>East Bremerton Rotary Work Party – 1/27/08

>We’re not sure everyone understands just how much work has been accomplished in the Illahee Preserve by the East Bremerton Rotary. Not only did they take on the majority of work at the Thompson Lane entrance, they also paid for the sign and two picnic tables (note that only one is there because the other one was stolen). They continue to have wood chips delivered (many of the piles are out of sight as they are dropped along Thompson Lane) and then spread them on the trails during work parties such as is described below. If you know a Rotarian, thank them for all they do for our community. Below is Vic’s writeup of Saturday’s work party.

East Bremerton Rotary at Work

The East Bremerton Rotary completed another work party of spreading wood chips on trails at Illahee Forest Preserve on Saturday morning, January 26th. The weather was below freezing when we started, but thankfully no snow or rain. Our focus was the wood chip pile at the Water Tank situated atop Riddell Road. Wood chips were wheel borrowed to cover the main trail all the way to Compass Circle. The work party totaled 15 people and one dog. See photos. A second work party at this location is anticipated in 3-4 weeks (mid-late February) with hopes of depleting the remaining wood chip pile. Wonderful pastry snacks and hot coffee were provided by Olympic Coffee (next to Fred Meyer) courtesy of East Bremerton Rotarian Andy Graham who also helped with the work.

In addition, GPS mapping work was performed by East Bremerton Rotarian Shane Foraker. We hope to complete the basic GPS mapping of the entire trail system within the next couple weeks and deliver to Rice Fergus Miller Architects who are assisting us with composition of a trail map and brochure for Illahee Forest Preserve.

It was a great day at Illahee Forest Preserve.

Vic Ulsh

Pictured above – from left to right: Jim Stephens, Betti Sheldon, Andy Graham, Lew Bruser, Dick Sims, Shane Muhleman, Ron Pettygrove, Shadow Wright, Bill Benson, Jo Ann Wright, Jon Buesch, Bill Wright, Jack Stodden, Vic Ulsh, Ron Muhleman

>County Commissioners Jan 28th Meeting – 1/25/08

>Commissioner’s Monday Meeting. Two Illahee related items will be discussed at Monday’s Jan 28th Board of County Commissioner’s (BOCC) meeting beginning at 7 pm. (Also, some of you will be receiving this email twice as this is being sent out to the CAG email list after being sent to the general email list.)

Item #1 — Illahee Community Plan. The Illahee Community Plan will be discussed as part of a resolution to amend the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan. The resolution allows the Illahee Community Plan to be reviewed and updated by Kitsap County planners in 2008. It is important to have community members attend, thus showing our interest and appreciation to the county for considering our plan.

Illahee Plan Opponents. This is a hard paragraph to write. We were told a community plan such as ours will likely have opponents. We have tried to accommodate everyone over the last two plus years and have been able to work out nearly all concerns. And so we were surprised at the last BOCC meeting (1/14/08) to hear someone tell the the Commissioners the Illahee Community Plan was developed by “special interest” groups and suggested that it should be worked on by a county group rather than the Illahee community. We had a Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) of nearly 100 from throughout Illahee and used questionnaires and written responses to insure broad input and to try and avoid these type of accusations. We are writing this so you won’t be surprised, like we were, if there is some opposition at the meeting.

Plan Schedule. Because our plan was modeled after the Manchester plan, the review process should be quicker. The goal was not to “reinvent the wheel” but to use what has been successful in other communities. Hopefully the county public review process will simply involve reviewing, editing, and revising as necessary. We would like to have the final draft complete by the beginning of summer.

Wednesday’s BOCC Work/Study Session. The Illahee Community Plan was discussed at the Commissioner’s Work/Study session on Wednesday morning (1/23/08) which was attended by Irwin and Judith Krigsman. Their notes of the meeting are provided below:

  • James Weaver and Scott Diener briefed the Illahee Community Plan and stated it would be the DCD’s top priority for 2008.
  • A listing of staff comments and corrections to the Illahee Community Plan was distributed.
  • Red Flags: lot aggregation, view protection, tree protection, Bremerton annexation of Illahee in the future.
  • DCD doesn’t want to get involved with view protection because DCD doesn’t have the staff to enforce nor do they want to be involved with that. Weaver said that this should be handled between neighbor to neighbor.
  • The Illahee plan appears to have been modeled from a LAMIRD (limited area of more intense rural development) which is a rural designation. Illahee is in a UGA and thus that model doesn’t apply since Illahee isn’t designated as rural.
  • Density is an issue: 4 units per acre vs. 5 units per acre.
  • Work is needed on transportation and capital facilities sections and shoreline management.
  • Growth management act requires sewers throughout UGAs.
  • Minimum lot size: not consistent between sections of the plan.
  • Concerns about legacy lots, unvacated roadways and tax title strips and unopened rights of way. One suggestion was to give the tax title strips to adjacent owners to increase setbacks and not vacate roadways.
  • The bulk of the plan is very good and should be able to be finalized in 2008.
  • Commissioner Bauer wanted to know which parts of the plan have legal requirements and are not negotiable and which are only opinions raised by the planning staff but conflicted with the community’s desires. Which portions of the plan are “like to’s” vs. “have to’s”.
  • Shelly Kneip, deputy prosecutor’s office, was present and said that she had reviewed the plan and her comments were incorporated into the staff’s comment document. Commissioner Bauer wanted to see her legal notes.
  • Illahee uniquely has more park land and open space and critical areas than any of the other community plans. Also there are issues related to aquifer recharge areas.
  • Meetings about the plan should include the City of Bremerton representatives because of the annexation interests. Illahee is in the Bremerton UGA.
  • Confusion expressed about the Illahee Community boundary lines since part of the map includes a portion of the City of Bremerton.
  • No comments were received from the Parks Dept as yet. Letters were sent to the parks Dept on 9/21/07 and 12/23/07. Other county depts. did review and comment.
  • Kick of for the plan is February – March 2008. Bi-weekly meeting were suggested and will be coordinated by planner Katrina Knutson. Knutson was the planner involved with the Manchester plan. Completion date targeted for May or early June.
  • Commissioners and staff are pleased with the draft plan as submitted, realizing that the concerns raised by the staff are resolvable. They also said that the efforts of the community in writing the plan did save the county money in staff time and materials.
  • The commissioners expressed appreciation for the efforts of the community and appear to be supportive.

Item #2 — Smith/Peacock petition for sale of tax title lands portion along Fern Ave right-of-way. The discussion for this item was held over from the last board meeting to allow Dwayne Peacock an opportunity to testify.

Meeting Schedule. The Comprehensive Plan resolution, which includes the Illahee Community Plan, will be discussed early on in the meeting along with opportunities for people to briefly comment (limited to 3 minutes). The Smith/Peacock petition is scheduled to be discussed later in the meeting.

Dennis Sheeran & Jim Aho

PS The illaheecommunity.com website is being continually updated and residents are encouraged to use the blog site so all can see any input on these updates.

>Road Vacation Resolution – 1/26/08

>Another item of interest at the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting on Monday evening (1/28/08) is the attached road vacation resolution.

The resolution states the county will not accept petitions for road vacations or sale of tax title lands until the Illahee, Kingston, and Hansville community plans are completed and adopted. This is the last item on the evening’s agenda, just before the final opportunity for the public to address the board, so it could be after 9 pm. (The agenda for the meeting can be accessed on line at kitsapgov.com. From there go to the panel on the right and select Commissioner Agendas, and then select Jan 28, and you will have the entire meeting agenda.)

For any of you who have not seen your county government in action, this might be a good meeting to attend, as several Illahee issues will be discussed.

The meetings are held in the new Administration Building where there is ample and comfortable seating, not to mention plenty of parking. The meetings are now held in the evening beginning at 7 pm so more citizens can attend.

Jim Aho

>Storm Report #1 – 1/24/08

>Storm Reports We are requesting any December storm related photos you might have so we can put them on our website illaheecommunity.com. We also would like to invite you to our blog site which is on the website or at illaheecommunity.blogspot.com so you respond to these updates and see other responses.

Storm Rainfall We were lucky in Illahee to escape any injuries related to the storm, though we did have plenty of storm water damage. We have a rain reporting station in Illahee which reported 2 inches on Sunday (12/2/07) and 6.4 inches on Monday (12/3/07), and thus we did not receive as much rain as other locations in the county.

Photo Documentary On our website is a photo documentary by John Lind of the washout of Illahee Road (note the photo that shows a person at the bottom of the washout with two people looking down from the road). His writeup of the washout is provided below,

Some said 14 inches fell in 48 hours, others reported 11 inches, and in Illahee it was actually about half of that, but we won’t argue, cause it was enough to inflict considerable damage to the area on that Monday, the 3rd day of December in 2007. Illahee Road had some major problems with near washout at the south end above Rue Villa, a culvert and estuary at Illahee Creek that filled with sediment, and a total road washout at the Gilberton Creek gully, thankfully without the loss of life.

There were several who crossed the roadway just before it blew out. They reported few people on the road at that time (about 1:30 pm) and a water filled upstream gully that was overflowing across Illahee Road about 2 inches deep and at least twenty feet wide.

We decided to walk the area and the path the water took after it washed out the Illahee roadway just northwest of Grahns road where the next curve starts. We climbed and slid down the bank which must have been 50 to 60 feet deep when we reached the bottom. You could hear the water still running in the broken culvert and over the gravel.

Heading down the newly sculpted gully, we climbed around some big cedars that had been nudged over by what we estimated was a “water wall” of 50 feet or so high as it broke through the road bed. As we rounded the first bend you could see about a block ahead the area had widened out to about 40 feet and was still 18 to 20 feet in height where the banks and tree trunks were scarred by the rushing torrent. I think the most extra-ordinary sight was at the next turn where the area became wider than 100 feet and still had scoured the area to 14 feet high. Hugh chunks of 8 inch thick blacktop were strewn downstream, a guard rail was wrapped around a tree trunk, and trees were piled up on the curves so high that a person with a 7 1/2 foot reach couldn’t touch the top logs.

We could just imagine the sounds that must have been heard by the people living in their homes high up on the banks overlooking the gully. Talk about a freight train coming thru the woods! Wow! Some of the walls were scoured so drastically it showed different strata of compressed clay and dirt that probably were formed back in an earlier glacial period. It wasn’t a difficult walk as everything in the gully was washed out into Port Orchard Bay. As we rounded the last bend and could make out the water up ahead we realized that we were walking on mud flats where the tides were already working to reclaim the land.

Now the big questions are: What will replace the washed out roadway, and when will we be able to drive from Illahee to Brownsville again?

John Lind

>County Road Vacation Policies – 1/20/08

>The Promise We promised to provide further information regarding regarding road vacations and sale of tax title strips.

Complex Issues We found these to be rather complex issues and can only provide some basic information in the space we have available. More information can be found at the county and state websites.

40 Foot Road Right-of Ways and 10 Foot Tax Title Strips Many residents in the historic section of Illahee have a 10 foot wide tax title strip of land abutting their road right-of-way. When historic Illahee was platted the roads were 40 feet in width. Subsequently 60 foot right-of-ways became the standard, so whenever the opportunity presented itself, an extra 10 feet of land was added to each side of the road right-of-way to obtain the standard 60 feet of width.

Two Land Classifications – Road Easements and Tax Title Land This means many may have 60 feet of county property in front of their lots that consists of a 40 foot wide county owned road easement and the possibility of a 10 foot wide county owned tax title strips of land on each side of the road easement. (Note: We are trying to obtain this information for our illaheecommunity.com website.)

The Vacation Process We have areas in Illahee where no roads have been built on these lands, and the adjacent landowners are asking that they be declared excess property and be “vacated,” so they can purchase them. By state law and county code, anyone who desires to, can submit a petition or make a request to the county to acquire these lands. The request then goes to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at a public hearing to determine if the land is of no present or future use to the citizens of Kitsap County, or departments or agencies of Kitsap County. Those were the hearings that occurred on 12/17/07 and 1/14/08, and will occur on 1/28/08.

County Policies In determining whether the land is “of present or future use” to the citizens or the county, the criteria has been specified in County Policy Numbers PW 2470 (Road Vacations) and PW 2475 (Tax Title Land) as follows:

2.1.1 Legitimate public uses may include but are not limited to:
• public roads
• public utility easements
• trails
• parks
• buffers between land uses
• wildlife habitat (including riparian corridors)
• wetlands
• steep slopes
• floodplains
• drainage ways
• view corridors used by the general public
• shoreline access
• and management of any of these uses.

Additional Requested Use Item The Illahee Forest Preserve recently requested “bio-infiltration swales” (a low impact development application for controlling storm water) be added to the list of legitimate public uses for road right-of-ways and tax title strips, based on a recommended storm water solution for a problem area along Illahee Creek (from a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant).

1916 Plat Dedication Wording We have been asked to include the wording on the original 1916 Plat of Illahee, which is now the area referred to as “historic” Illahee. The pertinent words from the Suquamish Land Company are that they “….hereby dedicate to the use of the public forever all streets, avenues, boulevards and places, …” They did not elaborate what the “use of the public” should be.

Jim Aho

As always, we welcome your comments.

>County’s Road Vacation Decision – 1-15-08

>Road Vacation “Hot Potato” Thrown Back to Illahee Community Plan

On Monday evening, the County Commissioners tossed the proverbial “hot potato” of road vacations, into the lap of those working on the Illahee Community Plan.

As we said in an earlier update, road vacations are extremely sensitive issues, and the ones in Illahee are proving to be no exception to the rule.

There are three landowners filing two petitions (which complicates the issues) at different times (which further complicates proceedings), which started out being heard on 12/17/07, and then again on 1/14/08, and now again on 1/28/08.

We are trying to get copies of the county’s rules and procedures for road vacations, along with any relevant state RCW’s, so we can pass them on as it appears this issue is not going to go away.

Neither the Illahee Community Citizens Advisory Group (CAG), nor the Illahee Community Club, took a stance on these two (or three?) road vacations. Every effort has been made to make sure we try to do the will of the majority of citizens, and until the road vacation issues came up, it seemed nearly everyone in the community was supportive. We have heard that road vacations can polarize a community, and we hope it doesn’t happen in Illahee.

The decision of the board, as we heard it, was to deny the Woodworth’s petitions, and the road vacation portion of the Smith/Peacock petition, (with the understanding that the Illahee Community Plan would be take up these issues), and to continue the Smith/Peacock tax title strip discussion to the next board meeting on 1/28/08, when Mr. Peacock would be in town.

This is not something we asked for, nor necessarily want, but is another issue we will have to deal with.

We welcome your comments.

Dennis Sheeran & Jim Aho

>2nd Walk-Thru Scheduled for Sat 1/12

>This is an update on the “road vacation” hearing scheduled for Monday, January 14, 2008.

First of all, some have asked what a “road vacation” is. Briefly, as we understand it, the county has a number of platted roads and right-of-ways, normally 60 feet in width, that are not currently being used for roads or other purposes. We have some in Illahee. Adjoining property owners can propose to buy these properties once the road is declared excess (the road use being vacated). The primary benefit to the county is the added tax revenue. The proposed vacation and purchase must go through a public notification process so the community can respond, and thus the past and upcoming hearings before the County Commissioners. In these two cases the community seems to be saying that while these areas may never be used for roads, they may be used for other purposes, such as future pedestrian paths, and therefore should not be vacated.

We heard from a number of residents who cannot attend the walk through of these county properties on Wednesday because they are working or busy, and suggested a second walk through. We have therefore scheduled another one for Saturday (1/12/08) at 11 am.

We also heard that the two Illahee road vacations were discussed at the County Administrator’s Briefing session on Monday afternoon, and we are waiting to hear if those discussions will affect Monday’s agenda.

Jim Aho

>Road Vacation Walk-Thru – 1/7/08

>There is a second Illahee road vacation hearing coming up on January 14, 2008; the first was held on December 17, 2007.

Walk Thru In order for residents to better understand the two road vacation proposals we are walking through both areas on Wednesday.

Past Hearing The first road vacation hearing was the Woodworth proposal on the 17th of December 2007. The hearing was well attended by Illahee residents and Illahee groups who were not in favor of the road vacation. The County Commissioners will likely decide the issue at their January 14, 2008 meeting. The county hearing notice sign is still up along Hardt Ave off of Roosevelt if you want to check out the area.

Upcoming Hearing The second road vacation hearing is the Smith/Peacock proposal which is scheduled to come before the Commissioners on January 14, 2008. There is a county hearing notice sign up on Fern Ave off of Roosevelt.

Details We will meet at 11 am on Wednesday (1/9/08) at Hardt Ave off of Roosevelt to walk through the area. We recommend hiking shoes because we will traverse the ravine and then walk north up a short, but relatively steep slope, to the county property being proposed for vacation by the Woodworths. From there we will walk east down Dock Street for a block to Fern Ave and go south through the county property being proposed for vacation by Smith & Peacock, which will require going down and up the ravine and then back to Roosevelt. The walk is a short round trip, but because of the ravine (the corridor that local residents say the wildlife use) has some fairly steep slopes, you should be able to walk up and down the slopes if you want to walk with us. For those who would rather not walk the slopes, we will explain the issues along Hardt Ave (Roosevelt side) as we begin our walk, and then again on Fern Ave (Roosevelt side) as we conclude our walk. That way you will be able to see and understand the issues without having to walk up unpathed areas. It should only take about 20-30 minutes, unless there are lots of questions.

Questions? Jim walked the area on Monday (1/7/08) so if you have any questions regarding any of the walk through details, call Jim Aho at 479-1049.

Dennis Sheeran & Jim Aho

PS We have been asked to attach a letter that was written to the Commissioners after the first hearing, which helps describe the sensitivity of these road vacation issues.

Dear Commissioners,

I cannot tell you how outraged I am by your apparent flip-flop on the issue of the Woodworth road vacation. To allow yourselves to be swayed by the inappropriate, emotional appeal of Commissioner Angel and completely disregard all of the facts and statements presented by the residents of our Illahee neighborhood, the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, the Port of Illahee Commissioner, and your own County Parks Department is both startling and disappointing.

I am also quite concerned about what may have been major breaches of both parliamentary procedure and county meeting protocol. I do not profess to know either system well, but it seems to me that, after public comment is closed, there should be no further comment from the public. In this case, that would be from Mr. Woodworth. It seemed rude and inappropriate for Commissioner Angel to deliberately address a question to Mr. Woodworth, after the close of public comment, and not allow others to refute his statements or add additional opinions to the record. The motion to deny the vacation petition had already been made and seconded. At that point, discussion of the motion between the Commissioners was called for. That discussion between the three of you should then have been followed by a vote. Instead, Commissioner Angel stepped out of bounds, showed favoritism for the Woodworths, and essentially tainted what, to that point, had been a well-managed public hearing. Her behavior was bad enough. But to have the two of you blindly fall into the trap she set and so quickly reverse your initial opinions leaves me wondering who we can depend on to help preserve what is left of Illahee, in particular, and Kitsap County, in general.

There is also an obvious problem with Molly Foster’s involvement in this situation. She has brazenly sided with the Woodworths throughout this process. Is she not supposed to be an unbiased, neutral county employee charged with compiling information and fairly representing all sides in this issue? Apparently she is not aware of that. Her behavior after the meeting is a prime example. We were all in the lobby of the building after leaving the board room. Did Molly make an effort to talk to any of us about what the next step in the process would be or give her opinion of how the meeting went or offer any suggestions on what we might do to clarify our positions in time for the January meeting? Absolutely not. She spent an extraordinary amount of time talking and laughing with the Woodworths. Might I suggest that someone talk to her and tell her to at least have the courtesy to hide her biases when she is in public view.

As you both are well aware, there are many of us in the Illahee Community who work hard everyday to participate in community functions, to be aware of what is happening in our area, to make our voices heard, to protect our neighborhood, and to appreciate the privilege we have of living in such a beautiful area. We have shown that we have the courage to educate ourselves about community issues, to take a stand, and to stick with it. We had hoped that the Commissioners, particularly the Commissioner that represents our area, would show the same courage. You failed us completely. Teresa Jones

>1-5-08 Illahee Preserve Awards Banquet

>This is a report on the Illahee Preserve’s annual awards banquet (potluck) held Friday evening (1/4/08).

The group recognized:
• Dori Leckner of the Kitsap County Parks Department for her excellent support, quick responses, and dedication to the Illahee Preserve, a Kitsap County Heritage Park.
• Judith and Irwin Krigsman for essentially sharing Illahee Creek with the community and for all their activities in support of the Preserve, Illahee Creek, and the community.
• Port of Illahee Commissioners, Dennis Sheeran, George Schaefer, & Don Deitch for their continued support of the Preserve.
• Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee Chairman, Dale Boyle, Vic Ulsh & Eugene Brennen for their collective effort as chairpersons, along with their individual and extensive contributions to the Preserve such as trail work and coordination with the East Bremerton Rotary Club.
• Audrey Boyer for faithfully publishing articles about the Preserve in the Illahee Community Newsletters.
• Cynthia Brakstad, the IFP treasurer, for not only handling the finances, but also for preparing the income tax returns.
• Jim Trainer for his donation of 285 tree saplings for ripaian planting and for all the things he does for the community.
• Jim Aho for his work with the Preserve and the Preserve’s support group, the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP).
• All the volunteers who helped in 2007 with trails, invasive plant control, tree planting, water quality monitoring, etc.
• The Preserve’s financial supporters for contributing to the very significant expenses in 2007.
• The newly reorganized Illahee Community Club (ICC) for their community involvement and for preparing to help with Preserve issues.
• The Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) 501.c.3 corporation, described as a mighty and effective organization in 2007, for the following successes:
1. The Coastal Protection Grant that purchased the Jessica Williams property.
2. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant that did water quality checks for almost 2 years, removed invasive English Ivy along Illahee Creek, planted tree saplings along the creek corridor, and funded an assessment of the creek and the reservoir.
3. The hiring of an attorney to help protect the Preserve’s wetland buffers.
4. The hiring of the best wetland expert available to survey the wetland areas.
5. For providing material and financial support for the Illahee Preserve, which helps keep our taxes lower.

The group previewed: a new video presentation narrated by Jim Trainer entitled “Forest Trails and Critter Tales” that will be distributed soon locally. Portions were filmed within the Illahee Preserve and Illahee.

The Illahee Preserve’s goals for 2008 include:
• Completion of a parking lot and primary Preserve entrance at Almira and Fuson.
• Kiosks and Illahee Preserve trail maps..
• Updating the Stewardship Plan.
• Progress with the golf course.
• Success with grants for targeted properties.
• Success with grants for salmon restoration projects..
• Success with construction grants to start working on Illahee Creek sedimentation problems.
• Success with protecting the Illahee Preserve wetlands.

We thank the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, and their support organization, the Illahee Forest Preserve, for their work in 2007, and wish them another successful year in 2008.

Dennis Sheeran & Jim Aho .

>Community Groups 1-4-08

>We have been asked “Just how many community groups do you have in Illahee?” ” What do they do?” and “How do you keep track of all of them?

Our website person, Laurie Jones, has been asking these questions also, so we felt it was time to try and respond.

Group 1 – The oldest and only official elected group is the Port of Illahee. It is the Port’s boundaries that essentially define the Illahee Community, which can be seen on our website illaheecommunity.com. The website also provides information on the Port and the current Port commissioners.

Group 2 – The Illahee Community Club is the next oldest group. It has been in existence for many years in one capacity or another. The IRS listed the club’s tax exempt status as inactive in 1982. In 2000 new Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Secretary of State, and then in November of 2007 the Club was reorganized with the appropriate papers filed with the IRS and the Secretary of State. As a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation, the club can collect membership dues and other monies in accordance with its organized purposes. The club is currently concerned about stormwater issues and overdevelopment plans that are not in agreement with the draft Illahee Community Plan. The club would like to have every resident be an active member with dues at only $10 per family. Please e-mail us at web@illaheecommunity.com if you would like an application.

Group 3 – The Illahee Community Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) represents about 100 community members who volunteered to help write the Illahee Community Plan. The group has prepared several drafts of the plan, but has been advised by Kitsap County that they need a county planner to work with them through a public process in order to meet all the county’s requirements. The latest version is on the community website under “Community Plan.” They have been advised that they will have planner support in early 2008.

Group 4 – The Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee was established in 2003 by the County Commissioners to prepare a Stewardship Plan for the Illahee Preserve. The Committee has been working ever since with the County Parks Department to provide support and on the ground work within the Illahee Preserve. The Committee is looking toward a new official entry and parking lot at Almira and Fuson and an update to the Stewardship Plan in 2008.

Group 5 – The Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) group was established as a 501.c.3 non-profit organization to support the Illahee Preserve in ways that the Stewardship Committee could not. The IFP is eligible to apply for grants and accept gifts in support of the Preserve. The IFP was successful in applying for a Coastal Protection Grant that resulted in the purchase of prime Preserve property in 2006. The IFP just completed a two year grant with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that included Illahee Creek water quality testing, removal of invasive species, riparian tree planting, salmon restoration studies, and a basin assessment. The results will be posted on the community website in the near future. The IFP has also responded in behalf of the Preserve such as when the Preserve wetland buffers were threatened or when Illahee Creek was threatened by questionable stormwater practices. The IFP is also looking for new members. Please e-mail us at web@illaheecommunity.com for an application. Their fiscal year runs from July to June and their dues are $10 for individuals and $15 for a family.

Group 6 – The Illahee Surface Water Management Plan Working Group was established to manage and is responsible for implementing the Port of Illahee’s grant with the Department of Ecology to develop an “Illahee Surface Water Management Plan.” Information on the grant is available on the illaheecommunity.com website under the “Clean Water Grant” heading.

We are amazed that all these groups seem to be in nearly complete agreement with current Illahee issues. The two membership groups (the Illahee Community Club and the Illahee Forest Preserve) conveyed that they are appreciative of the financial support they have received (and hope to receive) as they take on significant legal costs associated with protecting Illahee interests.

We need to admit that it is not always easy for us to keep track of the different Illahee groups and what they are doing. This information has helped us and we hope it helps you also.

Dennis Sheeran & Jim Aho

PS We have just set up this community weblog, where the community updates will be posted, so all will be able to comment and see other’s comments. Please feel free to add your comments. If you have any questions about the blog, please e-mail us at web@illaheecommunity.com.