Illahee Update 10/17/11 Culvert Photos, Illahee Preserve Laurel, Illahee State Park, Timbers Edge, Water Course Report, Preserve Meeting

Culvert Photos. Two weeks ago the Illahee Creek culvert under Illahee Road had the downstream area cleaned out of sediment in the hopes that it would result in an increase in the clear opening at the other end of the culvert, some 65 feet upstream.  We measured the upstream clear opening to see if it had changed as the result of two weeks of stream flow and the nearly one inch of rain received last week.  The results?  NO APPRECIABLE CHANGE!  This means it is possible to have a washout if we get another rain like in Dec 2007.  The good news is the county is looking for ways to slow the water down upstream, which is the right thing to do, rather than routine downstream cleaning.  The bad news is it could be too late if we get another super storm.

Illahee Preserve Laurel. A few years ago a group of volunteers came in and cut down some English Laurel that has somehow shown up in the Illahee Preserve in the Compass Circle area.  (English Laurel is a common hedge bush used because of its vigorous growth, up to 3 feet per year.  Many people eventually take these bushes out because of the maintenance needed to keep them from taking over.)   The photo below shows an English Laurel in the Preserve that must be at least 20 feet tall.  The deer have kept the lower portion free of limbs.

Improper Laurel Disposal. The volunteers at the time didn’t haul out the cuttings which were left in a pile on the ground where they re-rooted and rebounded with a vengeance.  This past week hours of labor were needed to cut down the laurel again as this lack of proper disposal created a virtual laurel jungle in the Preserve.  We have included a photo showing how a branch re-rooted itself.  In the background are the new piles of branches that need to be properly disposed of.

Illahee State Park Photos? As the Illahee film project is finishing, we have been asked to provide our filmmaker with some historical photos of Illahee State Park.  Any help or suggestions on where to get them is greatly appreciated.

State Park Input Desired. We received the following from a resident who lives close to the park:

FYI  The state parks department is trying to figure out how they are going to run a parks department with severely reduced or no funding from the general fund in the future.  This may be of interest to community members who would like to comment on some of the proposed initiatives to do that.

Begin forwarded message:
From: “Washington State Parks” <ZYA505@PARKS.WA.GOV>
Date: October 11, 2011 2:32:11 PM PDT
Subject: We need your help – transformation strategy for State Parks
Dear State Parks supporter,
The 2011-13 state operating budget reduces State Parks general fund support by more than 70% with the intent of eliminating it entirely in the future.  To help offset this reduction, the Legislature established a user-fee approach to funding the operations of the state park system.  Park visitors not otherwise paying for camping are now required to purchase a $30 annual Discover Pass or pay a $10 daily fee to access state parks.  The pass is also required to access state lands managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Annual sales of Discover Passes are projected to raise about $65 million with 84% dedicated to State Parks and 8% each going to DFW and DNR.
With the real potential for no general fund support, State Parks must rethink our approach to providing recreation opportunities and stewarding park resources.  We face a basic choice:
  1. Keep the agency as we know it, but dramatically smaller to reflect reduced funding and hope to rebuild in better times, or
  2. Use the current crisis as an opportunity to transform the agency, diversifying funding sources, engaging support, building expertise and creating an agency adapted to operating without state general funds.
I recently established a task force to explore the latter choice and craft a revenue and efficiency strategy to help set the agency on a conscious course towards long-term financial stability.    The task force convened work groups with agency staff and stakeholders and developed 61 distinct revenue and efficiency initiatives.
Now we need your help. As a State Parks’ supporter, we need to know from you whether we’re on the right track.  Attached is a document that describes all 61 initiatives and which ones we’re recommending to implement first.   Please give us your thoughts.  We’ve set up a special e-mail inbox to collect your input: Your input will help us create a revenue and efficiency strategy to help guide us into our second century of service.
Thanks. We appreciate your support!
Don Hoch, Director
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

Timbers Edge. We have on more than one occasion, been asked to check on the status of the Timbers Edge development that was approved by Kitsap County and the Hearing Examiner, albeit with some conditions.  We have had calls and emails, including some forwarded photos of papers posted at the property.  We have heard that early December 2011 is when payments are required. The photos are of two different papers.

The 24 Acres? We have also been asked whether the 24 acres of open space has ever been conveyed to the Illahee Preserve (via the Port of Illahee?), which was the condition agreed upon when the community dropped its appeal to the Shorelines Hearings Board.  This has not been done and based on the photos of the possible default documents, it appears it may never come about.

Kitsap Water Course Event Report. We saw four Illahee residents at the water course event this past weekend at Keyport.  We were impressed with the speakers and the information presented.  There are many studies and some major research efforts underway in west Puget Sound that are most interesting, and hopefully will be made known to more and more residents.  If the sponsors  decide to hold another water course/conference next year, it would be worth attending.

Tuesday Illahee Preserve Meeting. This is a reminder about the Illahee Preserve meeting being held at the Port meeting room at 5560 Ocean View Blvd at 6:30 pm. All are welcome to come and hear the presentation by Leadership Kitsap regarding proposed projects for the Illahee Preserve.

Jim Aho