Photos. The first photo is of a male Barrow’s Goldeneye that seems to prefer salt water in the winter. It is primarily a Northwest duck that lives and has its nests in trees in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. And as such its young must drop down from the nest when they are young. So where does it get its name? The following quote is from “Birds of Seattle and Puget Sound”: “This northwestern duck bears the name of an Englishman who never visited the region. Sir John Barrow was an early 19th-century explorer intent on finding a passage through the Arctic. Although he never completed his lifelong mission, his name also graces a number of important Arctic landmarks.”
Photos. Thanks to Cliff for this photo taken two weeks ago (12/13/17) from his back yard near Illahee State Park. A similar photo was on the front page of the Kitsap Sun (12/15/17) with the caption “A fallstreak hole, also known as a hole punch cloud, appeared over East Bremerton on Wednesday afternoon. The cloud formation can occur when water droplets in certain clouds freeze suddenly and fall, leaving a hole.”
Photos. If you have some good snow scenes we will include them in our next Update.
Coyote Report. “A pack of coyotes has been causing a massive evening opera outside our place for the last five days. I am very careful not to let my dog outside alone. You may want to put something in your updates warning pet owners to be on the alert.”
Wednesday Port Meeting. Residents are encouraged to attend the Port of Illahee meetings which are held at the Port of Brownsville’s Annex (until the Illahee Store can be acquired). On the agenda is the Port’s lawyer, Ken Bagwell, presenting actions needed to acquire the Illahee Store. Also on the agenda is the possible changing of the meeting time (currently 5 pm) to allow more workers and commuters to attend.”
Huckleberries. We came across someone eating huckleberries while walking their dog in the Illahee Preserve, as there were still berries like these in some areas.
Homeless Camps. In spite of close monitoring, homeless camps keep showing up in the Preserve. It doesn’t take long for an area to be trashed, requiring volunteers to clean up the garbage. Five camps were recently found and posted with a notice to vacate, in this case by a deputy and Preserve Stewards. They are given time to pack up and leave, but nearly always leave a big mess, like these in the photos.
Wetland Map. In past Updates mention was made of an ongoing 10 year wetland struggle. The wetland was finally delineated this fall and a preliminary map prepared which shows a much larger wetland complex (over 2 acres) than the small less than half acre wetland that was presented during the first hearing in 2007, which is why the appeal was filed. More on this in a later Update when the stream data is added.
Timbers Edge II. A month ago emails/letters were requested from residents and Preserve users showing support for acquiring the Timbers Edge II property (the former Avery Homestead) for a southeast entrance to the Illahee Preserve. Those letters of support appear to be efficacious as discussions are looking positive for a possible purchase. Approximately $400,000 will still need to be raised with grants being a partial possibility, property trades, and community contributions.
Major Contributions Needed. Many give gifts this time of year and the Illahee Forest Preserve is a 501.c.3 non-profit established to support the Preserve. Contributions can be made through the Kitsap Community Foundation to the Lost Continent/Timbers Edge Fund, P.O. Box 3670, Silverdale, WA 98383 or directly to the Illahee Forest Preserve, Jon Buesch, Treasurer, 6253 East Blvd, Bremerton, WA 98311.
Tax Deductions & RMDs. Gifts qualify for tax deductions to the amount allowed by law. Also, for those over 70 who need to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) gifts can be given directly to non-profits so they aren’t taxed as income.
Does the Preserve Need Financial Help? The answer is YES! Property purchases are very expensive, as are wetland battles involving lawyers and experts (reported to be nearly $20,000 this year alone). The initial Timbers Edge purchase was $565,000 and the community contributed $130,000 in 2015. A few faithful contributors are keeping the non-profit in the black, but more financial support is currently needed. Acquisition progress is shown on the slide below.
RCO Visit. A week ago the Preserve was visited by the state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) representative for Kitsap County. The visit involved looking at the various properties around the Preserve that have been identified for a possible purchase. The grant cycle is every two years with 2018 the next one and the Preserve will be applying for an acquisition grant for this cycle, using the earlier Timbers Edge purchase amount to meet the 50% grant match requirement.
Preserve Meeting. The Preserve Stewards meet monthly the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm at the Kitsap Pavilion meeting room, which will be December 19th. Everyone is welcome. Find out how the Preserve Stewards are taking care of this amazing forested treasure located in our backyard. If questions, respond to this email.
Photo Catch Up. Wildlife photos are what most are looking for in these updates, so keep passing them on.
Developer Contributes $255,000. We earlier noted a “Bargain Price” on the Timbers Edge II develpment property at $870,000 (which is $255,000 under the appraisal received today of $1,125,000). This amounts to a quarter million dollar contribution!
Commissioners Consider Preserve Expansion. County Commissioners are considering helping with this bargain purchase and are looking at possible options available to them and will discuss them at their Nov 13th meeting.
Community Support Critical. This is where community action is urgently needed. Each commissioner district has county parks and the other two commissioners need to know the Illahee Preserve has the support of its nearby residents. They are probably unaware of 2780 volunteer hours recorded this year and the $130,000 raised in 2015 to help with the Timber Edge Phase I purchase). Our only communication to the community is via this and the previous email updates so feel free to pass them on to interested and concerned friends who will contact the commissioners to encourage their support.
19 Responses Received. Last Wed we heard 19 community responses had been received from the first email request, but we need to show more support for this purchase. The Avery Homestead property is the only logical entrance to this part of the Illahee Preserve (see the 10/25/17 Illahee Update for more information).
Please Help! Responses don’t need to be letters, and are better if they are short emails simply indicating support for the Timbers Edge II purchase. The Commissioners’ email addresses are:
Wed Port Meeting. Just a reminder the Wednesday Port of Illahee’s monthly meeting is being held at the Port of Brownsville’s Annex building at 9756 Ogle Road, at 5 pm.
