Illahee Community Update 9-15-11 Responses to Coyote Email, Work Party, Compass Circle Project

Coyote Concern Email. In the last update we included an email we received regarding concerns over the increasing numbers of coyotes in the area, they felt there was a group of 30-40 coyotes, at least it sounded like it to them.


Informed Responses. We were happy to have some informed responses come in quickly, and before we had an opportunity to contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).  The first three this morning were:

Response #1.

I was a professional forester with the USDA Forest Service for 23 years.  I am educationally qualified to serve as a Forest Service wildlife biologist.  I am fairly familiar with the coyote (Canis latrans), having worked and lived alongside them during my entire career. 

 

I just read your Illahee Community update for 9/14/11.  The coyote densities referenced by your correspondent are far higher than possible.  Coyotes occupying the very best habitat approach densities of about five per square mile. There certainly are not “30 to 40 of them” in the Illahee area.  Following pup dispersal, coyote density never gets much higher than this because coyotes are very aggressively territorial.  Howling and yipping are the coyote’s primary means of territorial defense against intrusion by other coyotes.  They do their best to sound numerous, but they really are not.   Coyotes are not dangerous to humans, but will readily utilize cats and even small dogs as food.

 

Efforts to control coyote numbers are usually expensive and not very effective.  Coyotes respond to heavy population suppression by increasing litter sizes.  Suppression efforts must be constant or the coyote population quickly bounces back to pre-suppression levels.

 

Humans walking a small dog through prime coyote territory should keep their pet leashed, especially if the dog has a tendency to run a considerable distance from its owner during walks.  Cat owners in coyote country should keep their pets indoors, especially at night.

 


Response #2.  The link provides some great information.

Regarding coyotes, people can find more information on living with coyotes athttp://www.westsoundwildlife.org/wildlife/FunFacts/FF_Coyotes.html  

We’ve got them in our neighborhood, too.

 


Response #3.  The link provides additional information and a video.

Lets limit the fear mongering on coyotes.  Here is a link http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/coyotes.html .  Pack size is typically around 10 individuals.  They are normally territorial so the same pack will occupy an area unless something (like removal) happens.  I would be very surprised to see a pack of “30-40” individuals.  They only typically become a problem if people feed them (as raccoons, bears and any other nuisance wildlife).  So keep your pet food, garbage and pet cats inside.  They like to eat rodents, berries and carrion (and kitty cats in more suburban settings but your cats should not be outside unless enclosed or supervised anyway).  If the noise is the main problem ear plugs are much more effective and cheaper than removal (if they are removed more will just move in and claim the territory).  If the coyote population goes away the rodent (i.e. RAT) population will increase.  Rats/rodents are more of a human health concern.

Thanks! Thanks for the informed responses, which should alleviate any fears residents might have.

Illahee Preserve Work Party Saturday. On Saturday morning there will be another major Illahee Preserve work party, sponsored by the East Bremerton Rotary Club, with the Washington Youth Academy.  The remaining wood chip pile should be pretty much depleted after Saturday as the chips are placed on trails, an unauthorized trail should be closed, some more logs should be placed around the rain garden to replace those stolen last winter, scotch broom should be removed from along the detention ponds and the Almira Road right-of-way, along with various other projects.

Compass Circle Mowing. The Compass Circle area of the Preserve was mowed on Wednesday in anticipation of a major work party later this month or in October to restore that area to a wildlife meadow.  This is a big project that is part of Nathan Clemen’s Eagle Scout project.  Nathan and his Boy Scout troop put in a perimeter trail around Compass Circle this summer and will later install some meadow viewing areas.  The meadow will be planted with a wildlife seed mix, which needs to be planted as soon as the rains begin, which is planned for October.  Once that is completed the paths through the middle of the meadow will be closed so as to enhance the use of the meadow by wildlife.

Jim Aho

 

Illahee Community Update 9-14-11 Coyotes, Docks, UGA, Peterson Farm, Break-in, Fire

Coyote Email. We receive email responses to most of our updates and want to pass on this one regarding the number of coyotes in one area of Illahee.


