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

Illahee 8-31-14 Swallows, Illahee Day Report, Illahee History, Young Pheasant, Wood Chips, Holly, Crab Season, Clam Posting, Ship Traffic, Rainbow, Weeds?

Swallows.  Watched the two young swallows on the end on the gangway getting fed by their parents who were flying over the water catching bugs.

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Illahee Day Report.  There were approximately 40 to 50 who attended Illahee Day on August 16th, with lots of positive comments.
Illahee History.  The Manette Historical Society is hosting Bob and Carol Henning on Tuesday (9/2/14) who will be reporting on the subject “Growing Up in Illahee”.  Visitors are welcome.  The group meets the first Tuesday of the month at 1 pm in the basement of the Manette Community Church.
Young Pheasant.  We happened to get this photo (through a railing) of a young rooster pheasant who was just getting his colorful plumage.
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Wood Chips.  Just when it appears all the accumulated wood chips around the Thompson Lane parking lot of the Illahee Preserve were spread, a new batch appeared.  We heard volunteers are trying to get something going rather than wait for the next scheduled work party on October 10th.
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Holly.  English holly is just one of the invasive species the Illahee Preserve volunteer maintenance crew is trying to eradicate.  We found one small English holly stump that had been removed in Illahee recently with its root system somewhat intact, and noted the roots extended out 12-20 feet out in all directions, making it especially hard to get rid of as new starts can come up from any of the roots.
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Crab Season.  We haven’t monitored this year’s crab season, and with it closing on Monday (9/1/14), we would like to hear some reports on how successful it was for residents.
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Clam Posting.  Want to let any clam diggers know that the area is still posted.
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Ship Traffic.  This ship was seen leaving the Bremerton area and going through Rich Passage, and returned about a week later.
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Rainbow.  There was a rainbow on Saturday and we were fortunate to capture it with a kingfisher on a sailboat mast and a boat going by.
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Weeds?  We remember seeing weeds like these in a decorative arrangement, but don’t know what the name is, so hope someone will be able to help us.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 8/12/14 Illahee Day, Port Meeting, Illahee Store, Timbers Edge, Squirrels, Gardens

Illahee Day.  We noticed the sign just went up advertising Illahee Day for this Saturday, 8/16/14, and all are invited.  

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Purpose.  It was described at the last Port meeting as a time for residents to gather socially at the dock and waterfront area in front of the Port office facilities at 5500 Illahee Road. 
Food.  The Port is providing food and drinks.  In the past they have provided Subway sandwiches and we understand this year it will be catered by McClouds restaurant, primarily potato salad and hot dogs.
Other.  Copies of the film “Illahee – Saving Puget Sound, One Watershed at a Time” will be available for purchase, with the proceeds going the the Illahee Forest Preserve 501.c.3 non-profit group.

Port Meeting.  The monthly Port of Illahee meeting is the second Wednesday of each month at 5:00 pm at the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road, i.e., this Wednesday, 8/13/14.  It is a public meeting and the public is invited.  
Illahee Store.  There has been some cleaning activity around the Illahee Store and residents are curious if something is going to happen.  We heard that someone cleaned the blackberries off the roof of the store and would like to know more about who is cleaning up the area.  
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Timbers Edge.  We also heard there has been activity at the east end of the Timbers Edge property, at the site of the Avery homestead, where the area was cleared of blackberries. We heard the neighbors reported squatters and Mr Tallmon himself came out to look the situation over, and told nearby residents the area would be logged and developed next year.  The question is whether the site will be developed supporting community interests, or at the higher density, ignoring community concerns.  More when we know what is being planned.
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Squirrels. This squirrel was the only wildlife we saw on a recent walk.  The problem with the non-native grays is they out compete the smaller native brown Douglas squirrels and soon the natives will all but disappear.  It is a difficult dilemma for those who love all creatures.
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Gardens.  We have heard there are some beautiful gardens in Illahee.  Please send us some photos.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/9/14 Culvert Cleaned, Trees Habitated, Storm Pond Enlarged, Work Parties, Homeless Camp, State Ferry Name Request, Wildlife Photos?

Culvert Cleaned.  It was a busy week in Illahee beginning with the Illahee Creek culvert cleaned out on August 1st.  50 cubic yards of sand and gravel, plus some golf balls from Rolling Hills Golf Course, were removed from downstream of the culvert and deposited at the Almira parking lot area of the Illahee Preserve, where on Sunday Rotary volunteers spread and graded it.  Despite the continued cleanout of the downstream end of the culvert, the upstream cleanance continues to decrease, which is why some think it will eventually plug up and result in a road washout.  This is the reason stormwater projects are in progress to decrease the storm surges and the excessive sedimentation. An upstream storm pond is currently being enlarged and more pond enlargement work is planned at the golf course in 2015.

