Illahee 1/23/15 Eagle Photos, Saturday’s Windstorm, Kitsap Sun Article, Preserve Downed Trees, Outfall Photos, Daffodils

Eagle Photos.   Photos of some local guardians.

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Saturday’s Windstorm.   Last Sunday morning we ventured north to photograph downed trees and didn’t get up to Ocean View until this area was cleaned up. 
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Kitsap Sun Article.   The Illahee Preserve and the Timbers Edge purchase opportunity were the subject of a front page article in Sunday’s (1/18/15) Kitsap Sun.  The link to the article is:  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/bremerton/controversial-development-could-become-part-of-illahee-preserve_23742792   We have been impressed over the years how good the Sun reporters are at succinctly and accurately reporting on Illahee issues.
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Preserve Downed Trees.   Thanks to those who advised us of all the trees downed across trails in the Illahee Preserve.  Below are a few of the photos.  The Rotary and Illahee Community trail crew is scheduled to clean them up on Sunday.
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Outfall Photos.   We had to wait until the tide was out to take these photos of the outfall that was installed the previous week.  
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The straw covered dirt is a quagmire of mud incapable of walking on unless you have hip boots, and you would likely loose them.  
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We are fortunate that most of our underground utilities are underground, but again Illahee gets the short end of county planner actions, and they wonder why some of us get upset.  We wish they had to live with their decisions.  Again, sorry for being so cynical, but we know things can be done so much better.  
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Daffodils.   We are thinking a couple of warm days and we will see our first daffodils.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 1/18/15 Wind Storm Photos, Downed Power Line, Seahawk House Lights Out, New Driver, Outfall Photos, Preserve Downed Trees?

Wind Storm Photos.   An early Sunday morning walk found garbage cans scattered and the sound of generators running, along with a number of road closure signs.

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Downed Power Lines.   We also finally found the reason for the signs and a smouldering fire.
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Seahawk House Lights Out.   And we knew the power was out when the Illahee Road Seahawks decoration lights were out.  Thankfully, that stretch of Illahee Road got their power back in time for the game.
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New Driver.   And on Saturday a young lady was learning how to drive and the family is probably glad the ditch was soft dirt.
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Outfall Photos.   We said we would take photos of the completed outfall job.  Later we will get some from the beach.  We think the neighbors probably wish the pipe had been installed closer to the bank so it wasn’t such an eyesore.  Maybe the county, who approved the installation, will give them a break on their property taxes.  (Sorry for the cynical comment, but someone has to say it.)
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Preserve Downed Trees?   Normally after a wind storm we hear about downed trees over trails in the Illahee Preserve, but so far no reports.  Let us know if there are any.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/16/15 Gilberton Community Club Contact? Stop Work Lifted, Project Completes? Barge Departs, Final Photos Later, Tree Art

Gilberton Community Club Contact?   We have been asked to help find a Gilberton Community Club contact.  Please have them contact Michael.  His email is copied below:

KCD Grant Gilberton
Stop Work Lifted.   We were not able to check on the outfall project on Thursday and were surprised the stop work was lifted so quickly.  Evidently Community Development approved what they had to (the SDAP?) and the Public Works right-of-way requirements were met. 
 
Project Completes?   What we saw on Friday morning was a nearly complete project as you can see from the following photos:
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Tug Pull Barge off Beach.   And almost as quickly as it came, the barge departed.
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Final Photos Later.   We will try to get some final photos of the outfall this weekend.
 
Tree Art.   Noticed this tree art in Illahee on Friday. 
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Jim Aho

Illahee 1/14/15 Illahee Flag? Stop Work Notice, Settlement Agreement Signatures, Required Community Document, What Next?

Illahee Flag?   For those who have inquired about the flag for the flag pole.  A 4′ by 6′ flag was ordered, but was too big, so it was sent back and a 3′ by 5′ one ordered.  The Port expects it to get here soon.

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Stop Work Notice.   When we went for a walk this morning we noticed the work had stopped and a Stop Work notice on one of the pipes.
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Settlement Agreement Signatures.   We did have an inquiry about the signatures on the Settlement Agreement in the last Update.  There were several pages of them so we decided not to copy them.  Let us know if you want to see them and we will send you a copy.
 
Required Community Document.   One of the stipulations of the Settlement Agreement was a statement from the Illahee Community Club, which reads as follows:
 

Illahee Community Club

P.0. Box 2563

Bremerton, WA 98310

February 25, 2009

To: Distribution List

Subject: Illahee Outfall Settlement Support Statement

 

The Illahee Community Club (ICC) entered into an agreement or “settlement” with the MT Illahee Corporation, Kitsap County, and the Port of Illahee with regards to the relocation of a storm water outfall from the Illahee community dock to an undeveloped right-of-way on Berg Street, and associated area storm water improvements. Integral to the settlement the ICC agreed to issue a public statement of support for the settlement plans and has further agreed not to make public statements regarding the Sunrise Terrace or Rest/Olive/Hardt Development lot sizes.

