Illahee 8/7/17 Wildlife Photos, Band-Tailed Pigeons, Port Meeting Wednesday, Illahee Day Saturday, Illahee Store Progress?

Wildlife Photos.  Thanks to Fred, who lives near the Illahee Preserve, for the following photos:

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Band-Tailed Pigeons.  The photos are of a band-tailed pigeon, with the following 2005 book found at the Amazon website about these interesting birds.  Anyone have more information on band-tailed pigeons?
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Port Meeting Wednesday.  The Port of Illahee will be holding its August monthly meeting outside of the Illahee Store on Wednesday 8/9/17 at 5 pm.  The meetings are being held there to make the meeting available to those unable to navigate the steep slope to the Port meeting room at the base of the Illahee dock.
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Illahee Day Saturday.  The public is invited to Illahee Day on Saturday, August 12th, from 4-7 pm.  Beverages and food will be provided.  Come and meet your friends and neighbors and celebrate Illahee’s 101 anniveresary!
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Illahee Store Progress?  The Port has been actively pursuing the purchase of the abandoned Illahee Store and is currently waiting for an anticipated Sheriff’s sale.  Contamination has been found on the site and cleanup will be required.  A second site survey, which installed four monitoring wells confirmed the findings of the first tests, with estimates of the cleanup cost expected later.  Historical photos of the pumps from the old store were requested and found from 1945 from Marie Reed’s photo album.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 7/27/17 Coyote Report, Preserve Land Slide, Creek Spring Fed, Sunset Sewer Project, Fire Concerns, Shelter Picnic Table?

Coyote Report.  From the Illahee Community Facebook page.  Kristen noted in a FB response that this was the third time in the past 3 weeks they were observed.

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Preserve Land Slide.  Nearly every year land slides occur along the steep banks surrounding Illahee Creek.  Last year one took out a PUD monitoring site.  This one is at the North Perry pump station at the end of Riddell Road.  Below is an email regarding a meeting Park’s Planner Steven Starlund had on the slide.
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Steven met with North Perry Water yesterday. There was a large slide at their facility on the corner of Perry and Riddel. The slide also took out part of park property. The County has given the water company permission to build a gabion retaining wall  and drain to shore up and protect their property. Part of this will be on park property too. The plan is to complete the work before the rains start this winter.
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Creek Spring Fed.  During dry spells like we are having Illahee Creek continues to flow and be inhabited by fish because it is fed by seeps and springs from the shallow aquifer.  The photo is of a sign along a trail at Alderbrook Resort.
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Sunset Sewer Project.  In addition to the sewer pump station work on McWilliams new sewer lines are being installed in the Sunset roadway.
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Fire Concerns.  Fire danger signs have been installed around the Preserve and yet we found signs of a fire on Preserve property along Rest Place.
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Shelter Picnic Table?  We had a recommendation to pass on regarding picnic tables at the new shelter at the Preserve’s Almira entrance.  These were observed at Port Gamble and it was noted the color would match those of the shelter.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 7/17/17 Preserve Art, Preserve Berries, Preserve in the News, Preserve Dumping, Stewardship Meeting Tuesday, Turtle, Photos

Preserve Art.  Walking the Preserve is always a pleasure in hot weather and recently stone art has appeared.

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Preserve Berries.  Salal berries are beginning to turn color.  We finally found a branch with all the colors.  The last photo is of developing Evergreen Huckleberries.
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Preserve in the News. This article appeared in the Kitsap Sun on July 11th and mentions the Illahee Preserve as a place to see vanilla leaf.
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Vanilla leaf
Preserve Dumping.  This is what we don’t want to see in the Preserve.  It was dumped sometime Friday evening.
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Preserve Stewardship Meeting Tuesday.  Preserve users and those interested in helping shaping the Preserve are welcome to attend the monthly meetings of the Stewardship group.  They meet at the Kitsap Pavilion meeting room on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm.  As the Preserve grows additional input and support is needed and newcomers are welcome.  If you have questions about the meeting call us at 360.479.1049.
 
