Urban Wildlife Habitat projects fund close-to-home places to play and explore nature. As our urban areas are increasingly expanding and densifying, these grants protect important fish and wildlife habitat within five miles of densely populated areas, creating green refuges that help keep our ecosystems healthy and provide places to enjoy nature right in our backyards.
Spokane County will use this grant to buy 385 acres, including the summit (Antoine Peak) of a 3,375-foot mountain, to protect habitat and views. The mountain forms a prominent and spectacular backdrop to Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, and Newman Lake. Spokane County wants to protect a total of 1,100 acres because of the critical nature of its habitat for wildlife and its million-dollar view, and to open this premier wildlife watching area to the nearly 500,000 county residents. It is rare for a natural area of this size and diversity to be within 1 mile of an urban growth boundary. The land offers a broad range of year-round outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife watching, horseback riding, mountain biking, picnicking, trail running, and cross-country skiing. It is part of an important wildlife corridor that stretches north to Mount Spokane State Park and into the Selkirk Mountains. It is used year-round by elk, moose, black bear, deer, and many other mammals. A pond and many streams transect the property offering critical water and helping to recharge the Rathdrum Prairie-Spokane Aquifer, the sole source of drinking water for more than 400,000 people. More than eight animal species at risk of extinction use the area.