 

The Illahee Community Club is very supportive of the resultant outfall agreement and feels that the settlement is beneficial and advantageous for each of the involved parties. The ICC is appreciative of the efforts by all parties to reach this agreement and the MT Illahee Corporation for working with the Illahee community. The following excerpt from a community member illustrates community sentiment:

 

The Illahee community strives to be a leading example in the area of responsible environmental preservation. Leading by example, both the Illahee community and the MT Illahee Corporation have shown what rewards can be produced by reaching a solution settlement that benefits all parties involved. Furthermore, the agreement is a step forward for one of the goals of the Puget Sound Partnership which is to control storm water in our waterways. For these reasons, there is strong community support for the settlement agreement.

 

The benefits of the agreement are many for the community, the environment, for the waters of Puget Sound, the Port of Illahee, Kitsap County, and the MT Illahee Corporation. Approximately 90 percent of the storm water that comes from our normally slow rainfall will be cleaned naturally through bio-infiltration swales and infiltrated back into the aquifers from the MT Illahee project. Only the remaining roughly 10% that comes from heavy rains will not be infiltrated because of high flow volumes and will need to be diverted to overflow outfall pipes that flow into Puget Sound.

 

There are a number of different aspects to the MT Illahee project that were part of the agreement. The first is the improved roadway being planned along Sunrise Terrace and the need to manage the storm water coming from the road surfaces. Bio-infiltration swales will be used at several locations along Sunrise Terrace to help clean the storm water with any overflow connecting to the existing Ocean View storm water system that discharges at the existing outfall. This is a major improvement as previously the storm water was going to be tight-lined (piped directly) to Puget Sound following the removal of suspended solids. This would have required the installation of a new storm water conveyance piping system and another outfall at the Illahee community dock.

 

The Illahee community at large and the Port of Illahee benefit as a new storm water outfall will not be going through the base of the Port of Illahee’s dock structure nor will the effluent be discharged at the Port’s public beach and swimming area. The Port and the community were already concerned with an existing 24 inch diameter outfall just a few feet south of where the new outfall was being proposed. Many in the community feel the discharges from the existing outfall have resulted in decreases in the fish and shellfish population. They also remembered the dock area being posted for fecal coliform pollution emanating from the existing outfall. With that history there were major concerns with another outfall that was again tight-lining storm water at the dock. The settlement agreement not only eliminates the need for new outfall at the base of the dock; it also results in a decrease in the storm water that will be discharging to the existing outfall.

 

The Illahee community benefits from a second outfall along the shoreline in that storm water overflows are more equally distributed into Puget Sound, rather than concentrating all the stormwater for the entire hillside to the Illahee dock area. In retrospect, it appears the existing Berg Street right-of-way should have been used years earlier for the storm water overflows from the Illahee North project. At that time there was less of a concern by the county with running large volumes of stormwater into Puget Sound and a readily accessible right-of-way existed at the community dock. Any future developments in the uphill drainage sub-basins north of Berg Street would have likely required the use of this right-of-way for a new storm water outfall to handle the overflows. The settlement agreement just initiates the use of an outfall at this location earlier rather than later.

 

The ultimate goal of the Illahee community is to clean and infiltrate storm water to the maximum extent possible, such that the only the overflows from major storm events enter into Puget Sound. The storm water flows going into the settlement outfall from the MT Illahee project will also go through a bio-infiltration swale where the 90 percent of our normal rainfall is expected to be captured and infiltrated. This will help reduce the settlement outfall overflows. The community notes that there is more work to be done by the community and possibly the county, which is outside the responsibility of MT Illahee, to further clean and infiltrate the storm water going into the settlement outfall. There is a small runoff from the north Fern Street area that would benefit from a rain garden upstream of its storm water overflow pipe, and the northern most cell of the Illahee North detention pond would benefit from a possible infiltration pit. Both of these items would satisfy the goal of cleaning and infiltrating storm water to the maximum extent possible and would ensure that only overflows from major storms would enter Puget Sound waters.

 

The Illahee Community Club would like to again express its appreciation to MT Illahee, and specifically to its representative, Bernie Johnston, who worked with community representatives to come up with a mutually acceptable solution for all parties.