THE COYOTES ARE A MUCH LARGER PROBLEM THAN WHAT YOU THINK.  FRIENDS WHO LIVE ON THE EDGE OF THE PRESERVE HAVE A PACK OF COYOTES IN THE VALLEY BESIDE THEIR HOME.  THERE MUST BE BETWEEN 30 AND 40 OF THEM.  I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE LAW IS ON GETTING HELP TO REMOVE THEM BUT PRETTY SOON IT IS GOING TO BE TO DANGEROUS TO WALK THROUGH  THE AREA HUMAN OR PET.  AT NIGHT THEY ARE SO LOUD YOU CAN’T SLEEP!  LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT IT OR CAN FIND OUT ABOUT IT IF YOU WILL PLEASE.  THANK YOU,

Dock Response. We also have had responses regarding docks along the shoreline.  One email recipient did a bunch of research but did not want us to copy his email.  It is an interesting issue and shows that there are shoreline property owners who would like to put in docks if they could.  We did get another response that we will try to paraphrase.

I attended the public hearing for the University Point dock and found it very interesting in that the reasoning for needing the dock was because there was a one year waiting period for a slip at the Brownsville Marina, that they had limited access from the road, and that they wanted to bring disabled children from their Seattle job to the residence.  They had a consultant who did most of the presentations, she was very good, and like most hearings played on the sympathy of the county and the hearing examiner.  They had a biologist that didn’t see any adverse effects on fish, but because a tribal biologist could not be there there was not a second opinion.  There was input from a few who lived nearby, but when the examiner found out the Corps of Army Engineers wrote there would be no navigation obstructions because the dock was not in the main channel, she seemed to be satisfied in approving the dock.

Illahee and the Urban Growth Area. There was an article in the Kitsap Sun about the Commissioners’ meeting on Monday evening about population projections http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/13/county-planning-policies-still-debated/.  We listened the the public hearing part of the meeting on BKAT (channel 12) and found it interesting that all those speaking said the decision should be delayed.  One of those speaking from Illahee said Illahee should be removed from the Urban Growth Area and the community did not want to be annexed by Bremerton (which is what is supposed to eventually happen if you are in an urban growth area next to a city).

Previous Survey Results. The annexation statement reminded us of a survey that was done a few years ago to determine the desires of Illahee residents regarding whether they wanted to be part of Bremerton, Silverdale, or their own subarea.  The results of the survey were:  2 percent wanted to align with Bremerton, 6 percent wanted to be part of the eventual town of Silverdale, and 92 percent wanted to create their own subarea plan.  And that is what happened several years later.  The Illahee Community Plan can be viewed online at: http://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/community_plan/subareas/Illahee/subarea_finaled.htm

Peterson Farm Event on Sunday. We have been asked to remind residents of the Peterson farm event on Sunday, Sept 18th, from 10 am – 5 pm.  We have attached a link to the Rob Woutat article in the Kitsap Sun a few weeks ago that gives more information on the Peterson Farm. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/may/26/rob-woutat-protecting-a-piece-of-kitsaps-history/

Break-in Report. Received the following report of a recent break-in on Illahee Road.

Our neighbor (at the top of our driveway) almost always has his cop car parked right there in plain site….practically right on the road.  He came home Friday afternoon to his front door kicked in.  House wasn’t trashed, but every drawer and cupboard was open (he didn’t say what was missing).  This is the second incident like this that I’ve heard of in our immediate neighborhood “6200” area.  Pretty brave to break into a policeman’s house in broad daylight…and right on the main road.  These guys are getting very brave and desperate.

Illahee Fire on Wednesday. The Kitsap Sun has covered a fire in Illahee on Wednesday morning.  The link is: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/14/illahee-fire-dispaces-family-of-three/

Jim Aho

Illahee Community Update 9-11-11 Emails, Coyotes, Preserve Work Party, Port Meeting, Illahee Letter, & Flyover

Garbled Emails. It turns out a number of you are having trouble with text being partially cut off.  We are working on the problem.  Another option when that happens is to go to our website illaheecommunity.com.  At the website you will see we are still in transition with pages to finish, but the updates from the past have been transferred and the new updates show in their entirety, complete with the embedded photos.

