SPOKANE, Wash. — The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has purchased a 48-acre parcel of land within Spokane city limits, keeping it from development.
The “Pilcher” property is located near the intersection of Highway 195 and I-90. It was previously owned by JRP Land LLC and was set to be sub-divided into 96 separate lots for a potential housing development.
A release from the Tribe said there was a “lengthy tug-of-war” over the fate of the property as the subdivision raised concerns about additional traffic on Highway 195. The developers would have been responsible for costs associated with traffic mitigation if they had gone through with their plan.
The loss of farmland and potential harm to the ecological function along the creek was also a concern.
“In June 2021, the Tribe was asked to step in, in a final push to save the historical integrity and ecosystem functionality of this essential habitat from becoming another residential development project,” a release from the Tribe said.
Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman Chief Allan said the purchase represents “an important opportunity for the Tribe to reestablish a presence in our aboriginal territory.”
Allan said the area, known to the Tribe as qu’yu (place where Oregon grape grows), “has a connection to our people, as old as time.”
The Tribe intends to enhance the property’s ecological value in a way that promotes the return of salmon. They hope to develop partnerships to focus on preservation, restoration and access to the area.
“This property will provide a unique opportunity for the Tribe to carry the message of salmon restoration further downstream in Hangman Creek and across the state line into Washington,” said Tribal Natural Resources Director Caj Matheson. “The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is pleased to be returning to its aboriginal territory and waterways; [our focus] is, and will always be, on returning salmon to these waterways and all of the different ways that can be achieved.”
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