The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) held the auction for Cougar Island on Wednesday, August 14th at the Water’s Edge Event Center in Eagle.

Members from the United Payette Cougar Island Task Force and Steering Committee were there along with Payette Land Trust President Rick Fereday and Executive Director Craig Utter. PLT registered as a bidder and was prepared to carry out United Payette’s strategy for purchasing individual lots, as funding allowed.

The island’s required opening bids were based on the current IDL appraisal for each of the five lots totaling $10,335,000.

The island was auctioned on a par bid basis, meaning the auctioneer would take bids on individual lots first and then offer the whole island and continue to go back and forth until the highest amount raised won the bid.

The action started with bidding on Lot #2, the stone house lot. The homeowner bid the required price and was not challenged. The auction moved on to the other individual lots. There were no bids made on any of the other individual lots or the island as a whole. The only lot sold at the auction was to the homeowner on Lot #2.

PLT did not venture a bid during the auction as there was no challenge to the sale of the island.

So where do we go from here? It is hard to say what the fate of the island is, but for now we know IDL will remain the owners of the remaining property. Payette Land Trust and United Payette will continue to work toward finding a solution to conserve as much of this Island Gem as possible, along with the other Endowment Lands in the area.