The deadline for nominating properties for protection with conservation futures funds has been extended until April 9.
Residents on the North Side, however, are encouraged to submit nominations before March 26 so they can be discussed at a public meeting that night at Mead Junior High.
Meetings will start with discussion on properties in the immediate area. For example, the Mead meeting will begin with a discussion on North Side properties.
“The committee wanted to provide citizens with the best opportunity to nominate the crown jewels of the county,” said Steve Horobiowski, a planner with the Spokane County Parks and Recreation Department.
The Mead meeting will start with discussion on North Side properties. Other nominations will be discussed if time allows.
Some of the North Side nominations include 100 acres along the Little Spokane River between Wandermere and Gleneden.
The Five Mile Neighborhood Council plans to nominate 40 properties on the prairie.
“We asked them to do a little prioritization,” said Wyn Birkenthal, Spokane County Parks director.
Friends of Little Spokane River have nominated three properties, primarily along the river.
“There are a lot of good nominations coming in with community groups’ support, particularly on the North Side,” said Birkenthal.
Properties will be reviewed by a citizens committee made up of city and county residents. Those nominated so far in the county range from 18 acres to 3,500 acres.
The city nominations ranged from one acre to 80 acres.
Any Spokane County resident may nominate property they think should be preserved because of its value as wildlife habitat, open space, shoreline area or just for hiking and nature study.
Slides, maps, the name and address of the property owner and details about the property are required for nomination.
The conservation futures tax was extended by voters last fall. There is currently $2.5 million in the bank. The county expects to collect just under $1 million annually during the next five years, for a total of $7.5 million.
Lands that will be rated highest include those with wildlife habitat, those threatened by development or logging, those that provide a link to other open space or have water access, and those with widespread citizen support.
It also helps if the owner of the property is willing to sell.
The property must be presented at one of the scheduled public meetings.
The first meeting was held Wednesday at the Spokane downtown library.
Tours of the highest-rated properties will be scheduled May 31, June 5 and June 13. On June 24, the citizens committee will develop a prioritized recommendation list and will present it to County Parks Advisory Committee June 25.
For more information, call Steve Horobiowski at 456-4730.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: MEETINGS SCHEDULED Nominated properties will be introduced and discussed at these meetings: March 26, 6:30 p.m., Mead Jr. High Library, 12509 N. Market April 2, 6:30 p.m., Cheney High School, 460 N. Sixth St. April 9, 6:30 p.m., Spokane County Parks and Recreation, 404 N. Havana.
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