>Wildlife Report – 5-31-11

>Deer Herd?  What constitutes a herd of deer?  It was reported that two bucks, three does, and two fawns was too much for one gardener to have in her yard and she tried to make enough noise to scare them away.  They reported looked at her and slowly walked across the road stopping oncoming traffic.  Gardeners we have talked to are seeming less patient as the number of deer in the area increases.  But maybe we should consider the number of deer in an area as an indication of where the great gardens are?  We will be checking next month to see if those interesting in hosting a garden tour are still interested, assuming the deer have left them something to show.

Coyotes?  There have always been coyotes in the area, but some who live next to the Preserve, say the coyotes are getting more aggressive around their residents and pets.  We would like to post some pictures of local coyotes so if you have any you would share please forward them.

Baby Ducks.  We had reports of two baby mallard ducks along the waterfront and we saw two baby mallards in the Illahee North detention pond (see attached photo).  Years ago we watched a mother duck try to get her ducklings from the waterfront to the pond and they didn’t make it.  

Canada Geese Families.  We have watched three families of Canada geese come and go (see attached photos).  Once the goslings get bigger the seagulls seem to leave them alone.  The first photo is of a single goose that is raising two young ones by herself and is usually seen with the family in the second photo.

Killdeer Nest.  We have been led away from Killdeer nests several times this spring and finally we have discovered a nest.  Actually it isn’t much of a nest at all and it appears the eggs were laid on the beach sand and broken shells.  The attached photos show the eggs in the nest, the Killdeer on the nest, and the Killdeer doing its broken wing dance to draw us away from the nest.  

Bird Tour.  There was a bird tour in the Illahee Preserve early on Memorial Day morning.  These tours are held regularly and quickly fill up.  They are led by a Master Birder and past president of Seattle Audubon. If this is something that interests you, please let us know and we will pass the information on so you can be notified of the next tour.  The photos were posted on Facebook and the link is:  http://tinyurl.com/3f4z9ys

Lazuli Bunting Report in Last Update.  This is a follow-up of the Lazuli Bunting sighting that was reported in our last Update.  Joan Carson does a bird report in the Kitsap Sun each week and noted several sightings of these amazingly beautiful birds and also responded to the Illahee resident who reported the sighting with the following email:

It sounds like you were one of the lucky Friday the 13th birdwatchers! Seems like a wave of Lazuli Buntings hit Kitsap County that day. I had reports from west of Keyport and Bainbridge Island. Considering where you are, that’s a wide area. A very small number of these birds migrate through our area in the spring, but they don’t seem to show up every year. Certain conditions influence them somehow and I suppose it is the wind. Anyway, you were lucky and I’m still waiting – one of these years I hope.

Wildlife Pictures?  We would love to pass on any wildlife photos or stories you have.  We normally pass them on anonymously unless give specific authorization to use your name.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous – 5-14-11

>Where Are The Updates?  We have been asked about when the Updates will resume, so it must be time to continue them.  We had a nice trip around the Baltic Sea, visiting and touring in Germany, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.  We were surprised at the low salinity and lack of tidal fluctuations in the Baltic Sea.  After the trip I ended up with pneumonia and have finally recovered enough to want to sit at my computer.  Not too many items to report so should be able to catch up with all I know in this Update. 

Fawn Reports.  Two sets of twin fawns have been reported, with one being hit by a car last Saturday just south of University Point.  Some gardeners are reporting daily and nightly visits by deer and are realizing they need to get nets up if anything is going to survive.

Gosling Report.  Not as many young Canada goose goslings reported, possibly because some of the seagulls are reportedly getting them when they are really small.  We have seen this ourselves a few years ago where the goslings were swimming in a line between the two parent geese, and a seagull quickly swims up and takes a gosling before the adult geese can react.

Baby Possums.  We had two reports of strange looking rat type creatures, which of course were small baby possums.  These babies are cute when they are small and we have been surprised that cats seem to leave them alone. 

