>Owl, Film, Sign, Clean-Up – 1-20-11

>Owl Report.  The following owl report came in a couple of weeks ago.  These owls are so small you can hold them in the palm of your hand and we wish we had such a photo.  The attached link below shows just how cute they are.  We also had a report of a Coopers Hawk on Classic Ave last week.

The northern saw-whet owl is back!  This little owl spent several months last year looking for a mate in the ravine behind Roosevelt Street.  His call can be mistaken for an alarm clock or the beeping of a truck backing up – it’s high pitched and very regular.  He is back in the preserve although he seems to have moved up the ravine to a place west of the vacated portion of Rest Place.  According to Vic Ulsh, “They are cute little rascals.  The big bully ‘barred owls’ who roam Illahee Forest can be predatory on the little saw-whet owls so I worry about them.”  Although their mating call can be annoying at 5:00 in your backyard, we are all hoping that he succeeds in finding a mate this year!

Seattle Film Showing.  We are late in posting this notice as this film showing is tomorrow evening in Seattle.  Note that Shelly Solomon is the filmmaker who is working on a film on Illahee.  She has done some amazing films, as you can see below, and we are fortunate to have her helping us get the message about what is happening in Illahee and to our watershed.

Public Environmental Film Event: sponsored by Feathered Friends and Sustainable Seattle
Friday Jan 21st, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Feathered Friends
119 Yale Ave. North (just down the street from REI)
Seattle, WA
Filmmaker Shelly Solomon

Throughout Ms. Solomon’s career as a biologist, she has been struck by the fact that so much of the positive work being done in the environmental field, has gone unnoticed. It seemed only natural to Shelly that a better-informed public would lead to a more engaged public. Ms. Solomon started Leaping Frog Films to “Get the Word Out” about these positive stories. Solomon recently received Sustainable Seattle’s 2010 “Leadership in Sustainability in the Natural World” award for her film work.

Find below 2 films that will be showing, plus 2 pages of film reviews

Buried in Sawdust for 50 Years” and the Unintended Consequences

This is a fascinating film about how a Washington estuary was filled with milling waste to a depth of 60’, where it remained for 50 years and how a local nonprofit secured over one million dollars to restore the estuary back to its original tidal elevation. Highlights of the film include an examination of the chemical contamination resulting from 50 years of accumulated wood waste, interviews with an original mill worker and his memories of the operation, discovery of the original estuary elevations with plants and tidal channels still in-tact, and finally, the returning of tidal waters to the estuary for the first time in 50 years. Project partially funded by Salmon Recovery Board. Created by Leaping Frog Films.

Almost Lost but not Forgotten – Pinto Abalone Recovery in Washington State
Puget Sound is full of many treasures, and the native abalone is among the greatest.  At a NOAA’s Mukilteo lab and a small abalone nursery in Port Gamble pinto abalone are being grown for re-introduction into the wild. In the summer of 2009, over 1,200 animals reared in this facility were outplanted into Puget Sound, representing the most substantial abalone recovery effort to date in Washington. Pinto abalone – the only abalone species found in Washington – may be at risk of becoming locally extinct.  The natural population has plummeted over the last several decades and there are too few abalone in the wild to successfully reproduce.  The goal of this multi-faceted abalone recovery program is to increase densities in the wild and build sustainable populations of this important species for the future.  This film showcases different aspects of recovering abalone populations in Washington State from spawning adult brood animals, to tending juveniles during months of grow-out, to careful reintroduction into the wild. It’s a big undertaking involving conservation genetics, state-of-the-art hatchery rearing techniques and lots of collaboration between scientists, NOAA, WDFW, tribes and community groups. Created by Leaping Frog Films.

Preserve Brush Picking Signs.  Soon there will signs posted to tell people more explicitly that brush picking in the Illahee Preserve is illegal.  The Park’s Department had the attached sign made up for Banner Forest and we asked for some for Illahee.  The signs are in English, Spanish and French in case so there should be no problems understanding for those who don’t speak English.  

Preserve Clean-Up.  There are a number of people who help keep the Illahee Preserve clean of trash, along with the Chalice Heart group the routinely picks up trash along Thompson Lane, which is especially important now that the gate was damaged and considered too expensive to fix.  We took a picture of Jay and Rob last Saturday as they were helping with the clean-up on Thompson Lane.  Also included is a picture of a TV set that was dumped along the road.  These are the disappointing events that are offset by those who volunteer to help clean up.  Thanks to all those who keep the Preserve and Thompson Lane picked up!

Illahee Community Clean-Up.  We know of at least 4 people who have been regulars at picking up the roadways and ditches in the Illahee community.  They are Rob, Carol and Carole, and Dennis.  You see them carrying bags for the garbage they pick up as they get they do their regular walks.  They have told us that the bending over to pick up things and then carrying the bags greatly increases their cardio-vascular workout over just walking.  We have heard there are also others who are regularly picking up trash and we would be happy to recognize them for their efforts.  Please let up know who they are.

Jim Aho