The facts about the Pine Street Woods

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Kaniksu Land Trust was recently asked about the tax status on the 160-acre Pine Street Woods property we intend to purchase. Great question. When KLT succeeds in acquiring this beautiful property as a community forest, the land will be subject to annual property taxes, same as other privately owned property. The goal in acquiring Pine Street Woods is to provide long term benefits to our residents and school children.

Kaniksu Land Trust looks for opportunities to connect people with nature to improve their overall quality of life.

By listening to the people of our county, our schools and our medical practitioners, KLT learned there is a critical need for a natural area that is easy to access by people of all ages and abilities.

KLT has an exciting opportunity to purchase 160 acres of unspoiled forest and meadows that meets this need of our community: itís close to Sandpoint and Dover, making it easy to get out and enjoy natureís benefits just minutes after leaving work, school or home; it has an open area for car and school bus parking right at trailheads; it has varied terrain that will appeal to people of all fitness levels; it has a wide array of flora and fauna making it a wonderful place for KLTís outdoor educational programs for schools, children, underserved youth, adults, and other wellness programs.

Pine Street Woods will be open to everyone, at no cost, year-round.

KLT entered into a purchase agreement for $1.8 million and has until June 2019 to raise the capital for Pine Street Woods community forest. The total budget, which includes funds for trail improvements, signage, parking and an endowment for ongoing management, is $2.1 million.

Contributions from foundations, individuals and corporate donors total $1.685 million thus far, with $415,000 to go.

Pine Street Woods will allow KLT to expand existing educational programs. This school year KLT is collaborating closely with five area schools to provide new learning opportunities and innovative programs at no cost to the district, providing over 3,000 student hours of outdoor experiential education this school year.

As undeveloped open space, Pine Street Woods will not require county services such as road maintenance, and no tax dollars will be used for Pine Street Woods administration or upkeep.

Pine Street Woods ensures undeveloped land in perpetuity which, in the long run, reduces service costs while adding a recreational amenity that helps enhance the quality of life that attracts tourists, new businesses and jobs to our community.

When doing something to benefit people, KLT believes you ask those people what they want. To this end, our community will help shape how Pine Street Woods will be used for low-impact recreation. This ongoing conversation ensures Pine Street Woods will best serve our community.

KLT is excited to preserve Pine Street Woods community forest and enhance our wonderful, rural quality of life.

Eric Grace is the executive director of the Kaniksu Land Trust.

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