Illahee 12/15/14 Timbers Edge Campaign, Area Map, Scientific Studies, Unique Opportunity, Brief TE History, The Property, Nine Month Reprieve, Half Price Purchase?, Why Contribute?, What If Funding Is Not Raised?, Donor Wall, How To Contribute?, Thoughts of Comments?

Campaign to Purchase Timbers Edge.  We have been following this story and waiting to report on it.  We heard copies of the map below and the information that follows went to a printer today.  We also heard that while there is a ‘handshake agreement’, an Options Agreement has not been signed.  Never-the-less, because of some contributors wanting to give end of year gifts, they needed to get the information out. 

Area Map.  The map below shows the Timbers Edge properties and their relationship to the Illahee Preserve and Illahee Creek.

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Scientific Studies.  Past experience with Timbers Edge found the local community mostly united, with some outsiders thinking the community was against any development.  The consensus of those who studied the issues and reviewed the scientific studies have basically agreed with the community that this is not a good site for a high density development. 

The Document.  Below, in italics, is a copy of the “Campaign to Purchase Timbers Edge” document. 

Unique Opportunity.  We have a unique opportunity to save and preserve some of the most sensitive natural features in one of the most populated areas in the county.  The target of the campaign is the 36 acre Timbers Edge (TE) development adjacent to the Illahee Preserve and Illahee Creek.

Brief TE History.  The development, consisting of mostly small lots (40’ by 90’), was fought by the community (opposed by more than 700 residents), but approved by the Hearing Examiner. A bankruptcy ensued several years later, with the new owner planning to either sell or develop the property. 

The Property.  The 36 acre property consists mainly of forested plateau and sloped riparian areas that abut Illahee Creek.  On the east end of the property is the site of the four acre Avery Homestead.  The map (shown above)  shows how critical the property is to the Illahee Preserve, the watershed, wildlife corridors, and proposed trails between the Preserve, Puget Sound, and Illahee State Park. 

Nine Month Reprieve.  The current owner and developer understand the impacts their plans pose to the future of the Illahee Preserve and the community, and have agreed to give the Illahee Forest Preserve and the Illahee Community groups a nine month reprieve to raise the funds.  Otherwise the project will go forward with 87 homes.  The deadline for purchase is August 15, 2015. 

Half Price Purchase? The property purchase price is $1,700,000 with the property owner agreeing to contribute $500,000.  Additionally a trust representative was approached and may substantially contribute, with the total of these representing roughly half of the purchase price. Other organizations, trusts, foundations, businesses, and interested individuals like you must contribute the remaining $850,000.

Why Contribute?

  • ·         It helps complete the Preserve by connecting critical targeted forest and riparian habitats.
  • ·         It helps maintain the groundwater recharge of the critical Manette aquifer (already impacted).
  • ·         It lessens further storm water impacts to Illahee Creek, the Illahee Road culvert, and Puget Sound.
  • ·         It insures base flows in Illahee Creek affecting salmonids are not further degraded.
  • ·         It is a recommendation of the 2008 DOE/Port funded Watershed Management Plan (#Pur-1).
  • ·         It avoids a pressurized sewer main running through Illahee with major cost impacts to residents.
  • ·         It eliminates the small lots and a major traffic concern for residents who live along Fir Drive.

What If Funding Is Not Raised?  If funding is not raised, the Illahee Community and Illahee Forest Preserve groups, having failed this once-in-a-lifetime purchase, have agreed to support the development. 

Donor Wall.  A donor recognition wall is being planned at the Illahee Preserve’s Almira entrance for gifts of $1,000 or more. The goal is for $400,000 to come from major donors and organizations, with the remaining $400,000 from individual gifts of $10,000 (10), $5,000 (20), $2,000 (50) and $1,000 (100). 

 How to Contribute?  Contributions can be made to the Illahee Forest Preserve, 6253 East Blvd, Bremerton, WA 98311 (until a land trust is selected to broker contributions).  Any contribution over $500 and marked ‘For TE Purchase Only’ will be returned if Timbers Edge is not purchased.  The Illahee Forest Preserve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and donations may be tax deductible.  

PLEASE HELP TODAY!  Your support of this critical campaign is greatly appreciated!!!

Campaign Updates:

For more information: or

 Thoughts or Comments?  Let us know your thoughts or comments.

Jim Aho

Illahee 12/8/14 Illahee Scenes, Illahee Preserve, Jelly Fish, Sewer Map Link, Christmas Gift DVD, Enhanced Ditches

Illahee Scenes. With the recent high tides the Coast Guard’s salvage ship is out looking for floating debris.  We caught this one today as it passed the Point White dock with Mount Rainer in the background. 

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Can you tell whether the piliated woodpecker in the photo is a male or female?  The answer is at the end.

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Illahee Preserve.  A walk in the Preserve found a number of downed trees like this one from the cold north wind a few weeks ago.  The East Bremerton Rotary trail maintenance crew took care of them on Sunday.
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Jelly Fish.  We received several comments about the number of jelly fish that were washed up on the shoreline this fall.  Jeff Adams with the Washington SeaGrant program provided the following comments:
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Yep, it’s the end of the year die-off. Jellies have an annual life cycle that is closely tied to availability of food in the plankton, which decreases as the days get shorter and nutrients are depleted from the water. Depending on blooms and currents, they can definitely pile up more in some places than others.
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Definitely moon jellies. They can have very strong blooms in Sinclair and Dyes Inlets and have the most intense blooms of our three large jelly species. Below are some pics from the monthly Eyes Over Puget Sound flights in October. The November report still includes blooms in South Sound.
During our EOPS flight yesterday we saw many smacks some of them approx. 10000 feet long. Some smacks had a pink hue to it. Eld and Totten also have high abundances. The patch we landed on was one of the small ones!!!!!!!!!
Sewer Map Link.  After including a map of proposed sewer lines through Illahee we were asked to provide links to the maps.  There are two maps, one associated with the East Bremerton area, and the other Central Kitsap. The link is:
Christmas Gift DVD.  We were asked to remind folks wondering about Christmas gifts, that we have some Illahee films still available.  Cost is now $15 for a DVD and $20 for blu-rays.
Enhanced Ditches Article.  Monday’s (12/8/14) Kitsap Sun had an article on some enhanced ditches in Illahee.  We took photos of the project earlier this fall.  The link to the article is:
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Reminder of Port Meeting on Wednesday.  The Port of Illahee regular monthly meeting is the second Wednesday at 5 pm at the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road.  The public is always welcome.
Male piliated woodpeckers have a red spot under their bill, which some remember as being a moustache and more easily remembered as a male.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 12/1/14 Cormorants, COASST, Double-crested Cormorant, Brown Storm Water, Illahee Culvert, Beavers, Rolling Hills Golf Course Pond, Community Facebook?

Cormorants.  Cormorants are a common sight around the Illahee waterfront as noted by this one on the Illahee Community dock.  A few years ago one appeared at the dock and must have been someones pet because it had no fear of humans.  
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COASST in Illahee.  A Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team (COASST)  walks a section of the Illahee shoreline once a month looking for dead birds like the one below.  ”COASST is a citizen science program established to identify the carcasses of marine birds found on beaches along the outer coast of Washington State” and also Puget Sound.  More information on the program can be found at:

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Double-crested Cormorant.  The photo above and below is of a dead Double-crested Cormorant found on Wednesday north of Illahee State Park.  The hole in its side is suspicious.

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Brown Storm Water.  On Friday those living along the shoreline saw a brown plume coming out of Illahee Creek and out into Puget Sound.   This occurs whenever there is a significant rainfall, usually over 1 inch, and over the years it has deposited sediment out in the bay and along the shoreline.  Several years ago, after a season a major storms, the Port of Illahee measured 32 inches of mud under the south end of the inner float. 
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Illahee Culvert.  The sediment flowing out into the bay has also filled the Illahee Creek culvert.  This year (2014) there were two massive clean outs by Kitsap County of sediment from the outlet side of the culvert that have increased the culvert opening on the inlet side, which today (12/1/14) was a 19 inch vertical clearance.  Note however, the large gravel bar inside the 65 foot long culvert in the second photo.
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Beavers.  One of the studies of the Illahee Creek watershed determined that the old Dr. Schutt reservoir (dam) where he raised trout (that filled with sediment) should be demolished, and instead beaver dams should be encouraged as fish can navigate through them.  The beaver idea was proposed years earlier by Don Rasmussen, who gifted Rolling Hills Golf Course to the county and the Preserve.  Don suggested it again and the Illahee Forest Preserve group decided the issue should be investigated further.  (It should be noted that with topography like we have along Illahee Creek, beavers are more likely to be found in living in the bank (they are called bank beavers) than in lodges.)
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Rolling Hills Golf Course Pond.  We just heard there are concerns about a newly planned storm water detention pond on the golf course, so a golf course expert is being called in to help with the decision, which may delay the project that was supposed to be completed in 2015.
Community Facebook?  For some, Facebook and other social media sites are common place, and for others it is like a foreign language.  We are in the later category, so we are passing this email on as we received it.  Thanks to Steve and Connie for setting this up!
Connie and I created a group on Facebook for the members of the Illahee Community to use and wanted to know if you’d like to include the info in your next newsletter.  Many folks use Facebook and we figured it could work as a nice interactive platform for community members/neighbors could get information to each other in real-time and have discussion.  If you’d like to include a link, the web address is:
Folks can just search “Illahee Community” on Facebook as well and it will come up.
Jim Aho

Illahee 11/30/14 Illahee Preserve Photos, Cold North Winds, Community Meeting Report, Park or Sewers?, Timbers Edge (TE)?, More TE Information, Comp Plan Meeting Group?, ICC 2015 Officers, Distorted Images

Illahee Preserve Photos.  One of the area’s largely unknown secrets is the Illahee Preserve, a forest representing about 25% of Illahee that is surrounded by the highly populated area between Bremerton and Silverdale.  Below are some recent photos taken there.

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Cold North Winds.  The cold north winds that brought freezing temperatures and a light dusting of snow, took down a number of trees in the Preserve, with some big ones reportedly across trails.  When the weather warms a bit we expect the volunteer maintenance crew will be cleaning them up.  The photo below is along the edge of the Preserve.
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Community Meeting Report.  We are slow on reporting on the Illahee Community Club (ICC) meeting held on Monday, November 17th, as we wanted to see if there would be something official coming out regarding the issue below.  
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Park or Sewers?  The signs in the neighborhoods advertising the Community Meeting stated at the bottom “Park or Sewers?” and we found out that that the community may have a choice as to whether they want a new sewer line or a park.  
Timbers Edge (TE)?  We know that the Timbers Edge project (approved in 2008) puts in a forced pressure sewer main that goes to the Illahee North pump station with a temporary pump station on site (the brown rectangle).  The map of the proposed sewer plans are on the county’s website for the Comprehensive Plan Update.
More TE Information?  We are waiting for some official confirmation about what is happening with Timbers Edge and will report more later.
Comp Plan Meeting Group?  At the Community meeting on the 17th, the group was too large to review the Illahee Community Plan and a smaller group decided to meet and work on changes.  Jim Brady is heading up the group and is looking for others who are interested in helping.  Let us know if you are interested and we will pass on your information to Jim.
ICC 2015 Officers.  The Illahee Community Club (ICC) voted for the following officers for 2015:  Barney Bernhard, president; Mike Mantzke, vice president; Gwen Detweiler, secretary; and Merrill Evans, treasurer.
Distorted Images.  Thanks for those who reported distorted images in the last two updates that were sent out.  We discovered and corrected the problem.  Thanks for being patient.
Jim Aho

Illahee 11/15/14 Community Meeting, Community Plan Review, Illahee Preserve’s Long Range Plans, Park or Sewers?

Community Meeting.  There is an important community meeting on Monday 11/17/14 at 6:15 pm at the Sylvan Way library, hosted by the Illahee Community Group, a 501.c.3 organization supporting the Illahee community.  Signs noting the meeting are supposed to be posted around the community on Saturday.

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Community Plan Review.  One of the items on the agenda is the review of the Illahee Community Plan to see if any changes are required as part of Kitsap County’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update.  We recently discovered the Illahee Preserve is updating their Stewardship Plan that may also have implications for the community.
Illahee Preserve’s Long Range Plans.  The Illahee Preserve’s long range plans have been around since 2003 and are known to some, but not all.  We think they should be more widely known and have asked permission to pass them out at the community meeting on Monday.  We did copy this from an unofficial draft copy we saw:

Local residents continued to advocate for extending the DNR boundaries of the Preserve into adjoining undeveloped forest and riparian areas with the goal to ultimately preserve nearly 700 acres of pristine forest and a major portion of the Illahee Creek watershed.  Over the last 10 years the Preserve has grown to 444 acres, and with the addition of the 107 acres Rolling Hills Golf Course in 2010, increased the total acreage to 551 acres.  The community has identified an additional nearly 100 acres of properties for future acquisition through purchase or conservation easements.

Park or Sewers?  This is another item that will be discussed on Monday.  It appears there is a possibility development property could be purchased next to the Preserve, as a possible park or extension of the Preserve.  If not, the property would be developed thereby introducing sewers running through parts of Illahee.  This would affect many in Illahee and is another reason concerned citizens should attend the meeting on Monday.
Jim Aho 

Illahee 11/10/14 Port Meeting, Community Plan Chapter 4, Poison Mushroom Photo

Port Meeting.  This is short notice to remind anyone interested that the Port of Illahee meets the second Wednesday of the month at 5 pm at the Port meeting room the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road, next to the Illahee Community dock.  This meeting will include discussion of the Port’s 2015 budget, which is posted on the bulletin board at the dock.  

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Community Plan Chapter 4.  This chapter in the Illahee Community Plan is the most interesting to many as it outlines why they like Illahee.  Below is the Table of Contents for the chapter.  The chapter can be accessed at the following web address:
Poison Mushroom Photo.  Thanks to those who pointed out the mushroom in the photo is extremely poisonous.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 11/9/14 Illahee Community Plan Update Meeting, Introduction and Background, Dedication Page, Storm Water Work, Mushroom Season, Flowers?

Illahee Community Plan Update Meeting.  The Illahee Community Group is heading up the review of the Illahee Community Plan, required for the county’s 2016 Comp Plan Update, and has scheduled a meeting at the Sylvan Way library for Monday evening, November 17th, at 6:15 pm.  This is your opportunity to make sure the plan still represents our community’s desires.

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At their board meeting this past week they asked if we could put some information out regarding what is in our sub-area plan, and so we decided to provide the Table of Contents for each chapter and a link to it.  This means there will be undates coming out frequently until the 8 chapters are sent out, unless we double up with them, such as the zoning chapters and the last four chapters.

Introduction and Background.  Chapter 1 Cover.
The first chapter of the plan has six subsections which are as follows:  
The first chapter can be accessed at the following link to the county’s website:

Dedication Page.  We thought it would be good to also include a copy of the dedication page statement.
Storm Water Work.  We noticed some recent stormwater ditch work along Sunset the other day.  We have been impressed with the county’s stormwater program, especially as they are working to decrease the stormwater problems plaguing Illahee Creek, hopefully in time to prevent a culvert washout.
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Mushroom Season.  In case you haven’t noticed that mushroom season has begun.
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Flowers?  And this photo showing there is at least one Illahee rhododendron that hasn’t gotten to word that it is fall.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 10/29/14 Wildlife Photos, Comprehensive Plan, Illahee Sub-Area Plan, Community Meeting, Wood Chips, Illahee Creek Salmon?

Wildlife Photos.  Some fall wildlife photos.  The squirrel has a chestnut in its mouth.  It is interesting how close a person can get to the bucks during the rut when a doe is near. These were just outside of a netted garden area.