 

Please refer any questions regarding this agreement to the Illahee community members, Jim Brady (360-377-8345) and Jim Aho (360-479-1049), who represented the Illahee Community Club in this matter.

 

Barney Bernhard

Illahee Community Club

 

Copies to:

Port of Illahee

Vancil Law Offices

MT Illahee (via GordonDerr LLP)

Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Civil Division

Shorelines Hearings Board

Department of Ecology

Department of Fish & Wildlife, Kitsap County

Puget Sound Partnership

Kitsap Health District

Kitsap County Public Works

Kitsap County Department of Community Development

Team 4 Engineering

Kitsap Sun

Central Kitsap Reporter/Bremerton Patriot

Seattle Times

 
What Next?   We have been asked what should happen next?  We don’t know so we will keep investigating, though hopefully not reporting so often.  We have been told by some this is too much information, and by others it is what they need to better understand what might be coming in the future.  Again, we solicit your comments.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/13/15 Enhanced Ditch Damage, Stop Work Report Wrong, Settlement Agreement Found, Permit?, Recourse?, Reporting Responses

Enhanced Ditch Damage.  Thanks to Leon for letting us know that a vehicle went into the new enhanced stormwater ditch late Saturday evening.  Likely more damage to the vehicle than the ditch.  The neighbors have already contacted Clean Water Kitsap.

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Stop Work Report Wrong.   In yesterday’s Update (1/12/15) we reported the project had been stopped based on a conversation with the county.  Obviously those living around the project know we were wrong (see photo below).  We reported what we were told.
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Settlement Agreement Found.   If there is any good news today, it came later this afternoon, when a copy of the settlement agreement we asked for was forwarded.  They finally found it and are trying to figure out what to do next.  It is multiple pages and we had to copy each page as a photo to insert it, and have today’s photos of the project interspersed between the pages.
SA pg 1
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SA pg 2
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SA pg 4
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 SA pg 5
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SA pg 6
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SA pg 7
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SA Ex 1
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Permit?   We heard the ‘after-the-fact’ permitting is still in progress, and something also about a performance bond.  The project will likely be completed by the time all the paperwork is finished.
 
Recourse?   We have been asked by a number of residents if there is any recourse.  We didn’t know the answer, so if you know, let us know.
 
Reporting Responses.  I know some aren’t interested in this type of reporting which is why I asked the question in the first email/post regarding the outfall project.  So far the response from the community is positive – they want to know about events like this, as long as we also report on other issues like the wildlife.  That is what I would rather be doing.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/12/15 Old Preserve Campsite, Piliated Woodpecker Damage, Outfall Stop Work Order?, Expedited Permit?, Outfall Conditions Satisfied?, The Agreement?, Community Input?, Cynical?, Are We Wrong?

Old Preserve Campsite.   We found this old abandoned campsite in the Illahee Preserve this weekend while working on trails.
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Piliated Woodpecker Damage.   This old Italian plum tree looks pretty sad after a pair of piliated woodpeckers found it.
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Outfall Stop Work Order?   We thought a stop work order would be forthcoming on a project going in without a right-of-way permit, and it finally did on Monday (1/12/15) afternoon.  This morning’s photos of the project are interspersed below.
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Expedited Permit?   We heard a permit will likely be issued on Tuesday by Public Works, since they have been told the work has been approved by Community Development.

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Outfall Conditions Satisfied?   What we don’t understand is how this project was approved by Community Development without the Illahee Community being assured the agreement that allowed the outfall to move from the dock to the right-of-way has been satisfied.  
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The Agreement?  What we remember is there was an agreement that moved the outfall from the dock to the county right-of-way that has some stipulations.  We presume the county has a copy of the agreement, supposedly signed by those affected, and we have asked for a copy.  Hopefully we will hear something on Tuesday before the right-of-way permit is issued.
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Community Input?   The other issue is community input on what appears to be an exposed 24 inch diameter HDPE pipe running down the hill to the outfall.  Did anyone get an opportunity to comment on this?  Normally, neighbors get an opportunity to have some say in what happens next to them, but those on both sides were never contacted until the contractor notified them last week.
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Cynical?  Normally we like to be positive, but it is hard when it seems those who are supposed to be watching out for us are not keeping us informed and seem to be unaware of a major settlement agreement. 
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Are We Wrong?   We certainly hope we are wrong, and that Kitsap County is doing their job, and they just haven’t had time to tell us or convince us.  We are waiting, and unfortunately, this installation looks like it may be completed before we hear back.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/9/15 Pheasant, Wednesday Inquiries, Barge on the Beach, Calls to County, Calls to Neighbors, Thursday Calls, Dock Outfall?, Project Bioswales?, Outfall Installed, After-the-Fact Application, Friday Calls, Open Government Responses, Mixed Feelings, Improved Communications, Comments

Pheasant.   We have been asked to include in any Update something about the wildlife, so this guy showed up under some bird feeders today.

