The Chelan PUD now owns nearly 5,000 acres in the foothills above Malaga after closing on a $5.3 million purchase of the property this month. 

There's no designated use for the undeveloped land which was purchased from a locally based development company. 

PUD Generation and Transmission Managing Director Brett Bickford says they're developing a management plan for the property which currently has no public access. 

"The access that we have on the roads is only through easements that are restricted just for district use," said Bickford. 

The land is included in a strategic planning process to prepare the utility for the next 50 years. 

"To our knowledge, the property hasn't been used in the past for any public access or hunting or hiking or outdoor activity," Bickford said. "We are working with other agencies and departments to try to understand how that land can be properly managed." 

The land is uphill from the Malaga site where Microsoft is constructing several data center buildings which will start operating next year. 

Chelan PUD currently only generates power through hydropower from its two dams on the Columbia River. But the PUD is researching technologies such as battery storage, fusion, pump storage and gravity storage, any of which could experience a breakthrough in the next 10-20 years.   

The land could be involved in new technology or could possibly be used to house a wind farm or solar panels. In addition, it could serve as a refuge for wildlife habitat. 

PUD commissioners approved the land purchase in January. The purchase from locally based development company Ravenwing Ranch, LLC. cost the PUD $5,325,000 – about $1,100 per acre,  

The process underwent a 90-day due diligence period to investigate the property. No problems arise to threaten the deal. 

The Wrong Shoes for Washington State Hiking

Please, if you do attempt a hike in WA State, make sure you are wearing the right shoes. You do not want to end up in pain from wearing the wrong ones. And if you wear any of the shoes below for your hike, don't say I didn't warn you.

Gallery Credit: Aly

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