NPR – California legislators passed the California Coastal Act in 1976 as a way to protect the state’s famed shoreline and to enshrine beach access for all. But that landmark law has spawned a nearly five-decade-long tug-of-war between the state and private property owners. Now, two highly-publicized legal skirmishes — including one pending before the U.S. Supreme Court — have coastal advocates worried.

In the most recent battle, land owners filed a lawsuit in 2013 challenging the state of California’s claim to an easement that provides the only public access by land to a small beach within the famed ranch.

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