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Wednesday Inquiries.   Because of these Updates, we are often called and emailed when something out of the ordinary happens.  And so it was early Wednesday morning.  First the noise of heavy equipment and then the first email about a big barge on the beach.
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Barge on the Beach.   Definitely some major work being planned in Illahee and an opportunity to call the county’s Kitsap One phone number 337-5777 advertised to provide answers to questions.
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Calls to County.   And so we began calling and getting transferred to many different numbers.  Many of those we asked for were out sick, and others knew nothing about what was happening.  They kept wanting to take our information and have someone return our calls.  Finally we talked with a supervisor who connected us with someone who seemed to really know the system and we worked looking at parcels numbers and permits and easements, and nothing showed up in their system.  They did find that Fish and Wildlife had issued a permit to work on the shoreline.  
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Calls to Neighbors.   After the county employees’ day ended we called one of the adjacent neighbors and found out they had a letter from the bulkhead contractor saying they would be doing work on the county right-of-way, and would finish within a week.
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Thursday Calls.   On Thursday we thought we would find out more. The county was working on it and would send their right-of-way inspector out later in the day.  We also talked with a DCD representative who confirmed it was likely part of the Illahee Outfall project that was once planned for the Illahee Community dock.  The photo below shows the county right-of-way.
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Dock Outfall?   For those who don’t remember the Port of Illahee fought this project that was going to put a 4 foot diameter outfall (see photo below) at the entrance and foundation of the dock.  The outcome of negotiations was an agreement among the county and the community that a better solution than the dock outfall were bioswales to clean and infiltrate the stormwater, which would take care of about 90% of the stormwater, with the remaining being directed to an outfall at the county right-of-way.
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Project Bioswales?   The county representative couldn’t talk to the bioswale prerequisite and will need to wait until one of the planners gets back to work.
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Outfall Installed.   While the county was investigating, the work continued and the outfall catch basin was installed (see photo below).  The inspector showed up at the end of the day and evidently told them they needed a right-of-way permit and an application was submitted.
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After-the-Fact Application.   We asked for and received a copy of the application. We heard it might take a few days to get the permit so it will be interesting to see if the hill side work proceeds.  
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Friday Calls.   We received a call Friday afternoon from a supervisor to assure us that the project was county approved, but the details would have to wait until next week when sick personnel return.  We did receive these plans from another source which reveal this is the same outfall that was planned for the Illahee Dock (see title on page 3) and was likely designed for much larger flows than at this location.
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Open Government Responses.   We are happy to report open government is working.  We received the following HPA from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the application from Public Works. We will see next week what we get from other departments.
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Mixed Feelings.   We have mixed feelings regarding county government.  They tell us their permitting processes are to protect and help us.  But what we see in Illahee is a four story building constructed on a flood plain and wetland, and then there are the calls we receive about a conglomerate of vehicles and buildings on McWilliams. When the first Timbers Edge project was proposed there were no county concerns about the concrete detention vaults on the unstable slopes of Illahee Creek, that the community had to hire a geotech firm to contest.  And when the Gilberton Creek culvert washed out, no one had bothered to check the capacity of the downstream culverts.  Communities need to be vigilant as we end up living with what is approved.
 
Improved Communication.  That said, things are improving.  We have improved communications with the county.  For awhile the community was spending thousands of dollars every month paying for studies, hiring experts or lawyers.  When the county engages the community we think they find us reasonable and we have actually decreased the impacts and costs of some projects.  In this case, however, we weren’t contacted or given a heads up on the outfall.
 
Comments.  We know some would rather see just wildlife photos, but others want to know about projects that affect them and the community.  Let us know your thoughts.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/7/15 Illahee Preserve, Illahee Spit Eroding? Illahee Dock Photos, Stream Learning Opportunity, Piano Concert Opportunity, Goldeneyes

Illahee Preserve.  One of the highlights of a walk in the Illahee Preserve is to see the wildlife.  We saw this guy the other day on our jog through the Forest.