Coyotes and Pets. We received the following email to notify residents about increasing numbers of coyotes that are now being seen along the shoreline area.

Word of warning to the neighborhood!!   Last Saturday night our housecat and pet of 2 years was killed by a coyote.  If your family pet is small and is sometimes outside please be cautious especially in the evening hours.
Other Reports. We have had other reports recently, of a partially eaten cat and a raccoon.  The rest of the raccoon was moved to the beach where the eagles finished the job.  In the not too distant past we had a family of fox that would often be seen moving along the shoreline, but nothing recently, so we presume the coyotes are now the dominate predator in the area.

Illahee Preserve Work Party. Another big work party with the Washington Youth Academy is being planned for the morning of Saturday, September 17th, rain or shine.  It turns out the 17th is a big volunteer service day in the county for a number of groups and the wheel barrows and tools we normally borrow are already spoken for.  We will let you know in an upcoming update what is needed in case you can help.

Port of Illahee Meeting Time Change. The Port of Illahee normally meets at 5 pm on the second Wednesday of the month, but not in September.  The will instead be meeting at 6:30 pm according to an email we received.  The Port meetings are public meetings and residents are welcome to attend.  They meet at the Port office at 5560 Ocean View Blvd.  Again, the meeting is at 6:30 pm on September 14th.

Illahee Letter to County Commissioners. We saw several versions of a letter being drafted by the Illahee Community’s (the non profit group) Board of Directors raising concerns about reported excessive population projections that may affect Illahee.  We don’t know all the details, but thought we should at least print the text of the shortened version of one of the letters to let residents know about their concern.  The item is on the Commissioner’s agenda for Monday evening, September 12, 2011.

Commissioners:

The Illahee Community Board is trying to digest the recent decision from the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) and how the decision might affect Illahee.

We are anticipating the decision will require the reworking of the Land Capacity Analysis and a management analysis of the Urban Growth Areas.

We have been told the BOCC is poised to accept projected growth allocations, which are reported to be excessively high, at the September 12, 2011 Board meeting, which could impact Illahee.  We request any growth allocation decision be postponed until the impact of the GMHB decision is better understood by Illahee residents.

Please reschedule your decision for a future meeting.

Flyover & Camera Some have asked for more information about the flyover and the camera system.  We found some information on the cineflex camera used in the flyover on Wednesday.  The photos are taken at the Port Angeles airport during a refueling stop and shows the helicopter and camera along with cine-photographer, John Trapman, and our filmaker, Shelly Solomon.  The camera system is expensive reported to be about $600,000.  It was developed for the military by General Dynamics with this version used by filmmakers for high quality films, as previously noted in an earlier update.

Jim Aho


 

Cineflex V14 HD

The Cineflex V14 HD delivers true high-definition (HD) imagery with unparalleled stability. The 5-axis assembly provides layered isolation, steering and fine correctional movements for stabilization to a sub-pixel level. The system’s capture device, the Sony® HDC-1500 1080p professional broadcast camera, provides true scene fidelity with unmatched color clarity and resolution.



 

Illahee Community Update 9-7-11 Docks, Moles, Flyover, Barred Owl

New Dock at University Point? We received the following email regarding the relatively new dock at University Point:


Do you have any information about the new (and huge) dock that is down the beach “north” towards University Pt.? 

Many of us were surprised…and confused about how this was allowed.  One of our neighbors was told that there was absolutely no reason to pursue putting in a “small” dock as it would never be allowed.  Now we see this.

Does this mean that the process has changed in some way?  Should my neighbor try again to put in his small little dock?

Any info. you have on this would be helpful.


Dock Installed Last Year. While some did not notice the dock until recently, it was installed last year.  While on a boat ride we took pictures last year after the pilings were put in and again this year which shows the completed dock.  Though technically not within the Illahee community boundary, a number of Illahee residents attended the hearing before the Hearing Examiner because of the close proximity to Illahee’s northern border.

Are More Docks Being Planned? We don’t know if more docks are being planned in Illahee, though we have heard from those who were considering one, and evidently from the above email others are interested.  The Shoreline Master Program is being updated and docks, floats, etc requirements will likely be spelled out.

