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SEATTLE-The King County Council will review more than 20 possible open space purchases proposed by a 16-member citizen’s group.

The purchases, designed to ensure protection of salmon and wildlife habitat, preservation of open spaces and rural forestry and the continuation of outdoor and recreational education, would be made with Conservation Futures funds. Nearly $10 million is available.

Conservation Futures tax levy funds are a dedicated portion of property taxes in King County and are available, by statute, only for acquisition of conservation lands. The citizens committee, composed of 16 members, one from each County Council district and three at-large members of the County, make annual recommendations on allocations.

After reviewing the panel’s report, Sims’ 23 recommendations to the council include:

– Protection of salmon habitat on Rock Creek in the Cedar River Watershed, at Kanaskat on the Green River, on the Tolt River in Carnation and on Newaukum Creek in Enumclaw.

– Acquisition of development rights to protect the 446-acre Ames Lake Forest overlooking the Snoqualmie River, adjacent to Tolt-MacDonald Park.

– Several open spaces in the City of Seattle, including a new 3.7-acre open space for the Northgate urban village; a three acre natural area on Hitts Hill in the Rainier Valley; a 10-acre addition to the West Duwamish Greenbelt in West Seattle overlooking the Duwamish waterway; a 1.9-acre wooded greenbelt along Thornton Creek in Northeast Seattle; and four other community open spaces in high density neighborhoods.

– Several suburban city projects, including acquisition of scenic and historic 336-acre Tollgate Farm in North Bend; an 80-acre completion of Clark Lake Park on the rapidly developing east Kent plateau; additions to the Bellevue Greenway system; and the 57-acre Beaver Lake natural area in the City of Sammamish.

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