By Evergreen East

The Conservation Futures application deadline is coming up and Beacon Hill needs your voice. We don’t need to tell you that Beacon Hill is a special place and offers some of the best mountain biking, trail running and urban recreation in the inland northwest. What you may not be aware of is that many of these trails are located on private lands and that we would lose access to some of our favorite trails without each individual landowner’s permission. Even now there are areas to the north of Camp Sekani which are planned for development. Conservation Futures offers us a way to purchase some of that land and ensure that our favorite trails do not become housing units.

For those of you who may not know, the Conservation Futures Program was established in 1994 as a property tax levy and dedicates all revenue towards preserving and enhancing Spokane County’s quality of life. The Dishman Hills Conservation Area, Iller Creek and Antoine Peak Conservation Area were all purchased with Conservation Futures funds.

The Evergreen East Mountain Biking Alliance has been working with the City, County and property owners within the Beacon Hill area in order to renew landowner relationships, formalize the Beacon Hill Trail System Preservation Plan and to aid landowners in nominating their properties for Conservation Futures. To date, approximately 150 acres of private lands have been nominated for this round of Conservation Futures.

We need your help to push things through. Letters of support are a crucial component of the application process and will show the County that Beacon Hill is special and worth protecting for future generations. Please address your letters to the Land Evaluation Committee with your name, address and occupation and then email your letters by April 30th, 2016 to info@evergreeneast.org and we will include them in the Conservation Futures applications. Your letters should be personal and heartfelt and outline why you love Beacon Hill.

Check out the map below to see who owns what and also which parcels we will be applying for this year for Conservation Futures.

OwnershipMap_wCF