Humming Bird Report.  We received the following email regarding a large hummingbird:
Today 5-4-11, I saw or at least what I thought was the largest Hummingbird I have ever seen around this area (off of Wise Street). It seems to be about 4 or 5 inches long. Has a dark hood with white stripe from back of eye to back of head. Body is green, but may have dark/ Dk Blue back. I think at times you can see a red spot on the forehead area.  It perches on on top of a 40 to 50 foot ceder tree of a neighbor. Attached are photos taken through a telescope. I could not ID this bird. See attachment.
Beverly Deitch Obituary.  Received the following note while on our trip and heard a number of Illahee residents attended the memorial service.
Just to let you know that Bev Deitch has passed away.  Her obituary appeared in the Kitsap Sun this morning (Thursday) . We are saddened to learn of her passing. 
Commissioner Brown’s May Newsletter Mentions Illahee Film.  There is a nice write-up about what is happening in Illahee in Josh Brown’s May newsletter, which can be read by clicking on the following link:  

Garden Tour?  Have not had a chance to find out if a determination has been made about an Illahee garden tour this summer.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Responses&Miscellaneous Items – 7/8/10

>Deer Thinning Question.  We were asked to question whether there were any in the community who thought our deer numbers were so high that they should be thinned.  We heard from a number of you who said no and several who said yes.  The comments that have come in so far are printed below:

Wildlife has not grown to a point where they are trouble just a nuisance to some in some minor way.

 I am among those whose newly planted flower garden has been raided by the local deer, yet I am NOT willing to reduce the number of these magnificent animals.  What I have found that works, is to place a sacrificial planter in front near the street, this seems to keep them away from the plants that are deeper into the yard.  I have also heard that cougar urine can be purchased and lightly spread around the property and it will deter the deer from coming in.  I have seen it on the market as “Deer Off” (I think) but have not tried it.  Like yourself, we are grateful to have the wildlife we do and so sorry to see reckless drivers reduce the population.

We love seeing the deer come into our yard.  We don’t see them enough, but that’s probably because we don’t have a garden.  We do have a cherry tree, so we’re hoping we see them soon.

I don’t feel its necessary to thin the deer population. I used to see them in my yard and loved it but I have nieghbors with dogs all around me. I used to have a male and female pheasant. They were so pretty. I have 5 gray squirrels and 2 brown. Had to take some abandoned baby squirrels to the Wildlife shelter on bainbridge Island last year. And an injured squirrel to the animal hospital in Gorst. They work with the wildlife shelter. That organization is awesome, I try to donate a little here and there. I love living here, and love the critters. Unless the deer are injured or sick they have a right to be here too. There isn’t a whole lotta room for them left anymore. Thanks again for the information Jim. I was sorry to hear about your neighbor. That whole situation is so sad, my heart goes out to the family. Thanks for all your hard work in our community.

I am in favor of killing 2 of 3 raccoons in my backyard as I have read that relocation is unkind.  My problem is I don’t own a weapon (bow & arrow or 22 rifle) to do the job.

I thought that the population was CONTROLLED EACH YEAR. Guess I was misinformed.

My family agrees with you, extra effort on our end is worth the co-existing. We love the deer and geese, they can come visit our yard any time!

Actually, I think that there are too many people in the area.  However, I do not believe that we should thin them out.  I just drive defensively and wash my hands frequently.  Deer numbers are, if anything, too low.  A “NO” for the thinning proposal.

…. you can add us in the yes pile, of those that would like to see a reduction in the deer population here. Nice to have a few around, but the herd needs to be thinned out a bit.

Allowing the deer to feed on the bounty in my yard is part of my “community service” and I would rather alter my own habits than cull them.  
Same for the geese. Thanks for doing this informal survey. 

Please do not pursue ‘thinning’ out the deer, they are beautiful and were here first!

Thanks for the update. I generally don’t mind the deer. I too have been a victim of their midnight raids. I should have taken photos of years past when I tried growing strawberries. All during the spring they grow lush leaves, get blossoms with the beginnings of berries and in one night they become leafless sticks. 

While I accept that the deer were here first and I do enjoy seeing them around, it might be wise to get Fish and Wildlife to do an assessment as to whether there are too many for the land (presumably the preserve are) to support.  I still have to get off my rear end and put up my wildlife camera to capture the little midnight raiders in the act! I bought the thing three years ago and have yet to set it up. If I ever do, you will be first on my list for the pictures.

The deer visit my yard every year and love my roses.  They also “helped” trim my raspberry plants and eat my pole green beans down to the ground.  But I love seeing them and am willing to put up with their munching.  If I was really worried I would put up some fencing….but I haven’t bothered with it yet.

The wild animals were here long before we came along and messed up their habitat.  The least we can do is LEAVE THEM ALONE!  “Thinning them out” is just a disgusting idea.  If you don’t want them eating your plants….let’s get creative and come up with a more civilized way to detour them! 