Moles. We discovered a dead mole this morning on our driveway.  These animals have powerful paws and claws for digging through soil and small eyes since they very rarely are seen above ground.  Their fur is soft like a mountain beaver.  This one had darker fur than we remember of other moles we have seen.

Wednesday Flyover. Today (Wednesday 9/7/11) a helicopter filmed Illahee, the shoreline areas, Illahee Creek, and portions of the Illahee Creek watershed.  The Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit group was collecting to help fund the flyover and reported they were just a little shy of the $600 goal, and wanted to thank the nearly 15 people who promised to contribute.

Email Updates Garbled? When we switched website software we started posting the Updates on our website, and then copying them for sending out via Gmail.  We had the following report that some of the emails have been garbled and are wondering how prevalent the problem is:

The last few Email messages have come to us unreadable.  On each line, the top half of the letters show, but not the bottom.  I did notice when I went to the reply mode, the lettering was fine, as you can see below.  I’m not too sure what the problem might be, but thought I’d let you know just in case others have the same thing happening and you’d like to see how many are involved.

If you are having problems like this please let us know.

Barred Owl Picture. Lots of Barred owls in the area and another great picture and email from a recent sighting.

I took this picture this morning (Sat Sep 3). I was at the kitchen sink, glanced up and saw this owl in the trees behind my house on Roosevelt St NE.
Thanks! Thanks for giving us feedback on the Updates and for continuing to send in items and pictures.
Jim Aho

Illahee Community Update 9-2-11 Preserve Work Party, Tree Theft, UGA Article

Rotary Sponsored Work Party. We have been amazed at the work parties sponsored by the Rotary Club of East Bremerton, and this one was another winner. There were nearly 60 total workers Wednesday evening, with approximately 50 from the Washington Youth Academy.

Washington Youth Academy. For those who are not familiar with the Washington Youth Academy (WYA), we have attached their mission statement from their website, which is: http://www.ngycp.org/site/state/wa/node/2262 and we have linked a Kitsap Sun article from 2008 when the WYA was started http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/oct/02/troubled-kids-will-get-a-do-over-at-washington/.

The mission of the Washington Youth Academy is to provide a highly disciplined, safe, and professional learning environment that empowers at-risk youth to improve their educational level and employment potential and become responsible and productive citizens of the State of Washington.

Wheel Barrows. In order to support such a large work group, the Rotary and the Illahee Community helped provide over 25 wheel barrows to move wood chips onto the trails.

Wood Chip Piles. They started out with two major wood chip piles (seen behind the wheel barrows) but at the end of the afternoon, only half of the piles on the right remained, ready for the next work party.



Questions. Lots of questions from those using the Preserve during the work party and the next day about how are you able to so effectively maintain the Preserve and how do you get so much help?  The answer given is that when organizations such as the Rotary and and local citizens decided to adopt the Preserve, and are involved with the planning, maintenance, and support, the results are amazing.  And then they get help from organizations like the Washington Youth Academy and the projects get accomplished.

Theft of Figured Maple Wood. Earlier in the week we discovered the mutilation of a maple tree for what is called figured wood, see the attached photo.  We noticed on eBay that figured wood can sell for some significant dollars.  The tree will now have to be taken down.  The Parks Department was notified and they have visited the site.

Illahee Mentioned In Urban Growth Article. The front page of the Kitsap Sun today read “Urban growth areas too big.”  The article went on to mention Illahee.  We copied that portion of the article below and the link is:

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/01/urban-growth-areas-ruled-too-large/


“The first places to pull back the boundaries, he said, are urban areas where experts have concluded that it would cost too much to provide sewers — a requirement of developments in urban areas. Also, urban areas can be found where the residents would prefer rural zoning — including portions of Illahee and Brownsville, he added.” 

Email Response to Article. This morning we received an email from someone who had just read the article and they asked if Illahee could be removed from the Urban Growth Area as was inferred by the above quote.  We don’t know the answer to the question but are curious how others in the community feel.  Illahee’s unique natural features do present infrastructure issues, such that there are no North-South roads running through the Illahee Creek watershed between Illahee Road and State Highway 303 (a distance of nearly 2 miles).

Jim Aho