TILT completes purchase of Blind Bay site sought by CBP

By Channel 7 November 23, 2022

ORLEANS, New York (WWNY) – The parcel on Blind Bay sought by U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a new owner.

The Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) bought the 20.5-acre town of Orleans parcel from Blind Bay Associates. The prospective sale was announced in April and was recently finalized.

It includes 295 feet of St. Lawrence River shoreline.

The idea of the sale was to protect the land from being developed by CPB for a new 48,000-square-foot facility.

TILT executive director Jake Tibbles said at the time that ownership would put the land trust in a better position to legally defend against the CPB taking the land by eminent domain.

That threat remains, however. CBP notified both the land trust and Blind Bay Associations at the end of September that they were seeking a temporary right of entry to the Blind Bay land to do an environmental assessment within the next 90 days, a possible first step in an eminent domain proceeding.

TILT and Save the River are working to preserve Blind Bay from development. They say it’s a prime breeding ground for muskellunge and home to 52 other species, including some on New York state’s endangered species list.

Part of their campaign involves support from both Democratic and Republic lawmakers and a billboard they erected along State Route 12.

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