Commissioner Letters. Thank you for responding to the 10/25 Update with emails and letters requesting County Commissioner support for help with purchase of the Timbers Edge final 10.7 acres (the former Avery Homestead).
Help us get the word out to more as this is a critical property for the Illahee Preserve’s long range plan, as once it is gone it is gone. Email Commissioners at: Kitsapcommissiones@co.kitsap.wa.us
Thanks to Steve for letting us share his response as an example of what is being sent.
Please seriously consider incorporating the Timbers Edge project into your budget process. We have a unique opportunity to acquire this land for the betterment of the Illahee community as well as the greater Bremerton area as a pristine rural escape for our citizens.
The owner of the property is doing everything he can to make this property attainable by the county in an interest in it’s preservation. And, he is doing this at great expense to himself. This is an unbelievably generous gesture on his part. We can’t afford to let it slip through our fingers.
I have personally contributed thousands of dollars in the past in an effort to secure these lands and would be thrilled with the county’s support in this endeavor. I will be willing to contribute as far as I am able, if it will help ensure this acquisitions success. PLEASE take advantage of this rare Golden Opportunity and include this funding in your budget – for the good of all.
Avery House. Permission was given to share excerpts from another letter to the Commissioners that provides information on the Avery Homestead (the photo is what it looks like today).
Many years ago my husband and I moved to Illahee and bought an old summer cabin alongside Illahee Creek and downstream of the Avery Homestead/Timbers Edge. We suddenly became owners of a 15 acre forest. What possibly could a boy from Brooklyn and a girl raised in the Hawaiian Islands know what to do with a raging winter stream, a failing culvert, and a desire to step back in time and opt for a quiet life, enjoy the countryside and listen to the frogs chirping at night?
Then one day we looked outside and the floodplain waters were engulfing our property and life changed forever. We began to observe the nature around us, and the raging winter stream was a fish stream filled with little ones swimming all around. Soon we learned those were steelhead, coho, cutthrout and chum salmon and we were hooked on nature and nurture. Those quiet days were not in store for us.
Illahee, as we learned, was steeped in rich history. One day shortly after settling in this 120 year old fixer-upper house,we met the elder daughter of the Avery family who grew up in the old house still sitting on the Timbers Edge property. She told me of life on the Avery property and how her father did aqua culture and netted the fish they ate for dinner out of Illahee Creek, and how her property had been the hunting ground for the indigenous native tribes as evidenced by the artifacts she found in the garden in which they raised their vegetables and her constant finding of what she referred to as arrowheads used for hunting. It was after these many stories from the old timers around here, that things began to make sense of Illahee’s past history. With a state registered cultural site on the Mossano property on the shoreline,our place directly uphill with culturally modified trees and fire trees used for cooking by the native peoples, things were getting very interesting. Walking up a little further along the creek you come to the Avery Homestead/Timbers Edge parcel and the start of our interest in the early 90’s of banding together with an elderly neighbor, Audrey Boyer, to facilitate and acquire the 350 acre Illahee Preserve-now 545 acres, for the benefit of the citizens of Kitsap County. The rest is history and this adventure with the love of nature and a strong desire by the county, parks, dedicated community groups, and developers, we come to where we are now. The acquisition of the remaining ten acre Avery Homestead/Timbers Edge parcel is crucial to the preserve, for it opens up the ability to have a much needed south entrance allows a historical property to remain, provides the much needed wildlife and habitat protection for Illahee Creek, and offers a potential ridge trail system.
Parks Deadline Extended. At the same time Commissioner letters are being sent, Parks is requesting residents tell them what you want for parks and has extended the deadline to Nov 10th. kitsapgov.com/parks
Daily Bait Balls. Lots of bait balls in Illahee waters feeding seals and sea lions; more bait around than we have seen in a long time.
Street Work. This site off of Sunset is to prevent ground water from seeping through the asphalt and freezing in the winter by installing curtain drains under the roadway. Thanks to KC Public Works for being proactive.
Gas Work. More people in Illahee having natural gas brought to their homes.
Port Meeting Location Change. Just a reminder that the Port of Illahee’s November 8th meeting will be meeting at the Port of Brownsville’s Annex (the former fire station) lower level at 5 pm. The 2018 budget will be discussed and approved.
Port Election. Please remember to vote by next Tuesday for the Port of Illahee commissioner of your choice. The voters pamphlet has information on the candidates and it can be viewed at the county’s website (page 24): https://spf.kitsapgov.com/auditor/Pages/GenEl_LVP2017_WEB.pdf.
Illahee Preserve Expansion Opportunity: Urgent Action Needed. Community help is urgently needed for the Illahee Preserve’s expansion plans, which are to acquire adjacent properties before they are developed. Normally they concentrate on undevelopable parcels, but this situation is different.
South Entrance. A south entrance to the Preserve is needed and the Timbers Edge 45 lot project is the only logical location. This is the site of the former Avery Homestead and provides a perfect south entrance to the Preserve.
Photos. Chickens are frequently sighted in Illahee. The first sighting this fall of American wigeons was at the Illahee North detention pond.
The gentlemen who was injured by a falling limb in the Illahee Preserve today has just called me. He give me an update on what happened at the Silverdale Urgent Care where he was taken by a female dentist who came upon him bleeding and trying to find his glasses.
He had 11 stitches to close the deep head wounds and was so grateful for the help he received during this event from others. He said that he was still shaken, will have stiches removed in a week before he goes to England for a visit. He refused the expensive x-rays and any other medical tests so as not to run up a bill. He is on Medicare and does not think the bill will be high, but may inquire if there might be any assistance from parks for help with his bill if it is not covered by Medicare.
Incident happened at milepost 32.
Photos. Some recent photos.