For more than 30 years government and non profit groups across King County have used the Conservation Futures Tax (CFT) to protect from development 111,000 acres of land, forests, shorelines, greenways and trails. Funding has supported such diverse projects as Seattle's Duwamish Head Greenbelt, development rights on the Snoqualmie Forest and Puget Sound shoreline in Burien. Parks have been built, salmon habitat restored, and our quality of life improved.
In many cases CFT made the difference between parcels of land being lost to development or keeping it as open space to benefit our environment, health, economy and quality of life. The success of CFT is attributed to:
- Strong leadership from elected leaders, volunteers, advocates and residents.
- Grants to cities that support open space priorities in local plans;
- The requirement of a 100 percent match from other sources.
Learn more about the history of Conservation Future programs.
Conservation Futures Accomplishments
- $300 million in CFT funds and over $150 million in matching funds have preserve the irreplaceable
- 108,6000 acres in King County including Maury Island
- 3,200 acres of urban parks and greenways
- Start up funding to preserve over 12,000 acres of farmland in the 1980's and 300 acres since 2000
- 4,700 acres of watershed and salmon habitat
- Critical links connecting regional trails and urban greenbelts.
Get Active; Get Involved
- Watch for vacancies and apply to advisory and citizen committees
- Volunteer for parks and habitat restoration events in your community
- Share your support or opposition for projects during public processes
- Build appreciation for the legacy—tell friends about the cool places to have fun
- Enjoy the outdoors, find fresh food, advocate, volunteer
Already involved in resource land conservation?
- Mentor a young person; show them the ropes
- Tell your story and the power of CFT partnerships
- Think of the future and how to protect our quality of life
The Conservation Futures GeoTour
We love your comments and feedback. Our Facebook page is another place to comment and share photos of your adventures!
Learn more about the tour and how you can get involved in Geocaching by watching the short video. (length 3:45)
History of the Conservation Futures Program
In the early 1970s the Washington State Legislature passed a series of environmental protection laws including the Conservation Futures Tax. The Legislature stated that it was a 'fundamental and inalienable right' of citizens to have a healthy and pleasant environment. Lead sponsor of the CFT, Washington State Senator Alan Bluechel of Kirkland, had the foresight to know counties needed a funding mechanism to protect and preserve resource lands. In 1982, King County became the first county to use CFT funds on the recommendation of the Farmlands Preservation Task Force.
Read more about the history of Conservation Future programs in Washington State at HistoryLink.org.
For questions about this program, please contact David Tiemann at 206-296-7775.
Conservation Futures GeoTour is a hit!
Learn how Conservation Futures preserves open spaces in King County - 12 minute video
Remarks from King County Executive Dow Constantine on the 30th anniversary of Conservation Futures
News and announcements
October 2, 2012
Take a GeoTour of King County Parks and earn a commemorative coin - Bothell Reporter
Three stories on Conservation Futures - 1.5MB PDF Water Tenders Newsletter
August 28, 2012
Leaders laud land program for 30 years of conservation - The Issaquah Press
August 28, 2012
Why King County held a party for a property tax - KPLU News
July 23, 2012
King County celebrates 30 years of protecting open space, forests, and farms
July 7, 2012
By night he sings of love. By day he dreams of fish: fly-fishing; fish habitats; his favorite fish, the mountain trout - Seattle Times