And Recommended Solutions:

My wife and I enjoy your newsletter.   I for one (or should I say “we for two”) dread the thought of thinning out the deer population in our area.   Like you… living amongst the wildlife in Illahee is one of our favorite things about living in this area.  Although we have been “victims” of the deer foraging on our flowers right on our own deck… we feel it’s a small price to pay for the beauty we get to enjoy every day here.  

That being said… we have taken our own steps in detouring the deer away from certain areas in our yard that we would like to keep uneaten by our 4 legged neighbors.   While researching different types of deer deterrents… we found a GREAT solution that has worked very well for us. 

We have a puppy that spends lots of time playing in the yard, so we didn’t want any of the chemical/spray types around (plus my research showed they’re not very effective anyways)… and we didn’t like the thought of having to put up any type of fencing with the height required to keep a leaping deer out.   One day, searching on Amazon.com, we came across something INGENIUS, highly rated by previous customers and exactly what we needed… motion sensing sprinklers!   We bought 2 of them a couple months ago and we love ’em!

The product is called “The Scarecrow” by Contech Electronics.   At $45 a piece, they aren’t the cheapest way about it… but they are the quickest and least intrusive by FAR.  They are fully adjustable for sensitivity as well as water pressure, so you can dial in exactly the area you want to detect motion (i.e NOT the neighbor everytime he walks on his lawn next door)… how far it sprays (i.e. NOT the afore-mentioned neighbor walking on his lawn)… and the spray coverage area (small arc or 360 degree circle).   Here is a link to the sprinkler on Amazon:

Not a big water-waster at all either.   When it does detect motion and sets off, it only goes for 3 seconds and then resets.   And it’s one of those ratcheting sprinkler heads, so the sound and sight of that pulsing water stream scares them right away and they eventually learn to not even go in that area anymore.  

Two is all we needed (one at each end of the area we wanted to keep “deer free”) and now they just re-route and pass through the other side of the house where they’re more than welcome to graze about.  

These things are GREAT.   Well, until the day you forget to turn it off before venturing in front of it and get soaked… don’t ask me how I know… lol  :-)

Anyways… I just wanted to pass this on.   We absolutely love ’em.  No chemicals to worry about, no fencing to block the view of all the hard work you’ve done in the garden/flower beds… just a quick harmless spurt of water.

For Geese:

Landscape modification is one of the most effective and environmentally sound methods for reducing goose populations and/or damage to lawns and yards.

This can be accomplished by:

1.  Planting shrubs, hedges or replacing lawn with unpalatable ground cover (no english ivy please….).

2.  Urban geese obtain much of their food from grass and they feed in areas with the most nutritious grass (i.e. lawns that are mowed and fertilized regularly). Consequently, geese can be discouraged from foraging at a site by making the grass less appealing. Techniques for this may include:

         a.  Mowing and fertilizing the lawn as infrequently as possible (think of it as one less “honey-do”). It is difficult for geese to access the young shoots if the grass is tall and older stems are not as appealing as young shoots.

          b. Planting a less-palatable grass species (not guaranteed to get rid of your problem if there are limited feeding areas as a less appealing feeding area is better than no feeding area).  Although geese will feed on almost any grass, they exhibit a feeding preference for Kentucky bluegrass. They dislike tall fescue, especially certain varieties which contain an endophytic fungus (be careful as this endophytic fungus is not good for goats, sheep or horses and can make them sick).

3.  Geese avoid sites with bushes, hedges, or other objects that would allow a predator to approach without being seen. Other methods that make a lawn appear less safe to geese include:

          a.  Placing shrubs or boulders close to foraging areas. The obstacles should be large enough for other animals or predators, such as a dog, to hide behind.

          b.  Planting tall-growing trees or not removing tall trees in the area. Geese prefer not to use areas where trees obstruct their ability to fly.  Geese are so heavy that they gain altitude slowly when flying–they require a low flight angle of about 13° to take flight.

Another Controversial Issue?  Beach Walking.  With over 3 miles of saltwater shorelines in Illahee there are probably strong feelings as to whether beach property owners have the right to prevent people from walking across their beaches (below high tide).  The Kitsap Sun did an article recently presenting the issue http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/jul/05/the-legal-dilemma-of-beach-walking/ followed by a blog article and questionnaire  http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2010/07/08/beach-walkers-are-still-waiting-for-a-legal-answer/.  We researched the issue some time ago and came to the same conclusions as the article and wonder how others feel.  Also, this is one of the issues the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) update is to be discussing so we thought it would be good to get the thoughts of Illahee residents.