Turtle. Only the second turtle report in 10 years.  “Was walking away from wetland area. Think it was a western pond turtle. Either that or a painted turtle, but it was more like the farmer’s size. Not something you see crossing the road every day!
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Photos.  We welcome photos and especially those of wildlife.  The last photo is from the last full moon.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 7/14/17 Preserve Fire Danger, Illahee Store, PLIA Grant, Contamination Testing, Deer Reports, Pigeon Guillemot, Illahee Day 2017

Preserve Fire Danger.  The Preserve is very dry so please watch out for fires.  There were some scary moments last year that we don’t want repeated, as local fire fighters are not equipped to fight a forest fire.
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Illahee Store.  Lots of action this past Wednesday and Thursday at the former Illahee Store site.  

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PLIA Grant.  The Port was successful in obtaining a Pollution Liability Insurance Agency (PLIA) grant to conduct a second round of tests to better understand the extent of pollution on the property before it goes up for a sheriff’s sale, at a date yet to be determined.  
 
Contamination Testing.  The testing this week involved extending and expanding on the previous testing with more probing sites and four ground water wells installed. Contamination was again verified near the existing underground storage tanks, and also where the old tanks (since removed) were located at the previous store. 
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Deer Reports.  With so many deer around, it is hard to know what to report.  Earlier this week a large pregnant doe was hit on Illahee Road and had to be put down by a Deputy (we have not shared the photo based on previous comments about showing injured or dead animals).  The four bucks in the photos were all in one person’s yard at the same time and were getting along, which won’t be the case in the fall during the rut.  We had a report deer like geranium and petunia flowers that were not safe even on patios.  One popular spot for deer was around a detention pond, that is until it was mowed.  The fawn is the only one we have been able to get a photo of this year.
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Pigeon Guillemot.  On July 1st a Pigeon Guillemot was observed at the Illahee Dock, which is a rare occurrence because of the presence of bald eagles at the dock, seen nearly every morning on the light posts.
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Illahee Day 2017.  The Port has set August 12 as the date for Illahee Day.  This will be Port Commissioners’ George Schaefer and Cassie Magill’s last Illahee Day and they requested to be in charge of refreshments in honor of their many years of service to the community. George has been a commissioner for 16 years and Cassie for 4 years.  Plan on joining them and the festivities to be held on the Illahee Store property on Saturday, Aug 12th.  Below is last year’s sign.  
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Jim Aho

Illahee 6/28/17 Killdeer Eggs Hatch, Stormwater Meeting Report, Illahee Regional Stormwater Facility, Illahee Store Activity, Locate Services, Private Locate Services, Old Store Gas Tanks, Draft Testing Plan

Killdeer Eggs Hatch.  Incubation time for Killdeer eggs is 24-28 days and three eggs, laid on a path to the beach, were right on time.  They survived daily multiple trips back and forth by geese, not to mention not being stepped on by a bear and her cub.  Now we are watching the adults chase away the crows who seem to be after the young chicks.

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Stormwater Meeting Report.  One of the most informative meetings on local stormwater issues was held on 6/19.  10 signs were placed throughout the community informing residents resulting in the attendance being better than other county stormwater meetings, with many waiting for a summary in a community update (next section). 
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Illahee Regional Stormwater Facility.  Briefly the project is a $2.5M Stormwater Regional Facility to be built over several years in three different phases, which are shown below.
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Illahee Store Activity.  More activity at the Illahee Store on Monday (6/26/17) as a second round of contamination surveys begin.
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Locate Services.  Utilities need to be identified whenever drilling occurs and they can determined by basic or enhanced services.  These photos show the basic services looking for power and gas.
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Private Locate Services.  With USTs (Underground Storage Tanks) enhanced services are required which use ground penetrating radar to see what is underneath.  Not only did they locate the existing tanks, they could also see where the tanks from the old Illahee Store were removed.
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Old Store Gas Tanks.  The photo below is from 49 years ago when the Illahee Flag Pole was dedicated.  The old store was located much closer to Illahee Road, and the USTs for the gas pump were on the north side of the store, and according to the testing the pit can be seen where they were removed.
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Draft Testing Plan.  The draft drilling plan to check for additianal possible site contamination is shown below and will likely be modified based on the new information from the private locating services.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 6/15/17 Stormwater Meeting, Countywide Open House Meetings, Past Problems, Brown Water in the Bay, New Culvert Underdesigned, Outfall at Illahee Dock, Gilberton Creek Washout, Port Stormwater Grant, Grant Recommendations, Illahee Preserve Acquisitions, County Progress

Stormwater Meeting.  There is an important meeting regarding stormwater for Illahee residents and the Sylvan Way Library meeting room is a great place for events like this.