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Comprehensive Plan.  We all should have received the following mailer regarding the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update.  The Update should be especially important to Illahee Residents as it can give residents a voice as to what they want to see in their community.
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There is also the county’s website with much more information, which looks like this.
Illahee Sub-Area Plan.  It has been 6 years since the Illahee Community had their sub-area plan approved and it is time to review and update/edit or retain the vision and goal statements.  The Illahee Community non-profit group is looking at heading up the process.  The sub-area plan can be viewed at the county’s website:
Community Meeting.  A community meeting is being planned for November, hopefully at the Sylvan Way Library.  At one time Illahee wanted to establish their own Community Council, similar to Manchester and Kingston, but were discouraged in doing so because of the already established Central Kitsap Community Council.  Note below the recently announced sub-area meeting for Manchester, Kingston, and Suquamish.  Maybe when Illahee has a firm meeting date the county will announce it, even though we don’t have a county established community council. 
Wood Chips.  When the Soil Factory stopped accepting wood chips, the Illahee Preserve has been inundated with tree companies wanting a place to dump them.  Signs have been placed trying to stop the dumping at the Almira parking lot, only to have them dumped in the parking area at the Thompson Lane parking lot.  If you see anyone doing so at Thompson Lane please note any company name on the truck or a license number so it can be stopped.  The chips have to be hand moved and it takes special work parties and lots of person hours to clear them from the parking lot.  Either send an email that we can pass on or call 479-1049.
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Illahee Creek Salmon?  This photo is a few weeks old and likely a spawned out Illahee coho since it was close to the mouth of Illahee Creek.  We saw it early one morning with some eagles nearby.  By the time we got to the beach to take its picture, this was all that was left.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 10/14/14 Preserve Work Party, Preserve Dumping, Coyotes on Beach, Beaver Request, Beavers – Yes or No?

Preserve Work Party.  Last Friday (10/10/14) there was a major work party at the Illahee Preserve with the Washington Youth Academy (48 cadets and 4 support staff) and a small group from the aircraft carrier John C Stennis (CVN 74) that took care of all the wood chips at the Almira and Thompson Lane parking lots.  

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Additionally, logs from the habitated trees were moved to replace deteriorating logs lining the Native Plant Demonstration Rain Gardens at the center of the Almira parking lot.
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The wood chips at Thompson Lane were blocking parking stalls and needed to be removed before the fall rains began, which started after the work party.
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Thanks to these amazing volunteers and those who supervised who help make the Illahee Preserve such a special place!  

Preserve Dumping.  And after all the work to clean up the Almira entrance, during the weekend we had another dumping incident.  If you ever see this happen, please get the license number and call 911 and email us so we can do a follow-up story.
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Coyotes on Beach.  We got another report of coyotes on Illahee beaches and are hoping for a photo someday.
Beaver Request.  We also heard there was a request that beavers be introduced along the upper reaches of Illahee Creek, since there are reports of beavers needing to be relocated.  We heard there was a report that noted beaver in Illahee Creek were desirable to help control stormwater surges as their dams are porous enough for fish to get through.  
Beavers – Yes or No?   We said we would help champion the effort and will be contacting the county and local Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel to see what needs to be done, so let us know your thougths as this should be an issue where there is definite support within the local community.
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/8/14 Back Home, Heron Gets Rat, Sad Email, Illahee Ferry Name Rejected

Back Home.  Some have asked what happened to the Illahee Updates.  We have been looking for another reporter to help with the updates and to cover when we are out of town as we were for most of September and part of October, but no one has come forward yet.  So we will try to catch up beginning with a couple of items from yesterday.

Great Blue Heron Gets Rat.  This story was told first hand to us yesterday (10/7/14) about a great blue heron, likely this one that is often observed along the water’s edge.
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That is where it was on Tuesday and then was seen running quickly up the beach to a nearby ramp, and then waiting (stalking), and eventually striking and catching a rat with its long bill.  It then took the rat back down the beach and swallowed it.  The couple said this was a first for them and it reminded us of an email and video another Illahee resident recently sent us about another heron story that coroborates what these amazing birds can do.
Sad Email.  Those who fequent the Illahee Preserve know there are many who like to walk their dogs there.  We received the following email yesterday and were just given permission to share it.
Just wanted to let you know that we lost our sweet Belle a few days ago to cancer. We are both heart broken at losing Belle so soon and in the prime of her life. Tim took her for her last walk in the Preserve on Thurs before I got back from an overnight trip with my mum who was visiting from Scotland. We both said goodbye on Friday. The Preserve was her favorite park Jim and I’ll so miss our walks and biking together. Can’t quite bring myself to even visit the park without her. We were given Belle as a puppy and someone recommended Illahee Preserve as a great place to walk and visit. She was our walking, biking, horseback riding buddy and an amazingly sweet beautiful dog who loved every day and all the adventures we went on.
Illahee Ferry Name Rejected.  We reported in an earlier update that Illahee was a possible name for a new ferry, but no longer according to the following article in the Kitsap Sun:
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Thanks for Sharing!  Thanks for sharing your stories and photos with us and giving us permission to share them with the greater community.
Jim Aho