Illahee Preserve Handicapped Parking Complaint.  Most are aware of the 460 acre Illahee Preserve and that the surrounding community and the East Bremerton Rotary have been volunteering to support and maintain the Preserve.  The other day we found out a complaint had been registered that the handicapped parking area was being filled with wood chips.  Before we could get out there to look the situation over some pro-active Park’s Department personnel had already taken care of the problem.  The Preserve support group sent out the following email and photos in appreciation of the prompt attention.

A big thank you to the Kitsap County Park’s Department personnel who took care of moving the chips out of the handicapped parking spaces and putting back the sign that had been either taken out or knocked down!!!!!!    When we ask for free chips for use on the Preserve trails the landscaping and tree removal companies are generally really good about placing them back in to woods where they don’t interfere with anything and especially parking.  This time we got so many loads of chips that they spilled over into the handicapped parking stalls faster than we could organize work parties to take care of them.  When we went out there this morning (Thursday) to see what we could do we found that the Park’s Department had already been there and had taken care of the situation.  See the attached photos.  While we like to think that the Preserve is being primarily taken care of by volunteers, it is really nice to have the support of Parks when situations like this arise.  Bravo Zulu and Thank You to the Park’s Department!!!! 

Last Mulching Work Party on Monday.  We need to spread the remaining mulch on rain garden Plot #4 and will do so on Monday (7/12/10).  Since it may still be warm we are scheduling to go from 5:30 – 7:00 pm at the Almira parking lot.  This is the last plot to be mulched and it should finish off the last pile of mulch.  Thank you to all who have helped and will help on Monday.

Jim Aho

>Gardens&Wildlife – 7/7/10


A Difficult Year for Gardens.

It has been a difficult year for growing crops like tomatoes and peppers because of the unseasonably cool weather earlier this gowning season, not to mention the slug problems that came with the cool damp weather. Another garden problem for Illahee residents is the deer foraging on everything from roses to raspberries. We have had reports of deer munching most everything from apple trees, vegetables, and even geraniums in pots on peoples decks, not to mention rose bushes. We have attached a picture of an eaten raspberry stem.

Garden Deer Protection. We saw a fenced in garden in Illahee that reminded us of when we lived in the Yorktown, VA area where there were huge herds of deer and every garden required protection. This garden fencing was simply done with split cedar poles extending from regular fence posts and 7 foot “wildlife netting” available at Lowes for $13 for a 100′ roll.

We took a picture to show how nicely it was done. Others have tried similar type of fencing and noted that it needs to be secured at the bottom also as they watched a doe lift the netting so her fawns could get in. Another person reported an unsecured corner opening was soon discovered by the deer and their garden was raided.

A Request To Decrease The Number of Deer. We have been asked to put in a notice to see if there are residents who think there are too many deer in the area such that the deer numbers should be thinned out, presumably by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). Let us know and we will pass the information on to them.

How Do Others Feel? While we have our own issues with deer and have been especially hit by their foraging this year, it is one of the things we like about living with wildlife in Illahee. We aren’t ready to join those who want to reduce the deer population so let us know your thoughts.

Canada Geese Number? The other day our kids noted 57 Canada geese at our beach and we have had residents wonder if the geese numbers are too high. We just had to cover our blueberries with netting to protect them from the birds with a special fence to protect them from the Canada geese, who found they could sneak under the netting. Again we feel with a little extra effort we can learn to co-exist with the wildlife.

Wildlife Solutions? Let us know how you are coping with the wildlife and we will pass the information on.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 5/19/10

>Geese Try to Drown Eagle. We just have to report on this story as we see the number of Canada goose gosling’s get fewer each day.

The other day two families of Canada geese were swimming in Illahee when a bald eagle evidently swooped down to get one of the goslings. I heard the commotion and saw three adult Canada geese jumping on top of the eagle and trying to drown it. The eagle eventually got free and left without the gosling, probably just glad to make it out alive as they kept him underwater for some time.