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Countywide Open House Meetings.  While this is part of a county wide effort (see writeup below) to inform residents of stormwater programs, experts will be able to discuss Illahee specific projects that are ongoing.
 

If you have questions or concerns about stormwater drainage or flooding issues on or near your property join us for this open house.  We want to hear from you.  Stormwater staff will be available to listen to your concerns and gather input regarding our services and programs. They are also available to answer questions and provide a variety of brochures and resources.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Stormwater Division’s services as well as the Clean Water Kitsap program. Clean Water Kitsap is a partnership program between Kitsap County Public Works, the Kitsap Public Health District, Kitsap Conservation District and WSU-Extension. We work together to protect water quality by identifying and reducing sources of pollution, providing technical assistance for a variety of best management practices related to septic systems, livestock manure management, rain gardens and more.

 
Past Problems.  Illahee has a history with earlier questionable stormwater decisions, primarily permitting.
 
Brown Water in the Bay.  During every major storm event sediment is deposited out into the bay from the storm surges the plague Illahee Creek from developments authorized within the watershed.
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New Culvert Underdesigned.  The relatively new Illahee Creek culvert (1999) under Illahee Road quickly filled with sediment beyond the design height indicating an underdesign.  With limited height clearances it is susceptible to a washout if it becomes clogged.
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Outfall at Illahee Dock.  Some years ago the Port of Illahee fought the county with attempts to install an outfall at the Port dock.  This resulted in an poorly designed and installed outfall north of the dock that is presently an eyesore, that is someday supposed to be corrected.
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Gilberton Creek Washout.  Also a number of years ago there was a major washout of the Gilberton Creek culvert, due to the lack of recognition of cumulative projects impacting the culvert.  While the culvert was then replaced, there were no apparent public lessons learned responses.  Just prior the washout of the road a bus loaded with children passed over it.  The local community hoped that it would have resulted in some kind of public lessons learned response, but it didn’t.
 
Port of Illahee Stormwater Grant.  The bright spot after the above stormwater failures was the Port’s success in obtaining a Centennial Clean Water Fund grant to develop a Surface Water Management Plan, which resulted in comprehensive study of the watershed and water issues which is now being used to correct many of the past failures.
Grant Recommendations.  Many recommendations were suggested, however, the cost of correcting all the identified problems was $20 million, not including the recommendation to acquire critical properties.
 
Illahee Preserve Acquisitions.  The Illahee Preserve has been successful in many of it’s acquisition efforts, but still has a way to go.  We found the following information especially encouraging.
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County Progress.  Kitsap County is also making steady progress on the recommendations, which we will hear more of at Monday’s meeting, along with their other programs.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 6/11/17 Photos, Community Stormwater Meeting 6/19, Illahee Store report on CK Reporter Front Page 6/2, Wednesday Port Meeting, Preserve Shelter on Kitsap Sun Front Page 6/6

Photos. 

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Illahee Dock’s outer float as a fishing platform.
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Photo showing the reflection from the morning sun on the new and shiny Port of Waterman dock (upper left).  Note the bald eagle to the right on the Port of Illahee light post, which is seen there many mornings.
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Preserve stacked rocks.
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The dog that was killed at the top of Ocean View has been memorialized.

Community Stormwater Meeting 6/19.  The Illahee Community Group and the Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit groups are hosting Kitsap County’s stormwater personnel on Monday 6/19/17 from 6-7:45 pm at the Sylvan Way Library.  The county is beginning an “Illahee Regional Stormwater Retrofit Project” affecting Illahee and the Illahee Preserve that we will hear more about, among other things.  This should help with the stormwater surges plaguing Illahee Creek and threatening to take out the Illahee Creek culvert at the bottom of Illahee hill.  We have attached an old photo showing the nearly filled culvert (you used to be able to walk through it).
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Illahee Store Report on CK Reporter Front Page 6/2.  The Port’s hope to purchase the Illahee Store was reported on in the CK Reporter.  http://www.kitsapdailynews.com/news/port-of-illahee-hopes-to-acquire-abandoned-property/  There will hopefully be more information shared at Wednesday’s Port meeting.
 
Wednesday Port Meeting.  This is a reminder the monthly Port of Illahee meeting on Wednesday at 5 pm.  The port heard from four community members who attended last month’s meeting that the steep slope to the Port meeting room was getting to be too difficult to traverse, so it was suggested the June meeting be held outside of the store and one of them offered to put up a canopy.  We just heard that the request was granted and the meeting will be outside of the abandoned Illahee Store.  The slope down to the base of the dock is 18% which is beyond ADA requirements.
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Preserve Shelter on Kitsap Sun Front Page 6/6.  Another Illahee front page story, click on the link A000100001L (46).  Two in one week for a small but amazing community.  More photos coming as gutters are scheduled to be installed on Tuesday along with gravel and grading this coming week.
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Jim Aho 

Illahee 5/31/17 Old Bear Photo, Bear Reports, Golden Eagle Report, Spring Young, Kildeer Nest, New Sign, Class Visit to Preserve, Preserve Shelter Progress

Old Bear Photo.  This photo is from June 2014 of a local bear that could be the same bear that has been seen recently in the area.
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Bear Reports.  More reports of bears moving through Illahee, including by me who had the bear and her cub walk by me this past Thursday about 9:15 am, as I was working in my yard.  When they saw me they quickly left and walked north along the beach.

My neighbors report a few minutes earlier was more interesting.  
 
Carol had just finished hanging clothes on the outdoor clothesline when she noticed movement to her right on the lawn at the top of the path to the beach.  A mama bear and her older cub were about 20 ft. from her.  She slowly backed away toward the house, then came running in the house and told her husband there were two bears in the yard.  We went out on their deck as the bears ran up toward the Illahee Rd.  We lost track of then and phoned our next door neighbor when we heard a loud crack.  We stepped back out on the deck to see the mama bear tearing a limb off our Hawthorne tree to get at a small bird house, that was hanging on a branch.  She was eating something,  When she saw us she bounded off into the underbrush going south.  We didn’t see the cub at that time.
 
A photo of the bird house, which had a bumblebee nest in it, and the limb that was broken off are shown below.

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Golden Eagle Report.  Another report of an irregular visitor to the area from Dody.
 
I live in the housing complex across from Rolling Hills golf course and saw my first ever golden eagle in a large fir tree yesterday. The crows were going crazy over something in a large fir tree, so got the binoculars out and sure enough, it was a golden eagle eating something (lost pets?) for at least twenty minutes before leaving with a large entourage of angry crows. Saw it twice later in the afternoon with the same murder of noisy escorts. Biggest bird I’ve ever seen. Didn’t know they were indigenous to this area until I looked it up in our bird books. Made my day, but I’ll be keeping a closer eye on my 7-pound poodle mix for sure!
 
Spring Young.  We haven’t seen the ducklings lately, but are seeing more goslings.
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Kildeer Nest.  Will this nest survive better than the nearby goose and duck ones that were discovered by raccoons?
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New Sign.  A new private sign has been posted at the top of Ocean View with the following note from Mark:
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I also purchased a professional Bushnell speed gun and I’ve been tracking speeds as people make the corner. The good news is that many of the cars I thought we’re going too fast we’re actually very close to the speed limit I think a lot of it has to do with the sound as vehicles are making the turn. That said we still have a number of young people mostly who race up the hill those I intend to capture with the speed gun and pictures and post them on the Illahee Facebook page asking people to let those individuals know they’re just going too fast and they could kill someone or some one’s pet.
 
Class Visit to Preserve.  Another teacher is using the Preserve for learning experiences.  A few weeks ago we included a photo of a 2nd and 3rd grade class.  This is an Olympic College class that met at the Preserve on Tuesday.
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Preserve Shelter Progress.  A major investment in the Preserve has been made with the installation of shelter by the Rotary Club of East Bremerton at the Almira entrance to the Illahee Preserve.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/22/17 Photos, Facebook Reports, Bear Sightings, Port of Illahee Meeting Report, Sheriff’s Sale, Contaminated Site, Thimbleberry

Photos.  Some photos from the past two weeks.

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New ferry ‘Chimacum’ going through trials in Illahee last week.
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First Canada geese goslings.  Between the eagles and seagulls many goslings don’t make it.  Also, most of the geese and ducks in our area had their eggs eaten, likely by raccoons, before they even hatched.
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Another domestic rabbit sighted out in the wild.
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Chipmunk next to the Preserve
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Common Loon that is late if it is just passing through.
 
Facebook Reports.  Day to day reporting from suspicious activities to lost pets appears on the Illahee Community Facebook page, and more recently of more bear sightings.
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The loss of a dog was reported recently followed by the following sign by where the dog was hit. 
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The above report was most likely in the area closer to Gilberton.  Later on FB there was a report and video of bears in East Bremerton that can be seen at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/kitsaplnfpetsearch/permalink/1706073776077147/
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Port of Illahee Meeting Report.  The Port of Illahee’s attorney Ken Bagwell gave a brief at the Port’s May meeting of the status of the attempt by the Port to purchase the abandoned Illahee Store.
 
Sheriff’s Sale.  A sheriff’s sale is planned in the near future, as soon as 6 weeks, at which time the Port can bid on the store.
 
Contaminated Site.  The store property is a registered contaminated site with the Department of Ecology from past leaking underground petroleum tanks.  The Port noted that funds are normally available to Ports for cleanup efforts, which is why they are moving ahead with a possible purchase.
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Thimbleberry.  Thimbleberry is a native plant is found throughout Illahee and in the Illahee Preserve.  It has exceptionally soft leaves, which during Preserve tours is pointed out as nature’s toilet paper to help people identify it.  More information about thimbleberry can be found on the internet.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/6/17 Photo, Class Visit to Preserve, Comcast Work Party, Rotary Shelter Progress, Port Meeting on Wednesday, New Forage Fish Maps

Photo.  Thanks to Chris for this great photo. 

Towhee as shot
From yesterday’s walk, here is a Spotted Towhee in some huckleberry right next to the trail around the Compass Circle area. The Robins, Song Sparrows, Juncos and White-crowned Sparrows are everywhere right now. I even caught a glimpse of an adult Bald Eagle flying low through the trees this morning near the Almira parking lot! 

 
Class Visit to Preserve.  Several weeks ago a class of 2nd and 3rd graders visited the Illahee Preserve.  
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An unexpected surprise was two Barred Owls who greated the children.  The students each sent a thankyou note with hand colored covers like the one shown below.  
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In addition to the owls another favorite was the ~500 year old Douglas Fir.
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Comcast Work Party.  On Earth Day Comcast employees gathered for an all day work party at the Illahee Preserve.  We are waiting for their official photos as they accomplished many great projects. 
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Rotary Shelter Progress.  The Comcast Care work party coincided well with the work being done on the Rotary Shelter being installed at the Almira parking lot.  With the footings in the work can begin above ground.
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Port Meeting on Wednesday.  Just a reminder that the Port of Illahee will be meeting on Wednesday at 5 pm.  The Port’s lawyer is scheduled to give an update on the Illahee Store, which the Port is attempting to purchase.
 
New Forage Fish Maps.  Who knew we had such a diversity of forage fish spawning sites in the area?  The newly released maps show documented spawing locations of Pacific Sand Lance, Surf Smelt, and Pacific Herring, and there are likely more as these are just the documented sites.  http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/research/projects/marine_beach_spawning/
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Jim Aho