Illahee Update 5/10/12 Illahee Preserve Reports, Remand Meeting Report, Illahee Geese, Illahee Bear?, Port of Illahee Commissioner Vacancy Filing Deadline, State Park Letter

Illahee Preserve Reports. We have been impressed with the recent trail changes and the Leadership Kitsap trail posts and maps and we are starting to get emails like the one below by those who are appreciative.

Yesterday myself & a gym rat pal took our first mini stroll through some of the trails.

I was very impressed with the area & the trails, everybody involved did an outstanding job on making the trails look so natural. We were amazed that we saw ZERO trash or any signs that a person had been there before us. I had taken a small bag for trash & maybe dog poop ( ugh!) but could not use it.

I really could go on & on, but you get the idea that I was impressed. These same woods that I camped & hunted in back in the 50’s are still around for others to enjoy.

Bravo Zulu to all.

Remand Meeting Report. Kitsap County’s Eric Baker was the presenter at the Illahee Community meeting held Monday evening at the Sylvan Way library.  The County Commissioners need to hear from residents by June 4th as to what remand alternatives they would like to see for their community, and in the case of Illahee, whether some areas should be taken out of the Urban Growth Area or rezoned.  This is a complex issue and the county website should be reviewed for more information.  No decisions on the alternatives were made at the meeting.  If you have a preferred alternative and would like to make the case for it, please write it up and we will present it in an update.

Illahee Geese. We are a little late passing on these photos that come to us on April 22nd.  The nest was the one on top of shed that was shared in an earlier update.  The other day there were two Canada geese families with five goslings so maybe they are still surviving.

They’ve arrived!  We saw eggs outside the nest this morning and thought disaster had struck until we saw movement inside the nest.  There are at least four.  Gus was invited back up to the nest to see the new brood.  Gus and Gert are very proud parents.
Gus was a real trooper during the gestation, he would chase off an eagle or two almost every day. A little guy with a  big attitude

Illahee Bear? We received some pictures today of scat on a log that appears to be from a bear.  The location was the riparian area next to Illahee Creek.

Port of Illahee Commissioner Vacancy Filing Deadline. The deadline for applying for the vacant Port of Illahee Commissioner position is May 18th.  The vacant position district is the area north of Ellen Lane and if you are interested contact Mike Mantzke or George Schaefer or email George at  illaheeport1@gmail.com.

State Park Changes. We were notified by several residents that there are changes being proposed regarding the running of state parks such as Illahee State Park.  We have attached the proposal letter below for your information.

Dear Washington State Parks Stakeholder,

Washington State Parks is in the midst of an extraordinary transformation of programs and finance. As we enter our second century of service, we find ourselves mightily challenged by the task of stewarding an amazing legacy of natural, cultural and recreational resources turned over to our care by previous generations.

During the past five years, State Parks has shrunk the system from 121 to 116 parks, has reduced staff by approximately 200 FTE and has reduced its operating budget by 25%. In the same five years,  our funding has decreased from a decades-long funding level of about 70 percent general fund support, to 42 percent last biennium and about 12 percent currently. General fund for State Parks is expected to be at zero in the next biennium.

The 2011 budget proviso passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Gregoire, gave clear direction to the agency:

By August 1, 2012, State Parks must submit a report to the Office of Financial Management detailing its progress toward the goal of making the parks system self-supporting and outlining any additional statutory changes needed for successful implementation.

With our “Centennial 2013 Plan” set for a strategic update, and our 2013-15 budget submittal needed on the heels of the above proviso report, State Parks is going to reach out to the public to help us chart our course forward. Ten public meetings are scheduled throughout the state in May and June. In addition, we want to talk with you, our stakeholders, to better understand your questions, suggestions and concerns, so we can provide you the best information we have about the choices we face in programs and finance. The information gained will be used to help us develop a larger transformation strategy intended to be the successor to the Centennial 2013 Plan.

To structure the public outreach effort, State Parks has come up with three alternative “thematic visions” for the future of our system. The alternatives are:

Theme 1: Parks as an Enterprise

Theme 2: Parks as a Community Non-Profit

Theme 3: Parks as a Public Conservation Asset

Each thematic alternative will be described in some detail and discussed at the public meetings, where we will ask a number of critical questions for your consideration. Each theme details an approach that could close the gap between program costs and park financing. But these are only “themes.” Outlining our choices in this fashion will allow us to broaden our thinking about what we most value about  our magnificent park system and how best to sustain it over time. The themes also provide a meaningful structure for public comment now and in the future.

The State Parks and Recreation Commission website (http://www.parks.wa.gov/Beyond2013/) is your source for understanding how best to participate in this upcoming public outreach effort. I would like to meet with you and your group on the phone or in person if possible to talk about the critical choices facing the park system and to hear your thoughts on directions you think we should take. Please let me know how State Parks can best meet your needs for information in the coming months.

Thank you so much for your attention and interest in your Washington State Park system.

Regards,

Daniel Farber

Strategic.Planning@parks.wa.gov

Updates on Website. This is a reminder that past updates can be found at the illaheecommunity.com website.

Jim Aho