Port Needs Input For Grant. One of the ways the Port of Illahee has been helpful with keeping the tax rate down has been through its success with obtaining grants. The Port is applying for additional grants and they need to show citizen support, in this case either for or against. Please click on the underlined link to see the plan write-up and then email your response to Luis Barrantes or to us and we will forward it on. This is essentially the plan supported by the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, the Illahee Forest Preserve, and the Illahee Community Club, and they would all appreciate you taking the time to comment

The Port of Illahee is applying for 2 grants from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. As part of these applications the Port needs to adopt a habitat conservation plan and needs to show that the community is supportive of the plan. So we are asking that the residents read this plan and submit comments. These comments, positive or negative will be submitted as an appendix to the plan as evidence that the community weighed in on the process.
Your comments are very appreciated and since the schedule is very tight for the grant process we ask that your comments be emailed as soon as possible. Like this week sometime.
Thank you,

Kitsap Sun Reports on Settlement. Illahee made the front page of the Kitsap Sun this morning with the following headline: “Accord May End Illahee Land Battle.” The Sun heard about the Illahee Community meeting on Monday and called to ask about what had transpired. They also called the Port and Ron Templeton, the attorney for Jim James. We know not everyone gets the Sun so please click on the attached link and read the article as it helps explain why the petitions are needed.

Raccoons. We have noticed a number of raccoons out foraging during the day in Illahee, both inland and along the beaches. We thought they were mostly nocturnal and were surprised to see so many during the middle of the day, including one napping along side the road.

Jim Aho

>Important Meeting&Miscellaneous Items – 5/11/10

>Illahee Community Meeting Monday 5/17. There is a very important Illahee Community meeting on Monday evening, May 17th, beginning at 6:15 pm, at the Library on Sylvan Way. The consensus at the last meeting was to try and hold community meetings on a weeknight evening rather than a weekend afternoon, as this time of year there are many other competing events.

Critical Topics Will Be Discussed. There are a number of critical items that the Illahee Community Club (ICC) board has been working on for the community and will be discussed at this meeting as noted below.
Superior Court Suit. The ICC filed suit in Superior Court over the fairness doctrine and the issue has been resolved.
Shorelines Hearings Board Suit. The ICC filed suit with the Shorelines Hearings Board and that issue has also been resolved in a unique way.
Settlement Agreement. A settlement agreement was reached with regards to the Timbers Edge development and this settlement needs to be presented to the community at this meeting. Not every one is happy, but if certain things transpire we think the community will benefit.
Phase 2 Acquisitions & Easements. In addition to all that is going on legally, the various Illahee Preserve groups and the ICC have endorsed the Phase 2 Illahee Preserve/Illahee Creek Restoration Plan. This is a monumental plan to protect and preserve the the Preserve, Illahee Creek, and Puget Sound. We have attached the map showing past acquisitions and the future plans.
Rain Garden Target Area. The area north of the golf course was developed when there were no requirements to contain or control stormwater and so over 100 acres are tight-lined (piped) to the North Fork of Illahee Creek (just north of the golf course bridge) which is largely responsible for the brown silt laden waters that extend out into Puget Sound during significant rain events. We are looking at rain gardens in this target area to help slow down the water and the impact to the stream.
Petition For Port Assistance. The ICC is also trying to come up with a petition requesting Port assistance with the Phase 2 Plan, and will be looking for signatures from residents. They will try to have copies available at the meeting.
Future of Illahee Will Be Determined By These Issues. The future and look of Illahee will be determined by some of these issues and your input is needed.
Port of Illahee Commissioners Will Be In Attendance. The Port of Illahee commissioners will also be in attendance to answer questions.
Other Meetings Will Likely Be Scheduled. If you can’t make this meeting let us know what times work out best for you and other meetings will be scheduled. The issues are too important for anyone not to understand what is going on or to have their questions answered.
Other Illahee News. On the wildlife side there are several reports.
Canada Goose Families. The number of Canada goose goslings continues to increase. The oldest group of goslings numbers 4, the next number 5 (was 6), and the smallest group also numbers 5. Below is a picture of the middle group.
Nearshore Salmon. Several Illahee residents helped with the 24 hour beach seining this last weekend on Bainbridge Island and report the shorelines in the area are filled with small salmon and cutthroat. They saw lots of chum, pinks, and coho, and a few really nice Chinook, and were amazed at how small salmon become dispersed along the shorelines throughout the Sound once they leave the rivers.
Chicken Coop A Frame. We received pictures of a simplified chicken coop A frame from an Illahee resident and wanted to pass it on.

Update Photo In Patriot & CK Reporter. It was nice to open the Bremerton Patriot & CK Reporter and see the photo we took of the CK students working in the Illahee Preserve rain garden. The students were from Olympic High School and their effort was greatly appreciated.
Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 4/27/10


Rain Garden Mulching.  On April 17th six brave souls braved the rain and weeded and mulched one and a third of the five rain garden plots at the Illahee Preserve’s Almira parking lot.  It was a good start, but much more is needed to be done as can be seen from this photo. 

CK Student Help.  On Saturday, May 1st, we have heard that CK schools are having a special day for students to volunteer to help in their community and the Illahee Preserve was one of the areas selected.  We said we could use help with the weeding and mulching effort that began a few weeks ago.  They are scheduled to begin at 10 am and we hope they will be able to finish the project, and that we will have enough wood chips to go around.

New Goslings.  A new family of Canada geese have adopted our yard, see the attached photo.  While they leave a trail of droppings, some of our family think we can live with them.  I’m not sure how long the relationship will last as soon we will plant the rest of our garden.

Stillwater’s Ecofest.  We attended the Sillwater’s Ecofest in Kingston this past Saturday and found many interesting exhibits, with the most surprising being a small compact A-frame chicken coop, see the attached photo.  With all the discussions going on in Bremerton about chickens, we thought this concept would be one that many could live with.  We just had to pass the picture on.

Legal Questions Are Being Asked.  Lots of questions being asked about Timbers Edge, the Circuit Court Appeal, the Shorelines Hearings Board Appeal, and a wetlands project that was recessed by the Hearing Examiner about 3 years ago.  We will be trying to get some answers and pass the information on.  Let us know if you have questions about community issues and we will see what we can do to answer them.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 4/20/10


Short Nesting Time for Local Canada Goose.  Four days and two eggs was all a local Canada Goose had for her nesting effort before some animal, probably a raccoon or possum, found her nest.  We heard the commotion at 2 am and in the morning found the two broken egg shells on the grass the next morning, along with a sad looking female goose.

Young Eagle Thinks Twice About Taking on One of the Geese.  A few days after the above event a young bald eagle started to swoop down on one of the Canada Geese, and only backed off when the goose flared its wings.  We have watched eagles attach Canada geese before but they are usually just a lone goose on the beach. 

Deer Reports.  When their raspberry bed looked like a bunch of sticks sticking up out of the ground, one resident put up a new 7′ high fence around the area.  He said three deer were visiting the bed every night until they had decimated nearly all the raspberries.  A neighbor tried to shoo the deer away and found them reluctant to leave the area.  So far the netting has worked and they said they found the netting at Lowes for $12 something and it was 7′ by 100′ which is reported to be a good price.  

Rainy Day for Rain Garden Mulching.  There were 6 brave souls who weeded and mulched two of the Illahee Preserve Almira parking lot rain garden plots on Saturday, April 17th.  It was suggested that a week day after-work evening be scheduled for finishing the mulching as many have their Saturdays already booked.

Red Elderberry Being Pulled Up.  We have has several people concerned that someone is going through the Preserve pulling out Red Elderberry plants.  These are good native plants and we are wondering if someone might be thinking they are invasive species, as there doesn’t seem to be any other explanation for their actions.  If you see anyone pulling these plants out, please let us know by calling 479-1049.

Brush Pickers.  There have been reports that there are brush pickers in the Preserve recently and specifically the last two days.  This is illegal activity and they need to be reported by calling 911 or by calling us at 479-1049.  

Rogue Trail Makers.  We have also heard that there are rogue trails being cut through the Preserve.  Any new trail needs to be approved by the Stewardship Committee and the Parks Department.  There are no new trails being established at this time.  If you see someone cutting a trail, please call the Park’s Department or 479-1049.

Illahee Preserve Stewardship Meeting Tonight (4/20/10).  The Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee meets the third Tuesday of each Month at the Port of Illahee office at 5560 Ocean View Boulevard, between 6:30 and 8:00 pm, and anyone is welcome to attend.  For more information call 479-1049 or 792-6934.

Gutter System?  We have been asked by someone who is considering having a gutter system installed, if there are any happy residents out there who have a recommendation.  Let us know and we will pass the information on.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 1/10/10

>Response to White-Fronted Goose Report.  We are amazed at the responses we often get to our updates, and also where they are read.  The attached is an example.

