Conservation Group Looks for Buyer for Mississippi River Island

HELENA-WEST HELENA - A conservation group hoping to turn a 1,500-acre island into part of a public trial running down the Mississippi River hasn't found anyone to buy into the idea, or the island.

The American Land Conservancy bought Buck Island two years ago for $1.18 million.  The state Legislature authorized the purchase of the island for as much as $1.5 million, but no state agency has stepped up to take on the purchase.  The island hasn't attracted federal agencies either.

The conservation group has responded by knocking the price down for $950,000.  The group says the pressure is on, as it wants to find a buyer by December 31, before tax laws regarding easements change.

The conservation group envisions the island being used as part of a fishing and boating "trail" being developed along the Mississippi River.  The proposed trail, extending 106 river miles from Helena-West Helena to Arkansas City, would provide the public a chain of recreation areas.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)