Spokane County has received a $1.6 million state grant to offset costs of preserving Antoine Peak as a natural area just south of Spokane Valley.
The grant was awarded by the Washington Recreation and Conservation Funding Board to reimburse the county for half the cost of purchasing 325 acres in the second of a three-phase project to acquire land on the mountain.
That deal was closed in September with funds from the county’s Conservation Futures Program, said John Bottelli, Parks and Recreation Department special projects manager.
Phase one involved 390 acres acquired in 2006. That purchase also was recognized by the state with a $1.4 million matching grant.
The county competed against 15 other local agencies for the grant, which seeks to help local governments secure land before it’s developed and to create outdoor recreation areas for the state’s growing population.
This year, the state Recreation and Conservation Board had a total of $70 million to award for wildlife and recreation proposals.
“We ranked No. 1 in the urban wildlife and recreation category for this proposal because no other place in the state is home to the complete line of large mammals – including cougars, deer, elk, bears and moose – just a mile from the city limits,” Bottelli said.
Hunting and public use of motor vehicles will not be allowed on the property, he said.