The auction of Cougar Island is only days away, but the fight to conserve the land has not stopped.
Both the Payette Land Trust and United Payette aim to conserve the 14.21-acre island in Payette Lake through a bid, or several, at the upcoming auction. The two conservation groups hope to raise enough money to bid for the entire island, but if they can’t come up with the cash, the groups will try to buy individual parcels.
According to a news release, if the groups acquire the island or at least part of it, they will extinguish development rights on the undeveloped land, allow limited public access, and reserve the right to curtail public access entirely if overuse or degradation occurs.
PLT says it hopes to buy at least three or two parcels if it can’t buy the entire island. The groups decided that owning only one lot would be ineffective in “meaningful conservation.”
The appraised value of the west side of the island is $4.2 million. PLT and UP have raised $1.5 million. The groups are looking for $2.7 million more to conserve the majority of Cougar Island and are accepting pledges until the start of the auction on September 14.
PLT said it will bid until the group has gained the minimum of two contiguous parcels and until the max amount of funds is used.