Capital budget passage loosens trail funds
By Brenda Starkey

The capital construction budget which the state legislature passed Jan. 18 and Governor Jay Inslee signed Friday, Jan. 19 includes $82,000 for the next phase of development of the Ferry County Rail Trail.

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant will cover about half of the cost of the trail’s phase 4.

Phase 4 will include completion of surfacing for the Curlew to Danville section of the trail, as well as a proposed primitive campsite and an additional picnic area on BLM parcels that provide access to the Kettle River. A composting toilet is proposed that will service both trail users and the campsite. The trailhead near Danville will be improved and an informational kiosk installed.

The grant is one of eight projects funded under the trails category. 

“This will be a tremendous benefit to Ferry County’s effort to complete development of the rail trail, connect our communities and bring recreational tourism to our area,” Bob Whittaker, Ferry County Rail Trail Partners president.

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program provides funding for a broad range of land protection and outdoor recreation, including park acquisition and development, habitat conservation, farmland and forestland preservation, and construction of outdoor recreation facilities. 

The $82,000 Ferry County Rail Trail award was by far the lowest request among the eight successful applicants under the “trails” category; the next-lowest was $475,000.

Another applicant in the Ferry County for WWRP funding was the Colville Confederated Tribes, which requested $115,500 in the local parks category for development of the Keller Community Park. This project was listed as an alternate and did not immediately receive funding.

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