wide variety of birds.Sylvia W

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