Former KOA to Become Nature Habitat
A closed sign now graces the front of the former KOA Kampground near Yakima, Wash., signifying a new use for the site that has attracted permanent residents and overnight campers for 40 years, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.
The popular camping spot is now poised to one day be a haven for fish and wildlife.
The federal Bureau of Reclamation completed purchase of the 23-acre KOA property Friday (Sept. 19) under a federal program that seeks to improve fish habitat and reduce potential flooding damage.
Walt Larrick of Yakima, assistant manager for the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, said the purchase price, which includes the land and equipment, is nearly $2.2 million.
Yakima County values the campground at $1.46 million. Owners Merlin and Dorothy Horn, who bought the property in 2001 for $1.9 million, have been looking to retire.
Larrick said the 30 permanent residents are being given assistance to help them relocate elsewhere. The Washington Transportation Department, hired by the bureau for this purpose, is preparing a report outlining options.