>Work Party, Levee, Wildlife – ‏ 1/3/11


Rotary Work Party.  Some major work was done at the Thompson Lane parking lot on Sunday (1-2-11) by the Rotary Club of East Bremerton (see attached photos).  It was quite amazing to watch the front end loader on the John Deere tractor fill 3 or 4 large wheel barrows to overflowing at one time.  They didn’t want a big group helping them because of the tractor, so we didn’t advertise this work party to others.  They moved tons of wood chips, and we thank them again for adopting the Illahee Preserve and keeping it in tip top shape.  The following is their writeup of their efforts:

Illahee Forest Preserve

The East Bremerton Rotary completed another productive work party at Illahee Forest Preserve on Sunday morning, January 2nd, 2011.  The focus was to clean-up the perimeter of the Thompson Lane parking lot along Riddell Road.  Roughly 15 loads of wood chips had already been delivered to the parking lot.  Dave White’s John Deere tractor made easy work of the task as chips were dumped over the guard rail and into waiting wheelbarrows.  Thereafter the chips were quickly spread atop the area surrounding the parking lot.  The Thompson Lane parking lot looks much improved for the effort. 
The second photo shows the parking lot after a thorough cleanup by Bill Wright and his mega-blower. 

Varied Thrush Gives Its Approval.  After the work party completed Vic Ulsh photographed the varied thrush that appears to give its approval of the Rotary’s efforts, see his (Vic’s) email comments:

The last photo is a varied thrush who stopped by to help clean-up after we were finished.  Varied thrush is a very cool bird who comes down from the high country to spend winters in the forests of Puget Sound basin.   There seemed to be about 5 or 6 varied thrush hanging around the brush in the perimeter of the parking lot.  I’m guessing they will be staying not far from the Thompson Lane parking lot for the next few months. 

Levee Questions From Previous Update.  We have been asked to explain more about what a levee is and why it was requested, as some in the community do not understand the issue.  First, the Wikipedia dictionary definition of a levee is:  “leveelevéedike (or dyke), embankmentfloodbank or stopbank is a natural or artificial slope or wall to regulate water levels. It is usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river or the coast.”   There must have been a concern that a levee was needed to prevent Illahee Creek from overflowing its banks, or that the levee installed after the Dec 2007 storm was in danger of failing.

Levee Comments.  We did get a few phone calls and several emails regarding the levee issue.  The first one we have attached being a comment that went to Kitsap County, followed by their response, and then a response back to the County.

First Comment & Responses:  The community should question why a levee would be constructed (at taxpayer expense) for the protection of private property that was developed contrary to the advice of the county (representing the taxpayer).  It seems that the developer knowingly (admittedly) assumed the risk of building in the streams migration zone/flood plain.  Why should the taxpayer essentially bail out the developer for their bad decision? 

Fiction can be very entertaining but Kitsap County did not build any levee or other flood control feature on the Mossano property.  The Road Division crew simply performed routine maintenance on the Illahee Creek culvert by excavating sediment from the culvert outlet.  All of the material was trucked from the site and this activity was permitted by WDFW.  There were no additional measures taken by Public Works.  Thank you for your comments and, in the future, please contact Kitsap One at 360-337-5777 for information on Public Works activities in your neighborhood.
Thanks Jon for your prompt response.  Is it fiction that a levee was either authorized or authorized and permitted under an emergency HPA?

Second Comment:  On the levee question.  The property in question never should have been built on.  It is a flood plain and the owner knew this when he coerced the county into giving him a permit.  The owner should live with the consequences of choosing to live in a flood plain.  No public monies should be spent to protect a house that the county did not want there in the first place.

One Legal Question Response.  We did receive a phone call from a former environmental officer who stated that the stream natural processes take precedence over protecting property, though we have not verified it or heard from any legal experts yet.

Owl & Preserve Photos.  There are a number of people who regularly use the Preserve and also take photos.  George is one who has taken photos and posted them on the following website, which contains various photos of a barred owl and other Preserve features:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/85934826@N00/sets/72157625562766240/

Jim Aho

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