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County to buy acreage near peak

Family in ’11 had allowed parking area for trailhead

A 9.5-acre piece of land next to the Antoine Peak Conservation Area is being acquired by Spokane County after the owners asked the county to buy it.

County commissioners on Tuesday approved a purchase and sale agreement with the Johnson Family Trust for the property at 19516 E. Lincoln Road.

The property is next to the eastern entry to the 1,066-acre conservation area. In 2011, the family allowed the county to build a small public parking area on a portion of the family’s land.

The county now would take ownership of the land, which is divided into two parcels, one of which has a 2,800-square-foot residence and detached garage.

Spokane County Parks, Recreation and Golf Department officials said they would like to eventually use the residence for a park ranger or maintenance worker.

The Conservation Futures program was created by voters in 1994 to take a small amount of property tax and use it to acquire land for wildlife habitat, recreation and education.

As of last year, more than 6,000 acres of land have been acquired through 27 transactions throughout the county.

The fund sets aside 15 percent of tax collections for ongoing maintenance.

Antoine Peak is among the largest acquisitions by the program and was financed in part with a 50 percent grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Acquisition began in 2007.

The 3,373-foot peak is north of Trent Avenue and east of Forker Road.

The summit offers 360-degree views of the surrounding terrain, and the land is a natural corridor for large mammals moving from the Spokane River Valley to Mount Spokane.

Access to the east-side trailhead is found by going north on Campbell Road from Trent and turning west on Lincoln Road.

Park officials said their long-range plan is to build adequate trailhead parking areas on the east and west sides of the peak.

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