News & Events

Cougar Island Update

COUGAR ISLAND AUCTION

CONSERVATION STRATEGY

Threat. The sale of Cougar Island poses the threat of privatization and development, which would diminish the viewsheds on the lake, end historic use enjoyed by generations, threaten water quality in Payette Lake and downstream waters, and disturb wildlife in the ecosystem that includes the island.

Conservation Goal. PLT/UP desire to conserve Cougar Island in its current state and preclude further development in perpetuity. If successful, we will:

  • Protect the conservation values and the integrity of the island.
  • Extinguish development rights on undeveloped land.
  • Steward the conservation values and the integrity of the island, allowing limited public access.
  • Reserve the right to curtail public access if overuse or degradation occurs.

Independent Parcel Acquisition Strategy and Justification

The ultimate goal is to conserve the entire Island. If we raise sufficient funding to meet the new appraisal amounts, we will bid for the entire island. Otherwise, we will seek to purchase individual parcels as funding allows. PLT has determined to try to pursue the following lot acquisition strategy:

  • PLT will bid on Lots 1, 4 and 5 if sufficient funds are raised, this would achieve the most conservation of land and shoreline in a cost-effective manner.
  • PLT will bid on two contiguous parcels, Lots 1 and 5 if funds raised support fewer than three lot acquisitions because PLT deems this the minimum for conservation to be effective.
  • PLT has determined that owning a single parcel would be ineffective in achieving meaningful conservation. Public access on a limited footprint could cause harm and place a significant burden on PLT resources. PLT also believes the State would reject the bid.

Funding Requirements (Land and Stewardship)

Land: The collective appraised value of the Lots on the West side is $4.2 million. PLT/UP has currently raised $1.2 million, leaving a need of $3 million to conserve the majority of Cougar Island. We need: 6 pledges of $500,000, or 3 pledges of $500,000 and 6 pledges of $250,000 (etc.)

PLT Stewardship Donation: Fee-title land management in perpetuity requires a 5% of value donation to fund a pooled endowment to be used for stewardship and legal defense of the conservation values on PLT owned property. Stewardship includes property management, taxes and oversight.

Bidding at Auction: PLT will bid until it acquires the minimum of two contiguous parcels and then until the maximum amount of pledged funds are exhausted. If PLT’s expense is lower than the total dollars pledged, pledges will be collected on a pro rata basis.

Donations and Pledges: Donations of cash, check or appreciated stock should be made to PLT and are tax deductible. Donors can designate contributions to the Cougar Island project or other work. Donations will be pooled along with other funding to achieve our goal. PLT honors “Donor Intent.” PLT will work with Donors to determine the intent of the donation should the auction fail or if excess funds are raised. Pledges should be made by completing the Cougar Island Pledge Form.

Accounting: PLT is an accredited Land Trust and follows GAAP accounting principles. PLT maintains a separate project bank account as a firewall from its general funds. PLT works with Edward Jones to accept appreciated stock donations helping to limit capital gains and maximized legal tax deductions.
Ask PLT for details.

Recent Posts

Jay Masterson River Trail Dedication

Payette Land Trust is proud to announce the Jay Masterson River Trail dedication on Tuesday September 27th at 1:00 pm on the corner of Hait Ln and West Mountain Road. For years Jay has worked with PLT as the representative for the Blackhawk River Trail Association...

Cougar Island Auction Update

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...

PLT Welcomes Board Member, Jennifer Duplisea

Payette Land Trust is proud to announce Jen Duplisea as our newest addition to the board of directors. Jen brings a wide range of skills which will compliment and expand the diversity of the current board. More about Jen and the rest of the PLT Team >>  

Hunt for the Heart

The inaugural Conserving the Heart of Idaho "Hunt for the Heart" is now underway! The 4 foot fiberglass heart painted by local artist, Colleen Hanley-Prior will be moving around the McCall area this summer.   HUNT FOR THE HEART INFO  

SNEAK PEAK: Heart in Progress

PLT Annual Conservation Day BBQ DATE: Saturday, June 18 TIME: 3:30-8:30pm LOCATION: Activity Barn, Moonridge Dr, McCall Learn how you can get involved with conservation in our community. And check out local artist Colleen...