Chelan PUD Looking To Buy 5,000 Acres In Foothills Above Malaga
Chelan PUD commissioners are considering the purchase of nearly 5,000 acres of undeveloped land in the foothills above Malaga, along Colockum Road.
The proposal comes as the PUD is about to develop a strategic plan for decision making over the next 50 years.
PUD Commissioner Garry Arseneault says the land purchase will support the 50-year vision by supplying options for installing power transmission lines or preserving wildlife habitat in the future.
“This is a net win-win for the residents of this county,” Arseneault said. “We have to have faith that the future will reveal itself, and that we’ll have an opportunity here to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers who brought us to the point we are today.”
A presentation on the proposed land acquisition and its grounding in the 50-year planning process was made at the Chelan PUD board meeting Monday.
Commissioner Carnan Bergren says the land purchase will give the utility more options over the next half century.
"In the purchase of this property, in the way that it is and how it fits with transmission and other things, it really does position the utility to capture an opportunity that may not be well defined right now, but we do have the options as we move forward," said Bergren.
Commissioners plan to vote on the proposed land deal next month.
The proposed purchase and sale agreement is for $5,325,000 - about $1,085 an acre - from Ravenwing Ranch, LLC. According to the agreement, the utility has a 90-day due diligence period to investigate the property, with the option to extend that time. The land covers 4,910 acres.
The presentation stressed how the land purchase would provide numerous options for future uses and preserve local control of property.
Currently, 88 percent of the land in Chelan County is owned and managed by federal or state agencies. About 80 percent of the land is owned agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management.
A large chunk of the county lies in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest while a smaller portion sits in the North Cascades National Park.
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Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby