Illahee 6/30/15 We Can Do It, July 5th Deadline, $30,000 Needed, Pledge or Online Donations?, More Info, Illahee Photos, Dock Cross Bracing, Fire Danger

We Can Do It!  We are down to the final days of our fundraising campaign to expand the Illahee Preserve by 25.5 acres.  This protects forest and riparian habitat and preserves connectivity for a desired regional trail system.   This purchase will also reduce a dense development abutting Illahee Creek and eliminate a pressurized sewer across the creek and up Illahee Road, among other benefits.
6-30 Donate 
July 5th Deadline.  We need to start the purchase process by Monday, July 6, so we set Sunday, July 5th as our deadline.  
$30,000 Needed.  We still need to raise $30,000 in the next 5 days!  Gifts of any amount are needed now.  Gifts of $1,000 or more will be recognized on a donor wall at the Almira entrance to the Preserve.Pledge or Online Donations?  The pledge form has been popular as donors want to make sure we are going to reach our fundraising goal before actually donating, and it allows time then to send in the money, which isn’t needed until closing.  The pledge form can be downloaded at:

Donations can be made easily online at: Info?  More information is available at:, or call Jim Aho 360.479.1049, or Rob Spearman 360.377.5547

Preserve Tent.  Thanks to those who told us about a recent tent in the Preserve.  We posted it and the person left. The last photo shows the area after it was cleaned up of trash.  Thanks to the volunteers who keep the Preserve so clean!!

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Illahee Photos.  Some interesting work boat traffic.  Notice the size of the ferry along side the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
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Dock Cross Bracing.  Important community dock cross bracing being installed to insure the dock’s structural integrity.
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Fire Danger Signs.  We have requested 7 additional high danger fire signs for the Illahee Preserve.  In spite of the dry conditions everywhere, and especially in the Preserve, we still find problem areas, such as this recently covered up fire pit in the Preserve discovered yesterday.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 6/25/15 Fallout if TE Not Purchased, New Sewer Line?, List of Reasons to Contribute, Nearly 60% Raised, Requests Have Been Made, Pledges Urgently Needed, Why Pledges?, Undecided?, Website, Online Donations?, $10K Donation, Information Packets

Fallout If TE is Not Purchased.  With the failure to secure a $300,000 Birkenfeld grant we have been asked about the consequences if the funding to purchase the 25 acres is not raised?
New Sewer Line?  The TE project was approved for 110 homes though the current developer is looking at 87 homes, requiring a pressurized sewer line running through Illahee.  This would result in increased costs for many which was discussed at a community meeting in February.
List of Reasons To Contribute.  The list below came from the first “Campaign to Purchase Timbers Edge” handout, which would also be the fallout if not purchased.
Why Contribute 
Nearly 60% Raised!  With the help of the property owner over $440,000 in donations and pledges have been received!  That is great news, but it also means we have to raise the last 40%.
Requests Have Been Made.  We realize some significant help is needed and a number of requests have been made.  At least one of these is in the $300,000 range, and while we don’t know what will happen, we are banking on at least one of them coming through (which would put us at the same point as if we had received a Birkenfeld grant).
Pledges Urgently Needed.  Even if help comes, we need pledges and donations ASAP to complete the first purchase!
Pledges?  The benefits of pledges is they will be redeemed only if the funding level is sufficient to purchase the properties.  That is the preferred way to give at this point.  If we had received a Birkenfeld $300,000 grant or a later like gift, we would be at 95% and still would have needed to raise the last 5%.
Pledge Form FINAL 
Undecided?  If you are still undecided let us give you a tour of the TE properties. Seeing the properties has been what has sold all those who have toured it.  Just respond to this email and we will set up a time that is convenient for you.
Website Traffic.  We heard the number of people accessing website has been steadily increasing.  Was it the signs (like this one in Seattle) or the recent Kitsap Sun article by Rob Woutat?
Avi Lost Continent 
Online Donations?  While the TheLostContinent website is being accessed, the number of people donating through the website has not increased, which is disappointing, but at least the message is getting out.  Evidently it takes awhile for those wanting to help to take the time to initiate a donation, which is why fundraising experts say it needs to be made very easy.
$10,000 Donation.  Earlier this week a $10,000 donation call was received as the result of the Woutat article in the Kitsap Sun.  They had planned on giving as the result of a conversation with an IFP board member, and when they saw the article with a name and phone number, it prompted them to follow through.
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Information Packets.  New information packets have been made up and are being made available for anyone wanting to pass them out to possible contributors.  Just respond to this email or call the numbers on the cover letter below. 
6-23 Ltr.

Jim Aho

Illahee 6/17/15 Birkenfeld Grant Rejected, Major Donations Urgently Needed, Can It Be Done?, Current Status, Great Give Funds Received, Who Contributes?, $340,000 Must Still Be Raised, Three Weeks Till Escrow, Kitsap Sun Article, Help Needed!

Birkenfeld Grant Rejected.  We thought we were a good fit for a Birkenfeld Trust grant, which was the only quick turn-around grant that fit our tight schedule.  We learned today that the grant committee did not select us, which is a major disappointment. 

Major Donations Urgently Needed.  We are now $340,000 short of what is needed to purchase the Phase 1 properties (25.5 acre) and will need some major donations to come in.
Can It Be Done?  We have been asked if it is at all possible for the purchase to happen?  We are working several angles and think it is still possible, but it will take some outside help from those with significant resources.
Current Status.  Over $77,000 (10%) has been received so far in pledges and donations!  While there were several $10,000 pledges, most of the others range from $5,000 to $200  and we have classified this as a grass roots effort so far by mostly local citizens to support saving the forest, stream, and watershed.  Some of those who are older have mentioned this as their “legacy” donation for future generations. 
Great Give Funds Received.  On Saturday a check came in from the Kitsap Community Foundation’s Great Give Campaign for just under $7,000 (from 31 contributors).  We had received $6515 in donations on May 5th, and KCF added $748.60 (11%) from their matching pool, but then they subtracted credit card and other fees, which brought the total to $6,939.08.  Not bad for a one day event!
Who Contributes?  The other day a student who wrote a report on Illahee Creek donated $20 cash, and an elderly person living on Social Security pledged $1,000 and said their roof repair could wait.  A $10,000 contribution/pledge combination came in from a cashed-out annuity.  While the big contributions are absolutely necessary for a successful purchase, it is heartwarming to see so much coming from those who aren’t wealthy and yet are willing to make substantial contributions.
Successful Phase 1 To Help Phase 2?  We would like to think that being successful with Phase 1 will help inspire larger donations for Phase 2.  However, with the failure to secure a Birkenfeld grant, we are now looking to major donors to help with Phase 1.
$340,000 Must Still Be Raised.  This past week a total of $2,000 came in in pledges, which helps, but still leaves us $340,000 still to be raised is a short time frame.
Three Weeks Till Escrow Start.  In order to close by the August 5, 2015 deadline, escrow must start 30 days in advance, which is July 6th, which means we have only 3 weeks to raise the remaining funds.
Kitsap Sun Article.  What a great article in the Kitpsap Sun on Friday by Rob Woutat!  Rob used to live in Illahee and so he knows the people and the issues.  His article helped explain where the term “The Lost Continent” came from and the name on the many signs throughout the area advertising  We have had several calls from the Sun article and a $500 pledge.  
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Help Urgently Needed!  We do need help from many to raise the last 45% or $340,000 of the funds for this first purchase.  We need to complete Phase 1 (25 acres) before we can even think about Phase 2 (the remaining 10.7 acres).   Below is the document we plan to distribute far and wide to garner support and the remaining funds.
6-17 Ltr 
Jim Aho  (I need to let readers know that I am not an impartial reporter of information regarding the TE purchase campaign.  I, along with others, have a considerable amount of time and money invested to see if we can make these purchases happen.)

Illahee 6/9/15 Ravens, Coyote, Signs, Pledges, Fingers Crossed, Tours, Port Ad Hoc Committee, Photos


Reissued because the email version of the photos were not viewable, which required they be corrected on the website where they were attached.

Ravens.  One of the joys of living near the Illahee Preserve, Illahee State Park, and the surrounding forested properties, are the ravens. They are at least twice the size of a crow and have a deeper voice, except for the very young ones.  Thanks to Vicki for sharing these photos.

Coyote.  It is hard to get a good photo of a coyote so thanks Russ for photographing this guy last week, even if it was through a window.
Signs.  Lots of signs up advertising website.  Donations are needed for the purchase of Timbers Edge and other properties. The signs were for sale for $5 at the Farmers Market with some of them are showing up in South Kitsap and the second photo is one from Tracyton, and the last one is on Illahee Road.  Let us know if you want to put up a sign, as there are a few left. 
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The goal is to have people access the website, where they can learn more and also contribute to its purchase.
Pledges.  There was a dry spell for more significant contributions for a couple of weeks, and finally last week, as a result of the Pacific Crest Trail event at the Admiral, several pledges came in.  Thanks to all those who are helping!  Below is the pledge form being used.
Pledge Form FINAL 
Fingers Crossed.  We still have our fingers crossed in hopes the Birkenfeld Trust will come through to help with the purchase of the Timbers Edge properties.  We should know this week and we are anxiously waiting.
Two Weeks To Raise $45,000?  If the Birkenfeld Trust grant comes through with the $300,000 requested, we will be 95% of the way toward the purchase of the first 25 acres.  That will leave us with two weeks to raise the remaining $45,000.  We heard many are waiting to see if the grant comes through before contributing, though they could pledge as the pledge is contingent upon raising the funding. 
Tours.  It has been fun to give tours of the Timbers Edge properties and watch as people begin to understand why we are so anxious to purchase the properties.  Let us know if you are interested.
Port Ad Hoc Committee.  At last month’s Port of Illahee regular meeting a resolution was approved to establish an ad hoc committee to look at better meeting place options for those with ADA issues, than the present one at the bottom of the steep hill.  Let us know if you are interested in being on the committee and we will pass your name on to the Port.  Note that the regular monthly meeting of the Port is this Wednesday (6/10) at the Port meeting room 5500B at 5 pm.  The public is invited to attend.
Illahee Photos.  Trash Cleaned Up at Illahee Store,  The first sun sugar tomato of the season.  Well fed deer in the garden.  Boats, survey along the shoreline and someone rowing with the motor literally in the back of the boat.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/28/15 Rhododendron Blossoms, Getting Out the Word, Guard Rail Damage, Garbage Dumped, Tagged Property, Community Meeting Minutes, Settlement Outfall, Shoreline Theft

Rhododendron Blossoms.  So many great colorful rhododendrons in the area.  Thanks to Cliff for sharing those in his yard, which we are inserting in this update.  FYI, Rhododendron (from Ancient Greek ῥόδον rhódon “rose” and δένδρον déndron “tree”) which would mean we could also think of them as the rose tree.

Getting Out the Word.  Seems like many people are still unaware of the urgent need to purchase the Timbers Edge properties, so volunteers are trying to figure out how to let people know.  The photo below was taken at last Thursday’s Bremerton Farmers Market, and they should be there this eveing with more information.  Thanks to all those who are helping!!!!

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Guard Rail Damage.  At the top of Illahee Hill someone appeared to hit the energy absorbing guard rail head on, which hopefully helped mitigate any injuries.  We would be nice to know what happened, so please let us know if you know.
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Garbage Dumped.  Someone dumped a toilet at the Illahee store that has a name on it so if anyone knows how this might be traced back to a person, please contact the local authorities.
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Tagged Property.  Seems like this uninhabited house along the waterfront got tagged and if it isn’t taken care of within the time frame given the fine, if we understand it right, is $225 a day.
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Community Meeting Minutes.  It is always nice to see meeting minutes published shortly after a meeting.

Illahee Community Club

(Supporting the Illahee Community Plan)

(Meetings held the middle month of each quarter – Feb, May, Aug, Nov)

Minutes for the Illahee Community Club meeting held on May 18, 2015 held at the Sylvan Way Library.

Meeting called to order at 6:35 PM by ICC President Barney Bernhard.  26 in attendance,  Guest speakers from Kitsap County & West Sound Cycling.  Brief introductions:  attendees stated their names, address (street name) and how they heard about the meeting.

Old Business:


New Business:

1.        Barney introduced Michelle Keeton, Kitsap County Department of Community Development.  Michelle talked about upcoming deadlines for the Comprehensive Plan review.  She has been working with the ICC committee (Jim Brady, Zac Aho, and Judy Krigsman*) that is reviewing the Illahee sub-area plans.  No major changes are planned to the Illahee sub-area plan.   Maps of the area were shown.  Questions and answers.  David Greetham also from KC was in attendance and also answered some questions.  ICC committee hopes to present to the group at next meeting.

*This ICC committee meets at the Sylvan Way library every Tuesday.   ICC wants to maintain an open dialogue with County; we currently are under the Central Kitsap Community Council which is the group on record that deals directly with the County.

2.        Transportation.  Greg Cioc, Kitsap County Public Works/Transportation and Traffic. Talked about the TIPP process – points are assigned to a project as well as costs.  Judy Krigsman talked about several accidents in the driveway area of her home.  Greg said to submit these as safety concerns.  Safety issues are looked at more quickly.   Also discussion about bicyclists riding up/down Illahee Road.  Safety concerns on the hill.  A bike path up the hill on Illahee Road would cost about $3-1/2 million dollars. Questions about Oceanview-oblique angles for adjoining roads.  Would be very costly.  Bridge replacement over a culvert would cost $1 million.  Concerns about the amount of traffic Illahee Road has during rush hour; drivers avoiding the Wheaton Way corridor come down Illahee Road and then up Oceanview to get back to the Wheaton Way to avoid traffic lights/congestion.

3.       Rick Feeney, West Sound Cycling talked about bike paths.  Possible multiuse path (walker, bicycle riders, ADA) from Albertson’s (off Sheridan Rd) to the Sylvan Way Library.

4.       Jim Aho reviewed the Timbers Edge purchase campaign.  Still looking for some large donors to help us reach the total.

5.       Outfall pipe.  Jim Aho showed the agreement and pictures of the pipe which in its current state is an eyesore.  Pipe was put in with no notification to all the parties involved.  Rather than start costly legal action it was suggested that all parties get together and see if they could resolve the issue.

Meeting was adjourned by President Barney Bernhard at 7:51PM.

Respectfully submitted:  Gwen Detweiler, Interim Secretary

Settlement Outfall.  We heard the Department of Community Development was checking with legal to see if the Illahee Settlement Outfall agreement has been signed by everyone.
Shoreline Theft.   A Danforth anchor and 30 feet of chain were taken recently from an Illahee boat house.  A few years ago a series of thefts occurred that included 3 kayaks being stolen, with the thieves coming back repeatedly to take more. 
Jim Aho

Illahee 5/20/15 Photos, Community Meeting, Transportation Report, TE Report, Outfall Report, Fundraising Efforts, Cell Phone Found

Photos.  Evidently the Bullock’s Oriole is common to the area but not often seen.  The Bullock male differs from the Baltimore Oriole male whose head is all black.  This one was photographed through a window and thus the glare.

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While on a tour through the Timbers Edge properties this large frog appeared along the path.

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Community Meeting.  From the comments we heard following the community meeting on Monday this was one of the best and most informative ones ever.  Much had to do with the county representatives who answered questions along with the community group working on suggested updates to the Illahee Community Plan and the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  Thanks to Michelle Keaton, Greg Cioc, and David Greetham from Kitsap County, Rick Feeney representing the West Sound Cycling and non-motorized trails, and Jim Brady and his group representing the Illahee community’s input.
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Transportation Report.  We saw this email following the meeting and decided to copy it regarding transportation issues raised.
Here are my further questions re: our transportation goals. Let me know what else I should ask, and I’ll compose an email to Transportation to see if we can get some follow-up answers.
1. A bike path up Illahee Road is $3.35 million, which did not sound like a possibility.
  a. Where does this number come from? When was it generated, and is the document public? does this document est. costs for other sections of road in Illahee?
  b. What level of improvement does this number represent? 
  c. Would there be an acceptable cheaper option? (I think there may very well be, having just walked the road)
4.How can the community inform the TIP application process? How can the we let Transportation know about such as the failing Illahee Creek culvert, and accidents along the road? 
5. How are our goals represented in the TIP application process? Can we read them?
6. Do our goals represent one item in TIP, or several? Should they be broken down into, for example, Illahee Hill, Roosevelt to University Point, Oceanview, and McWilliams?
7. We have heard of several studies on improving Oceanview. Where can we access these? Or for any of the three streets identified in our Community Goals.
8. How can we in the community meaningfully express our prioritization of Illahee transportation goals?
9. Does the county really have only 1.5 million allotted county-wide for bicycle / pedestrian improvements over the next 6 years, as seems to be indicated in the TIP?
TE Report.  The Timbers Edge report noted $71,000 has been raised in pledges and contributions to purchase the 25 acres, the first phase of the purchase plan.  Thanks to all those who have contributed!!!!!  With the help of Mr. Tallman’s $350,000 we are at 55% of the $767,000 purchase price.  If the Birkenfeld Trust grant comes through with $250,000 we are at 87%, and if with $300,000 we are at 94%.  
Major donations will be required to purchase the entire 36 acres, but we have a few more months to raise the funds for that purchase, all presuming the first purchase is successful.
While we would be around 90% with a successful Birkenfeld grant, we still need to raise roughly between $50,000 and $100,000 to make the purchase, so any help or suggestions are appreciated.
Outfall Report.   The Illahee Settlement Outfall subject was discussed and it was recommended that a meeting be arranged with Kitsap County to discuss the issues, rather than retain legal council.
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Fundraising Efforts.  How do we raise the funds to purchase Timbers Edge is a question one group of supporters is asking and then implementing them.  One plan is for signs in the area and 200 have been ordered and should show up soon.  Another is a T-shirt campaign which is described below.

The Lost Continent Project Shirts

As part of our urgent fundraising campaign to purchase the Timbers Edge properties for the Illahee Preserve, the IFP non-profit is having a T-shirt drive. 

Purchase a T-shirt (short or long sleeve) or hoodie with our exclusive design.  Show everyone you do care about the future of our community and help build awareness of this project.  All proceeds will go towards expansion of the Preserve.

If not for yourself, maybe you want to purchase some for kids and grandkids?  We have a goal of selling 250 in the next 8 days, so act fast and help spread the word about this drive!

Please visit: 

We appreciate your support.

Cell Phone Found.  We were asked to post this note after a cell phone was found near the Illahee Community Dock.
Cell Phone found Alcatel, One Touch Metro PCS 4g found at Illahee Dock kiosk on Wed before Port meeting.  Contact 792-6934.
Jim Aho

Illahee 5/15/15 Community Meeting, Sub-Area Plan, Road Plans, Outfall Issue, TE Update

Community Meeting.   The Illahee Community non-profit group is holding their quarterly meeting on Monday, May 18, 2015, at the Sylvan Way Library at 6:30 pm.  The public is welcome and there will be several Kitsap County employees there to discuss the Comprehensive Plan Update and transportation issues.  Additionally, we will discuss the Illahee Outfall and have a report on the fundraising efforts to purchase Timbers Edge.

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Sub-Area Plan.   Illahee has its own community plan, called a sub-area plan, along with a few other unique communities in Kitsap County.  Illahee’s plan needs to be updated as part of the county’s comprehensive plan update and a handful of residents volunteered to help after the February 2015 quarterly meeting, and have been meeting weekly to make recommendations.  We will likely hear from them also.
Road Plans.   Separate from the Comp Plan, though working with the comp plan goals, is the county’s road plan, and county reps will be presenting their plans for Illahee and answering questions.
Outfall Issue.   The Illahee Outfall issue has been around for some time and a few months ago the beach section of the outfall was installed.  The installation was covered in detail in earlier updates because it caught Illahee residents unaware, in spite of the community entering into a settlement agreement with Kitsap County, the Port of Illahee, and the developer, that required notice and communication with the Illahee Community, along with meeting the requirements of the agreement.  It will be interesting to see what transpires.  An email was sent to the county to see if they could have someone explain what happened but so far no response has been received.  The community may have to look at taking legal actions if the county is unwilling to meet and try to resolve the issue.  The most recent photo we have of the outfall pipe is shown below.
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TE Update.   With the community and the Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit group trying to purchase the Timbers Edge properties in two phases it will be good to see where they are at.  The first phase is to raise $767,000 and the the second phase is to raise $933,000.  Check out the new website for more information.
Lost Continent Title FINAL 
Jim Aho

Illahee 5/10/15 Updates, TE Update, Community Mtg 5/18, Port Mtg 5/13, Pollution Mtg 5/12, FEMA Mtg 5/12, Wildlife Reports

Updates.  A request was made that these Updates cover only one subject, rather than so many.  This update is why the request isn’t feasible.  There are too many important issues and we don’t cover all that are requested.

TE Update.  With the count down now less than 2 months, actually 55 days, to being able to purchase the Timbers Edge 25 acres for $767,000, some are getting worried as the donations are only trickling in. One person on limited Social Security pledged $1000, and another from Bainbridge Island pledged $10,000.  That together with just over $6,000 from the Great Give brings us to about $70,000 received or pledged.  We don’t know if we will be successful with the Birkenfeld Trust grant we applied for.  If we are it could be for $300,000 or $250,000, which would be added to the owners contribution of $350,000, but still leaves us $47,000 or $97,000 short.  That means we need to average about $1,000 or $2,000 a day from now until July 6, when the closing documents need to be started in order to close on August 5, 2015.  Thanks to all who have already donated!  Tours of the property to be purchased will be given upon request and we will try to answer any questions.  Call (360) 479-1049.
Community Mtg 5/18.  We received the following notice of the quarterly meeting of the Illahee Community Group on Monday evening (5/18/15).  
The 2nd Quarter Illahee Community Meeting, is officially scheduled for 18 May 2015, at 6:30 PM, in the meeting room at the Kitsap Regional Library, on Sylvan Way in East Bremerton. We have guest Speaker Michelle Keeton, from Kitsap County DCD, who will be answering questions regarding our Subarea Plan Review.  Other agenda items include: Fund raising for Timbers Edge and the Birkenfeld Trust, and the Illahee Outfall Settlement Agreement.
There have been a number of questions regarding the outcome of the outfall installation that was reported on in earlier updates.  We hope the county will be able to send someone to answer the questions Illahee residents have as the installation doesn’t appear to meet the conditions the community agreed to.
Port Mtg 5/13.   On Wednesday at 5 pm the Port of Illahee Commissioners hold their monthly meeting at the Port meeting room at the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road.
Pollution Mtg 5/12.   In our last update we noted the Tuesday meeting “Pollution Detectives – Partners in Pollution Prevention” at the Brownsville Marina at 6 pm.  We checked the Health District sign at the Illahee Community Dock which has been there now for years and without a date on it, see the photo below.  We will likely be attending another meeting on Tuesday (see the next meeting notice) and hope someone can cover the meeting and possible get a photo or two of it?
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FEMA  Mtg 5/12.   A number of waterfront homeowners received post cards telling them there was a change in the Flood Hazard maps and more information would be available at meetings in Port Orchard and Suquamish.  Below is a photo of the post card that was received.
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Wildlife Reports.   Thanks to those who capture photos and information such as was received recently!
This might be interesting for your next update.

I was outside at dusk last night and got photos of what looked at first like a half-sized hummingbird hovering near some verbena.

It turned out to be an enormous moth called a White-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata), commonly known as the hummingbird moth:

Photos attached.  You can’t even see the wings while it hovers but the flash caught them.

Also, Karrie saw a coyote in the back yard last week. 

Jim Aho

Illahee 5/5/15 Great Give Update, Pollution Detective Meeting

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Great Give Update.   We were informed that we didn’t properly link the Great Give website to make it easy to contribute to the Illahee Forest Preserve.  So we checked the Great Give website and found the Preserve had already had 10 donations for $2,385, and decided we should try again properly link it in case some of you had problems. 

This is a One Day Event on 5/5/15 where there will be 10-20% match.

For more information go to

Lost Continent Title FINAL 
Pollution Detective Meeting.   Remember the Health District signs noting our shellfish beds are polluted?  The signs were up for many months and maybe years with just the date changing (see the photo of an old dated sign below) and may still be up at Illahee State Park, the Port of Illahee dock, and Brownsville.  We have gotten so used to seeing them we can’t recall if they are still up or have been removed.  We presume they are still there because of the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday (5/12/15) at 6 pm the Brownsville Marina — see the attached notice.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/4/15 Tent Caterpillars, Illahee Photos, Mating Crabs, TE Tours, Website Name, Great Give Reminder, Donate or Pledge?, FAQ

Tent Caterpillars.  Seems like this might be the year of larger than usual tent caterpillar infestations based on what we’ve seen so far in Illahee.  All the local apple trees in this area of Illahee are affected.

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Illahee Photos.  Some photos of boat traffic on April 30th with the Illahee State Park dock in the foreground.
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Mating Crabs.  These two crabs forgot to check the tide when they got interested in each other.  After we disturbed them they moved into deeper water, and they are fortunate the seagulls didn’t discover them.
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TE Tours.  Timbers Edge tours will be conducted this Wednesday evening (5/6/15) at 6 pm and Saturday morning (5/9/15) at 10 am.  Parking is available along the street at the east end of Nobles Lane.  For more information call 479-1049.
Website Name.  Where did the website name come from?   ”The Lost Continent” is a historical reference from the community for the watershed area that is trying to be purchased.  We first saw it as the name on the grant that resulted in the purchase of 90 additional acres for the Preserve.  Having ventured up Illahee Creek and traversing much of the watershed, we understand why it was so named.
Lost Continent Title FINAL 
Great Give Reminder.  Tuesday May 5th is the day of the great give and the Illahee Forest Preserve is on the list.
Donate or Pledge?   This is a dilemma for some who want to help with the purchase of Timbers Edge.  On-line donations can be limited by credit card limits.  The purchase of Timbers Edge requires many substantial donations, in the thousand dollar ranges, which is why pledge forms are being used.  Some are opting for both, others with a pledge.  The pledge form is shown below.
Pledge Form FINAL
FAQ.  Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ sheets are often helpful, especially on major projects. The FAQ for the purchase of Timbers Edge just came out last week.  It is long, but informative, so we thought it would be good to include it in an update.

The Lost Continent/Timbers Edge Purchase Campaign

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Based on questions asked at meetings, as well as comments, phone calls, and emails, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding our efforts to expand The Lost Continent through the purchase of the Timbers Edge development. If you have questions not included here, or simply would like to discuss particular concerns further, please do not hesitate to contact us. 


1.  How do I donate? The Illahee Forest Preserve has established The Lost Continent/Timbers Edge fund at the Kitsap Community Foundation (“KCF”) to hold and manage the contributions to our fundraising campaign.  KCF will issue a tax acknowledgement to each donor upon receiving a donation to The Lost Continent/Timbers Edge fund.

Donations can be made by check paid to the order of “Kitsap Community Foundation”, Memo: The Lost Continent/Timbers Edge fund, and mailed to: PO Box 3670, Silverdale, WA 98383.

Donations can also be made online by credit card at the KCF website (note:  credit card fees will be applied):

2.  Can I make a pledge and donate later?  Yes, we have a number of people who wanted to pledge their support before the KCF donation site was set up.  We are still accepting pledges and pledge forms are available on the website.  Completed pledge forms can be mailed to: Illahee Forest Preserve, C/O Jonathan Buesch, Treasurer, 6253 East Boulevard, Bremerton, WA 98311

3.  Can I donate stocks or land?   Yes, the Kitsap Community Foundation can accept gifts of stocks and marketable assets such as real property.  Please contact the Foundation or the Illahee Forest Preserve for more information.

4.  What can I do to help?  We can always use more help!  The Illahee Forest Preserve is an example or model of how volunteers can manage and maintain a major nature park and preserve.  We currently need help with our capital campaign to purchase the Lost Continent and Timbers Edge properties.  We are also looking for help with the oversight and maintenance of the Preserve properties and encourage people to contact us at our three supporting websites: (for our Long Range acquisition goals, visions, and plans) (for Illahee Preserve management and administrative support) (for Update reports on wildlife, the Preserve, and community)


5.  Why do you want to purchase the Timbers Edge development? The short answer is the development properties were previously targeted for the expansion of the Illahee Preserve and represent key and crucial properties needed to protect habitat and wildlife corridors and provide connectivity for a desired regional trail system.  The Illahee Preserve has only been in existence since 2001 when the Illahee School Trust Land was purchased from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  In 2005 approximately 90 acres of adjacent properties were added to the Preserve, but not included were the targeted properties that had become part of an impending development called Timbers Edge.

6.  Why do they want to sell the property and the development?  That is a question that has perplexed many as they have a Hearing Examiner approved development worth at least the amount they are asking for it.  The answer is that both the property owner and the developer have stated that they realize the importance of the property to the local community and to the Illahee Preserve, and they would rather it be saved than developed.  (This is the same response we received years earlier when other nearby property was purchased from developers to be added to the Illahee Preserve.)  And in this case, the property owner has also agreed to help with a substantial and generous donation toward the purchase.

7.  Wouldn’t it be better to develop the property and have more tax revenue for the county?  Not Necessarily.  Even ignoring the tangible and intangible benefits of having an interconnected and well functioning natural habitat and wildlife preserve, this line of thinking has been proven wrong by numerous peer reviewed studies.  Quoting from “The Impact Of Parks And Open Spaces On Property Values” by John L. Crompton, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2007:

“The conventional wisdom among many decision-makers and taxpayers is that development is the “highest and best use” of vacant land for increasing municipal revenues. The belief is that development increases the tax base and thereby lowers each individual’s property tax payments. Hence, larger property tax revenues are likely to accrue to communities if land was built-out with homes, rather than being used as parks or open space.

In most situations, this conventional wisdom is erroneous. When open space is transformed into homes, the taxes of existing residents invariably increase because while the development generates tax revenue, the cost of providing public services and infrastructure to that development is likely to exceed the tax revenue emanating from it. This conclusion emerges from a review of a cost of community studies reported by over 50 different research teams in 21 different states (Crompton 2004).”

8.  Isn’t this the project that prompted the Port of Illahee to fund a stream study?  Yes, there were actually a number of water and hydrology studies done on these properties as the area is a critical aquifer recharge area supplying groundwater to Illahee Creek and also to the North Perry Water District.  The studies showed the importance of infiltrating rain water back into both the shallow and deep aquifers, and the importance it is to the base flows in Illahee Creek.  The studies are referenced in the publication Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan, Parametrix, Bellevue, Washington, October 2008.

9.  Don’t we have enough parks and opens space already?  Surveys continue to show that Kitsap residents desire more parks, yet the county is not funding acquisitions (other than some recent large projects that became available in North Kitsap) and can barely maintain existing parks, relying on volunteers to manage parks like the Illahee Preserve.   As the county becomes more and more developed, there are going to be fewer and fewer parks and accessible areas of open space.  The Lost Continent area is a particularly unique forested area, wildlife preserve, and salmon bearing watershed, in the highest density part of the county, and can provide important habitat and recreational opportunities.  Once developed, there is no going back, which is why it is so critical to protect this natural gem for future generations!


10.  Why is the timeframe to purchase so short? The project has been through ownership changes that have delayed its getting started.  While the new owner would like to sell it to be part of the Illahee Preserve, he has loan notes coming due this summer.  Additionally he has a county deadline of March 2016 to begin the project and needs to know soon if we will make a purchase so he can get his final permits to begin construction, should we fail to purchase the property.

11.  Why are you asking us to contribute when grants are available?  We applied for the only grant we were aware of that fit the timeframe we were given, which is a Birkenfeld Trust grant that was applied for in March, with the results to be announced in June.  Most grants require a much longer turnaround time and the application schedules did not fit our situation. 

Additionally, grants rarely fund a major portion of a project and normally require a match, or a percentage of the project costs.  The bottom line is if we want this we will need to help pay for it.

12.  Why didn’t you ask for funding from local, state, or national government sources?   Again, the timeframe was too short to get the information to elected officials, much less into any appropriation plans or bills.  Nevertheless, elected officials have been contacted and are supportive of our efforts. Again, nearly all government money requires a corresponding match.

13.  Do you really think it is possible to raise $767,000 and $1,700,000?   Yes, but only because of the generous contribution of the property owner, coupled with the possibility of a substantial grant, which means we need only raise about half of the above amounts. By having two options (25 and 36 acres) it becomes more doable.  We feel confident we can raise the funds for the 25 acres especially if we are successful with the Birkenfeld Trust grant.  And once we are successful with this first phase, we think with two additional months to raise more funds, we can be successful with the purchase of the remaining acreage.

14.  When will you know if you are going to be successful for the 25 acres?  We will know as soon as the contributions reach the $767,000 threshold.  With the $350,000 gift of the owner, the amount needed to be raised would be $417,000, which is doable.  We have applied for a Birkenfeld Trust grant of $300,000 and will find out in June if we are successful, which would bring the amount to be raised to $117,000.  We hope to have those funds raised before July.

15.  You seem to be banking on the Birkenfeld Trust grant coming through. Why do you think your application will be accepted?   We don’t know what other applications are being considered by the Birkenfeld Trust, but feel we are a good match for the grant when we look at the criteria they have posted.  First of all, we satisfy the Kitsap County requirement.  Second, there is a critical urgency to our request that will not allow us to wait for another grant cycle.  We only have a few months to secure the property or it will be developed.  Third, we have a great naming opportunity, a requirement of the grant, and have an architect working on a design for a donor recognition area.  Fourth, the Illahee Preserve is a highly visible major nature preserve in one of the most densely populated areas of Kitsap County and provides unique community educational and recreational opportunities (a forested Central Park, a wildlife preserve, a nearly self-contained watershed, and a salmon stream).  Fifth, the Illahee Preserve is a model of how community volunteers can manage and maintain a major heritage park (working collaboratively with local governments) into a premier nature attraction.  And finally, we have a history of being successful in the endeavors we have undertaken as the Preserve as expanded from 352 acres in 2001 and to 545 acres in 2011 (which includes the 104 acre golf course).

16.  Why didn’t you start fund raising earlier?  We started limited fundraising efforts at the end of 2014 when the purchase proposal was first presented.  It concentrated on Illahee Forest Preserve board members and those close to the project and raised roughly $50,000 in gifts and pledges.  However, the “critical mass” did not come about until early March 2015 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed, which also allowed for the Birkenfeld grant application to be submitted in mid-March.  This is when the capital campaign officially began with weekly planning and strategy meetings to determine how best to raise the necessary funding to purchase the properties.

17.  What are your fundraising plans?   Because of the short timeframe, we are already many months behind a normal fundraising schedule.  Major donors are the key to a successful campaign and those individuals need to be contacted now and in parallel with other grassroots efforts.  The two-prong parallel effort is underway with the emphasis on directly contacting all potential donors.

18.  What amounts are you looking for from donors?  Most potential donors have money available for causes they like and are supportive of.  In our case the property owner is contributing $500,000 towards the purchase and stated the best use for this land is for it to be part of the Preserve rather than be developed.  We are looking for financial gifts from other major donors ranging in the $100,000 to $250,000 range who feel the same way with a goal of raising $550,000.  Our second tier donor range is from gifts under $100,000 and over $25,000 with a goal of raising $350,000.  The remaining $300,000 needed would come from over 100 individuals with gifts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

19.  What do you mean when you say donations may be effectively doubled?  If we are successful with the Timbers Edge purchases, they are planned to be used as a 50% match for a state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant to purchase the remaining Lost Continent properties.  Landowner agreements have already been obtained for a majority of these properties, meaning the landowners are interested in either selling or granting a conservation easement on their property to expand the Preserve.  The goal is to complete all of the remaining Lost Continent properties acquisitions with a successful 2016 RCO grant application.

20.  What is your timeline for completing these plans?  Our goal is to complete the Timbers Edge purchase ASAP, and the Lost Continent acquisitions beginning in 2016.  Our brief schedule is as follows:

April                Website, Print Media, Fundraising Plans

May-June        Fund Raising

July                  Prepare papers for August 5th closing for 25 acre TE purchase

July-August     Fund Raising

September       Prepare papers for October 4th closing for remaining TE purchase

Early 2016       Prepare RCO application

May 2016        Submit RCO application to purchase Lost Continent properties

21.  Who can we contact for more information?  The primary contacts are:  Jim Aho, IFP President, (360) 479-1049, Rob Spearman, IFP Vice President, (360) 377-5547, Jon Buesch, IFP Treasurer, (360) 415-9885, or Merrill Evans, IFP Secretary (360) 377-3545.