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Trees Habitated.  With the prospect of a new shelter going in some of the nearby trees were deemed hazards and were habitated, i.e., they were topped leaving the trunks for insects and woodpeckers. This took place on Thursday afternoon (8/7/14) and was a compromise with some of those objecting to any trees being cut.  One diseased maple tree was cut down.  
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Storm Pond Enlarged.  In the Kariotis area a storm pond is being enlarged to help with the Illahee Creek sedimentation problem that is plaguing the culvert.  Some of the dirt from the pond was delivered on Thursday afternoon (8/7/14) during the tree trimming which should nearly complete all the fill dirt needed for the shelter project.
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Work Parties.  On Friday (8/8/14) two simultaneous work parties began moving wood chips that had accumulated during the summer, and also the cleaning up the debris from the habitated trees.  
A group from the aircraft carrier John C Stennis (CVN74) cleaned up the area around the Thompson Lane parking lot, and were treated by a lunch time BBQ courtesy of Rotarian member Andy Graham, who owns McClouds.
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The other work party was from the Washington Youth Academy and consisted of 52 cadets.  They hauled wood chips, debris from the tree trimming, logs, and other tasks. Thanks to these young men and the East Bremerton Rotary who coordinate the work parties, as they make the Illahee Preserve a great place to walk, jog, or bike in a diverse forest setting.
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Homeless Camp.  Just prior to Friday’s work party someone was found sleeping in the Preserve in a homeless camp that was thought to be vacant.  He was advised where to go for help and later the camp as cleaned by some hard working WYA cadets.  To give you an idea how much garbage had accumulated, they filled the bed of a pickup twice with garbage bags.  Thanks to the WYA guys and the Kitsap County parks volunteer coordinator, Lori Raymaker, for coordinating the cleanup effort and for hauling the garbage away.  Park stewards had started to clean up the site but realized it was beyond what they had time for.  The photo below was taken a month ago when the site was first discovered.  The garbage was in back of this area.
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State Ferry Name Request.  Thanks to those who forwarded the following letter requesting the next ferry be named the Illahee:
Wildlife Photos?  As you may have noticed there were no wildlife photos in this Update.  We did get a report of coyotes on the beach, but there was not enough time to get a photo of them.
Jim Aho  

Illahee 7/25/14 Flycatchers, Illahee Stormwater Project, Stormwater Article, Benthic Testing, Other Bugs, SWD in Raspberries?, Illahee Day, Homeless Camps, Wood Chips, Interim Map

Flycatchers.  We were not aware of flycatchers until we received the email below showing photos of 4 babies. Wikipedia notes its diet “As a flycatcher it will wait on a perch and when it sees a flying insect it will chase it without any apparent effort. They also enter swarms of gnats, mosquitoes and wherever such insects congregate. They fulfill an important role in keeping insect populations in check, particularly mosquitoes. and they also eat caterpillars and spiders.”

A pair of Pacific Slope Flycatchers raised a brood in my back yard (see attached). They often use man made structures to nest on and in this case it was a ladder hanging on the side of my well house. It was on the bottom step. Fortunately, I have only a couple of cats in the neighborhood and they didn’t find the nest. The pictures are only 2 or 3 weeks apart.
Illahee Stormwater Project.  Kitsap County is currently working on a stormwater pond project in the Kariotis development that benefits Illahee Creek.  They are enlarging an
existing stormwater pond and increasing the size of the drainage piping. We heard the people in the development have not been happy with the disruptions, such that the county produced an information sheet to explain the project.  Below are some photos of the roadwork to put in the larger pipe and the pond after the surrounding vegetation has been removed. 
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Stormwater Article.  Last Sunday’s Kitsap Sun (7/20/14) had a great article on stormwater and we will try to find the link to it later. 
Benthic Testing.  And Monday’s Kitsap Sun followed with an article on benthic testing. We will try to find the link to this article also. Illahee Creek is tested every two years and the results have not been good, likely the result of the excessive sedimentation that has filled the culvert under Illahee Road, and threatens the culvert with a washout.
Other Bugs.  While the benthic testing looks at aquatic bugs, we found some bugs hatching out under a lettuce leaf, that appear to be stink bugs.
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SWD in Raspberries?  Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) (Drosophila suzukii) is a
soft fruit pest that at least one Illahee resident feels it is attacking her raspberries, and possibly her blueberries.  She recently soaked her raspberries in a salt water solution and out came a bunch of very small white worms.  If they are the spotted wing drosophila they are from Asia and were discovered in California in 2008 and in Washington and Oregon in 2009. Below is a life cycle slide of the SWD from a WSU publication:
Illahee Day.  For planning purposes, the Port of Illahee has selected August 16 to celebrate Illahee Day.  The location is near the entrance of the dock and the time is from 4 – 7 pm.  We will post more information as it becomes available.
Homeless Camps.  Only two homeless camps found this month, but there are concerns as the word on the street is that homeless camps in the Central Kitsap area are scheduled to be removed, which usually results in them looking at moving into the Illahee Preserve.
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Wood Chips.  Wood chips continue to be unloaded at the Preserve’s Almira parking lot.  The other evening we helped level a big chip pile near the Preserve’s sign and wish we had taken a before picture.  
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Interim Map.  Good news about trail maps.  A new one is being developed, and an interim map was printed up and posted on Wednesday.  Thanks to Rob and the guys at the Planetarium on Pacific Avenue for the interim maps.
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Jim Aho