Chelan Basin Conservancy Year-End Update – Dec 28, 2022/

Written by: Brian Patterson

Hello CBC supporters,

Just a quick, but important, year-end note before we head into 2023 (if you skim this email, please read the yellow-highlighted text below). I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

Chelan Butte

As you know, our efforts to preserve the Chelan Butte yielded significant progress in 2022. We felt that we had good engagement from the City of Chelan, the Trust for Public Land, the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, and the Lake Chelan Trails Alliance. However, just before Thanksgiving, we were informed that a developer signed an option agreement for purchase on the 875 acres of land that we had been targeting. We have since learned that the option holder is a husband/wife team from the west side of the state backed by numerous individual investors.

Since they were aware of CBC’s efforts to preserve the Butte, they reached out to us to start some dialogue. We have since had an initial video conference call with them to learn more about them and to state our goals for preserving the Butte. Previous option holders for these properties have discovered that there are likely to be significant up-front investments in infrastructure which they had not anticipated. Although we hope that the current option holders reach the same conclusion, we believe it is best to keep in communication with them and to continue to stress the goals of not only CBC, but the majority of the Lake Chelan Valley community to preserve the Chelan Butte.

We believe that now more than ever, it will be important for the community to continue to let its voice be heard. As such, CBC anticipates ramping up its efforts to organize community input and make sure that the current option holders are aware of how strongly the community wants to see the majority of the Chelan Butte preserved for future generations as opposed to being developed.

The Trust for Public Land has indicated that it is still fully engaged in the effort to preserve the Butte and we continue to have regular meetings with them.

City Council January 3rd Workshop

The issue of the Chelan Butte is on the agenda for the January 3rd Chelan city council workshop, along with some other interesting topics related to lodging taxes and grant funding. At this time, we believe that there will be two elements related to the preservation of the Chelan Butte being discussed:

    1. Dave Erickson with the Wenatchee Parks and Recreation Department will be presenting information about Wenatchee’s experience acquiring, improving, and maintaining open space properties in the Wenatchee foothills. This has been a very successful program and there are lessons to be learned relative to preserving the Chelan Butte.
    2. CBC has presented the city council with a draft Resolution to be a co-applicant (along with the Trust for Public Land and others) for an earmark within the state budget for a planning grant to study the specifics of how properties on the Chelan Butte could be acquired, improved, maintained, and made available for public use (trails, trailhead parking, etc.). This study would include the opportunity for community input.

Because we feel that it’s important for the City of Chelan to know that the local community is still fully vested in the preservation of the ChelanButte, despite the presence of current option holders, we’re requesting that any CBC members available show up for the Tuesday January 3rdworkshop (4 PM at the Chelan City Hall building).

2023 CBC Membership Dues

All 2022 CBC members should have received a year-end membership letter from us requesting membership renewal donations for 2023. We of course rely on these donations to cover our normal operating expenses as well as supporting efforts related to our four primary focus areas (as described on our website). We anticipate that 2023 will require additional funds due to the efforts to preserve the Chelan Butte, which may entail consulting with land use experts to help scrutinize any potential proposals for development. So this is a friendly reminder to make your 2023 membership donation (minimum of $25) to remain a CBC member if you have not already done so. If you made a donation to CBC in the last few months of 2022, you’re covered for 2023. We really appreciate your support!

Thank you on behalf of the entire CBC board.

Brian Patterson – CBC President

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Chelan Basin Conservancy
PO Box 1073
Chelan WA 98816

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