Coeur d’Alene Tribe buys Latah Creek property, spares it from housing development

Looking north along U.S. 195 at left, and Latah Creek, the Pilcher property is shown at right. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review) Develop or conserve?

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe answered that lingering question on Thursday by purchasing a 48-acre parcel of agricultural land in the Latah Valley along U.S. Highway 195.

The tribe’s plans include “preservation, restoration and access,” with an ultimate goal of promoting the return of salmon.

The acquisition is “an important opportunity for the Tribe to re-establish a presence in our aboriginal territory,” Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman Chief James Allan said in a statement. According to the tribe, historical records show land in the area would have been used as a salmon camp during summer and fall.

The purchase price was not disclosed. The land was referred to most recently as the “Pilcher property,” due to owner and developer John Pilcher, the former chief operating officer for the City of Spokane.

The acquisition ends a long stretch of uncertainty regarding the future of the property, which constitutes 48 of the final 150 agriculturally zoned acres of land in the city of Spokane. It sits between Latah Creek and the bottom of High Drive Bluff Park.

Pilcher had pursued two possible outcomes for the property since 2016 when he filed an application for a housing development and nominated it for a Spokane County Conservation Futures grant.The property appeared poised for development when Pilcher received conditional approval to subdivide the property into 96 lots two years ago.The conservation effort was at risk of failing as several […]

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