What is the Conservation Futures Program?
The 1994 adoption of the Spokane County Conservation Futures program began with a property tax assessed for each home in the county. This (up-to) 6-cent tax is levied per $1000 of property value, subject to the levy-lid of 1% per year; a home assessed at $100,000 would generate a tax of $6.00 at this levy rate. This tax money is earmarked solely for the acquisition of property and development rights to benefit wildlife, conserve natural resources, increase passive recreation and educational opportunities, and improve the quality of life for area residents. Fifteen percent of the Conservation Futures money is dedicated toward maintaining, protecting and enhancing these properties in perpetuity.
As of 2012, the Conservation Futures Program has acquired over 6,000 acres through 27 acquisitions. Spokane County Parks and Recreation manages 14 different properties and the City of Spokane Parks Department manages an additional 11 properties within city limits.To find out more about each property, please view the left menu and click on each link.
How do I nominate property for Conservation Futures?
The 2010 nomination round for Conservation Futures is now closed. To learn more about the program and whether or not your property may compete well in future nomination rounds, please download or print the Program Overview and Nomination Packet, available in Word or PDF format.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact Paul Knowles, Park Planner, at (509) 477-2188 or email@example.com or John Bottelli, Assistant Director, at (509) 477-2529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1971 the Washington State Legislature enacted RCW 84.34.200 "Conservation Futures Enabling Legislation" recognizing haphazard growth and urban development was encroaching upon the state's open areas and spaces. Productive lands, like agricultural and forestry areas were being altered, or even eliminated by continued urban expansion. Scenic, recreational, and aesthetic lands were also at risk.
In 1994, Spokane County Commissioners adopted the Conservation Futures Program for 3 years to protect threatened areas of open space, timberlands, wetland, wildlife habitat, agricultural and farm lands, streams and water supplies within the county boundaries. In 1997, citizens voted to support the continuation of the program for an additional 5 years. When the Conservation Futures program was on the ballot in 2002, Spokane County voters again supported a second 5-year extension of the program implemented by the Board of County Commissioners. Most recently, in November 2007, the Conservation Futures program was put on an advisory ballot and this time for renewal with no sunset date. Spokane County voters again supported extending the program with a super-majority of nearly 63% of voters supporting the measure.