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The State

June 18, 1989

A Merced County farmer whose foreclosed ranch is being considered for a kit fox sanctuary says the proposal would ruin his chances of rebuilding the farm. Tom Castle of Morgan Hill says he legally has the first right to buy the 683-acre ranch he defaulted on last fall. But if two government agencies get their way, the land will be converted to permanent pasture and then restored as a habitat for the endangered fox. "That's a real good idea, except nobody's ever seen a kit fox on this land," said Castle's lawyer, Karen Russo of Woodland. Gary Zahm, local Fish and Wildlife Service manager, says the agency can lawfully request the land if it has the capability of being restored to kit fox habitat.

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