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Illahee Spit Eroding?  We had a comment come in that the north end of Illahee Spit was getting shorter.  The photo below seems to indicate they are right.  We are hoping there are earlier photos showing the location of the driftwood shown in the photo below (taken on December 31, 2014).
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Illahee Dock Photos.  We thought these two photos told their own story.
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Stream Learning Opportunity.  Illahee is fortunate to have a small salmon stream mostly in its natural state with much of it running through the Illahee Preserve.  It is also home of a very small population of salmonids, chum and coho salmon, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat trout.  Kitsap County is offering an educational opportunity to learn more about how to preserve and protect streams like Illahee Creek, see the info below:
StreamStewards 
Piano Concert Opportunity.  We have been asked to let people know about a local piano concert at the Brownsville United Methodist Church on Friday evening January 9 at 7 pm.  See the details below:
Concert 
Goldeneyes.  We normally see two species of goldeneye ducks in Illahee, but so far only the Barrow’s Goldeneye have been seen this season.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 12/27/14 Illahee Photos, Merlin Hawk, Ducks, Cormorants, Illahee Preserve Trail Maps, Timbers Edge Gifts

Illahee Photos.  Some recent colorful photos looking toward Mount Rainer.

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Merlin Hawk.  We found this hawk on a neighbor’s sidewalk with a cat over it.  It is a Merlin, and was previously called a Sparrow Hawk.  It has been seen at bird feeders, but didn’t stay long enough to get photographed.  
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Ducks.  This past Friday a flock of puddle ducks was hanging out with a group of diving ducks, evidently feeding on something the diving ducks were pushing up to the surface.  A similar situation occurs when cormorants push a ball of herring to the surface and the seagulls have a feast.  This is the first time we’ve seen such an occurrence with American Wigeon.
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Cormorants.  When one of the local floats blew away the cormorants had to move to other floats and they also ended up at the Illahee community dock.
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Illahee Preserve Trail Maps.  In the past week or so new Illahee Preserve trail maps showed up.  We will see if we can get better copies for a future update.
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Timbers Edge Gifts.  Contributions to the Timbers Edge purchase fund have started to come in.  The property owner has committed $500,000 toward the purchase, and three others have committed $10,000 each.  This past week the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) treasurer reported that two $1,000 gifts were sent in as a result of the last update that was sent out.  Fliers were being distributed this weekend east of the TE development, and along Illahee Road where a forced main sewer line would go.  The plan was to get a bunch of fliers distributed before the end of the year in case people wanted to make a contribution in 2014 for tax purposes.  If anyone would like fliers let us know and we will have them delivered to you.  Just send us an email or call 479-1049.
contributions-map-20141208 (1) 
Jim Aho

Illahee 12/20/14 Illahee Photos, Enhanced Ditches, Stormwater Projects, Beavers, Illahee Preserve, Timbers Edge Purchase Campaign, TE Property Tours? TE Sewer Plans?

 Illahee Photos.  Thanks for all the photos this past year, and for these that came in this week.  The second photo of the Stennis was enhanced, otherwise the ship tended to blend into the overcast.

Classic wildlife Dec14 (1) (640x427)
Classic wildlife Dec14 (7) (640x427)
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Enhanced Ditches.  It was in early November we noticed what is being called ‘enhanced ditches’.  Here are some updated photos showing them finished.
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Stormwater Projects.  Not only are ditches being enhanced, but also stormwater pond #288 was enlarged this summer, and is shown completed in the photo below.  The county is trying to minimize the stormwater surges impacting Illahee Creek and the culvert under Illahee Road, as a road washout is not what the residents or the county want to have happen.
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Beavers.  Beaves also fall into the stormwater discussions as some would like to see beavers in Illahee Creek to help mitigate the stormwater surges.  As stated before this should be a community decision, but the first step was to put it on the agenda of the Illahee Preserve’s stewardship committee and the non-profit Illahee Forest Preserve.  The decision was to investigate it further, so if residents have any input, we will pass any of your comments on to them. 
beaver images 
Illahee Preserve.  Some major work was accomplished last Friday with the leveling of some dirt piles and the big job of moving the illegally dumped wood chips from the parking spaces at the Thompson Lane parking lot.  Greg Busch from The Soil Factory again helped us by volunteering to do the work with a front end loader that would have taken a big work party an entire day do accomplish.  We don’t know what we would do if it wasn’t for Greg’s continuing and generous help!  Thanks Greg!
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Timbers Edge Purchase Campaign.  The fliers describing the Timbers Edge purchase campaign are scheduled to arrive on Monday.  They are looking at having them distributed door to door by neighborhoods, beginning with those neighborhoods most affected.
contributions-map-20141208 (1) 
TE Property Tours?  Evidently the plan to get permission from the property owner for scheduled walk-throughs of the property.  We will let you know when when we have more information.
 
TE Sewer Plans?  There was also a request to find out more about the sewer plans and costs to residents should the TE purchase not take place.  That request will take more time to investigate and possibly a special meeting with county Public Works staff.
 
Jim Aho