Conservation Futures

Conservation Futures Program

The Spokane County Conservation Futures Program was conceived in 1994 with the voters approval of an advisory ballot measure authorizing a property tax levy of (up-to) 6.25-cents per $1000 of property value, in order to acquire and preserve Spokane County's open space, streams, rivers, and other natural resources. What does this mean? For a home assessed at $150,000, up to $9 per year is assessed and dedicated to the Conservation Futures fund to preserve and enhance Spokane County's quality of life.

As of 2016,  the Conservation Futures Program has acquired over 7,700 acres through 30 acquisitions owned and managed by Spokane County, City of Spokane, and City of Cheney. To learn more about each acquisition since 1994, check out the Conservation Futures Acquisition History.

Maintenance & Operations

Of the total levy revenue generated annually, 15% is dedicated toward maintaining, protecting and enhancing these properties in perpetuity. This translates into improved public access, signage, noxious weed control, and other activities that protect and enhance the public's investment.

2016 Open Nomination Round in Progress

Every 5-6 years, Spokane County Parks updates program policies and over a three month, advertised period, accepts "property nominations." A property owner or a third party working with a property owner may submit a nomination to the program and request that their property be considered for acquisition.

In 2016, we received 38 separate nominations that are now being evaluated by the all-volunteer Land Evaluation Committee (LEC). Ultimately, the LEC will develop a ranked, prioritized acquisition list and recommend said list to the Board of County Commissioners for consideration.

Staff will then use that list to guide future open space acquisition over the next 5-6 years.

Update - 9/15/16: The Land Evaluation Committee has finalized their recommendation and forwarded their final recommendation, the 2016 Conservation Futures Prioritized Acquisition List, to the Spokane County Parks Advisory Committee and the Board of County Commissioners for consideration. The PAC has approved the recommendation and forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners.