>Preserve”The Good, Bad&Ugly”- 12/27/10

>The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.  The Illahee Preserve is confronted regularly with “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly,” (the title of a Clint Eastwood western from years ago) and this season is proving no different.

The ‘Good’ Items First.  Some really good items recently have been the installation of new trail signs by Justin McAlister for his Eagle Scout project, and the completion of a new trail map and brochure by the architectural firm of Rice, Fergus and Miller.  The first batches of the brochure were printed up and will be placed in the new information boxes at Almira and Thompson Lane that Justin installed as part of his trail sign project.  We also heard today that the Rotary Club of East Bremerton is scheduling work parties in January to take care of the wood chips that have been delivered, primarily in the parking lot at Thompson Lane.  We also heard that this past weekend another 9 trees were removed from the trails by the Rotary’s volunteer trail crew, making a total of 41 trees removed (by both Rotary and Stewardship crews) that came down across trials from December storms.  Without volunteers like these the Preserve would not have such a great area for hiking, biking  and wildlife.  Thanks to all those who help with the ‘good’ for the Preserve.

The ‘Bad.’  We also heard today that the brush pickers have shown up again.  Attached is the email message we received tonight (12/27/10) indicating this person’s frustrations.

This afternoon I received a voice mail call from a walker at Illahee Preserve.  They had witnessed several brush pickers near the Amphitheater.  He “gave them an ear full” and got back the standard Latin response of not knowing English.  He said they had already harvested an impressive collection of plant materials.  It seems to be a pattern for brush pickers to hit us hard during winter months.  As I recall, these plant pirates rigorously picked us for several months until March or so.  They tended to pick during the weekdays and during the middle of day.  At least that’s the pattern from my reports on last year’s shrubbery swipers.  Today’s call came in around 12:45PM today, Monday, December 27th.  The broken gate seems to be their target for access.  I had reports of vehicles parked along Thompson Lane which were the suspected collection points for the brush pickers. 
These guys abused us last year.  I would love to create a lasting impact upon our faithful brush picking visitors.  How can we stop this?  Does anyone have a plan on how we can change the behavior of these forest thieves?  I welcome any thoughts.

Let us know if you have any ideas that we can pass on to the Stewardship Committee or the Park’s Department. 

The ‘Ugly.’  We regularly deal with what some have called anarchists in the Preserve, i.e., those who are intent on destroying the good that has been done.  Within less than a week after the trail signs were installed, at least 7 of them were removed and are nowhere to be found.  Also, in the last few days one of the recently installed restoration signs was “ripped out of the ground” and evidently hauled away.

The New Brochure.  We have attached the pdf file (FRONT) (BACK) for the new brochure and thank all those who keep this information up-to-date, and then print it at no cost to the tax payers.  As we have stated before, the Illahee Preserve is nearly a completely volunteer effort to plan, support and maintain a major Kitsap County park and wildlife Preserve.  Again, THANK YOU volunteers and supporters, and in anyone is interested as they consider their tax situation, the Illahee Forest Preserve is a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the support of the Illahee Preserve, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Jim Aho