>Preserve Vandals&Learning Opportunities 3-22-11

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Brush Thieves in Preserve.  It appears brush thieves have struck again in the Illahee Preserve as bundles of salal were found at the Petersville Road entrance on Monday.  Evidently the thieves are dropped off from a van or other vehicle and picked up later.  Rather than haul their cutting in daylight, they stash them close to a road, and pick them up later in the evening.  When the bundles were sighted some of the park stewards looked to see if they were still in the Preserve, but couldn’t find anyone.  The stewards are hoping with more eyes in the woods and along the perimeter of the Preserve that they can get a license number or photograph of the culprits.  

Scout Sign Vandals.  We have had problems with someone taking down the new Eagle Scout trail signs and possibly discovered the culprits.  We asked for detailed description of those involved from the person who happened upon them during a walk and received the following:  

The 3 boys were late teens. 16 – 18 years old.  They were all white.   One wore heavy dark framed glasses.  One had pretty long dark brown hair,  one had shaggy shorter black hair.  There was a girl with them (also white) standing a ways away holding on to a medium to large reddish brown dog.  She may have been a little older than the boys.  She wore jeans and a light colored sweatshirt (?)  I stood and talked to her for a minute while our dogs sniffed each other and she said yes she was with them and she had told them not to take the signs down because she liked that they helped her not get lost.  I may have given them the impression that I was taking their picture with my phone (J) but sadly my phone doesn’t have a camera.  All 3 boys were smokers.  After I talked to them they stopped messing with the sign and stood in a group smoking.  I had heard kids yelling (whooping…animal or bird noises) earlier and my dog kept stopping and facing east. (We were on the middle trail that goes up to the compass circle.)  I saw them between the amphitheater and compass circle on the main trail.  The sign they were after was bolted to the tree and they did not have any kind of tools.  They were just banging and pulling with their hands. I was not confrontational with them but I also did not feel threatened.  They seemed like run of the mill prankster teenagers.  I hope some of this helps.

Volunteer Supported Preserve.  With the Preserve being almost entirely supported by volunteers and their collective efforts in its preservation and protection, it is important that we do whatever we can to curtail vandalism.  If you ever see anything wrong in the Preserve you can call 911, Preserve Stewards at 479-1049, or the Parks Department.

Forest and Stream Course.  There is a class starting on Saturday at the Norm Dicks Center for anyone interested in forest and stream stewardship offered by WSU Extension.  They will be using the Illahee Preserve for some of their forest work.  We checked and they still have room for anyone who wants to sign up.  The details are:

The 2011 Forest/Stream Stewardship Training begins Saturday, March 26!


 Stream Stewards receive training that prepares them to work on upland and stream riparian restoration projects.  Everyone can become a stream steward.


 The cost for the series of classes is $40 payable to WSU Kitsap Extension and includes materials and your own “WSU Stream Steward Volunteer” name badge.  Scholarships are available by notifying awbergstrom@wsu.edu of your need.


For more information: 


 More information is also available at: http://kitsap.wsu.edu/Stream%20Stewards/index.htm 


Aquifer Press Release Correction.  We had a correction to the Press Release that was sent out earlier.  The release stated the aquifers are the sole source of drinking water on the Manette Peninsula, which Illahee is in.  That is not true as the City of Bremerton has an extensive service area on the Manette Peninsula with much of the water coming from surface water from the  Union River.  Illahee’s drinking water comes solely from the Manette Peninsula aquifers, which is provided by North Perry Water.

Aquifer Presentation Reminder.  Don’t forget the aquifer presentation is next Tuesday (3/29/11) at 6:30 pm at the Norm Dicks Center.

Jim Aho