That appears to be the same white-fronted goose that appeared in our waterfront Poulsbo yard on November 4.  He was with a larger flock of Canada geese.  They hung around for three days, then left.  I assumed that they had resumed their southward migration.  Evidently, they did, but only as far as Illahee. 

Whitefronts are the first North American goose species to head south in the fall.  They typically winter in deep southern California, Mexico and the Gulf Coast.  I was surprised to see one still here as late as November.  Now here it is January and he is still here!  Evidently, he plans to stay with the local Canadas through the winter.

Small Squid Being Caught.  We were at the Illahee Community Dock the other night and saw some of the smallest squid we’ve ever seen being caught.  Attached are a couple of photos.  These photos were taken the same night North Perry Water had shut down the water for a couple of hours while they fixed a leak on the waterline going along Illahee Road.

Mussel Testing at the Illahee Dock.  We were info’d on the attached request and hope to get some pictures of the collecting of mussel sample at the Illahee dock on Tuesday evening.  The Port approved the request and asked that they share the results with the Port.

As part of the Navy’s ENVVEST ambient monitoring program for Sinclair
and Dyes Inlets we are coordinating with the Puget Sound Mussel Watch
Program to establish additional mussel sampling stations within the
Sinclair/Dyes system and would like to establish a mussel sampling site
at the Illahee Port District pier.  We would like to collect mussel
specimens from the pier for residue analysis of heavy metals, PAHs,
PCBs, stable isotopes, and lipids to assess long term environmental
quality trends in the area. We are currently targeting the sampling at
the Illahee Dock for the evening of Jan 12 (during low tide). I have a
scientific collection permit from WDFW and we will be following the NOAA
Mussel Watch sampling protocols.

Appeal Hearing Dates.  The dates for the two upcoming appeal hearing have now been established.  The Shoreline Hearings Board appeal date was established earlier as April 12, 2010 and the Superior Court hearing date was set on Friday as April 20, 2010.

Appeal Questions Being Asked.  The most frequent question asked is whether the developer has responded to the Community’s most recent letter requesting a lower density?  The answer is NO.

Next Question Asked.  The next most asked question is do you think the Community has a chance of winning?   Our response is we certainly hope so as some of the issues, like the fairness doctrine, is clearly stated in Washington State statutes and was clearly violated, though the county will likely argue otherwise.

Favorite Questions.  The questions we think the Community likes best are the ones we have heard like who do I make the check out to? and what is the address of the Illahee Community Club (ICC)?  The ICC has informed us that they do need additional financial support for the two appeals and contributions can be sent to the ICC, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Costly Appeals.  We just heard that this years financial report for the ICC indicated over $15,000 was received and roughly the same amount was expended in 2009, with most of the costs for legal expenses.  In 2008 the amount was roughly $20,000 with most of that going toward legal expenses that resulted in a mediated settlement to eliminate the proposed outfall at the dock.  

Another Possible Mediated Settlement?  We talked with some who are hoping the latest Timbers Edge appeals will also end up with a mediated settlement beneficial to the community, and that the legal battles in Illahee will soon end so we can move on to more productive projects.  We couldn’t agree more.

Thoughts or Comments?  We welcome your thoughts and comments on these Updates.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 1/3/10

>Wishes for a Great Year.  We wish all of you a great year in 2010.  Thank you for taking time to read about what is happening in Illahee and thank you for sending us information that we can pass on to others.  

Our First 2010 Goal.  One of our first goals for 2010 is to have the Updates  and other Illahee information regularly posted on the  illaheecommunity.com website.  If anyone would like to help please respond to this email or our website.

New Port of Illahee Commissioner.  We received the following press release from the Port of Illahee and congratulate Mike Mantzke as our new Port of Illahee Commissioner.
At the Port meeting on Thursday, December 10, 2009, Commissioner George Schaefer administered the Oath of Office for re-elected Commissioner Dennis Sheeran and for newly appointed Commissioner Mike Mantzke.  The Port of Illahee now has a full board of three Commissioners.  Commissioner Sheeran thanked the candidates who applied and stated it was a hard decision to select between the candidates.  He also advised Commissioner Mantzke that he had big shoes to fill, replacing Commissioner Deitch who was an Icon in the Illahee community for many years.
New Port Acquisition.  The Port also send the following information of their new property acquisition.
On Tue Dec 22nd, the Port signed papers and now owns the house and property at 5560 Oceanview Blvd.   Port meetings will be held at this location in the “Dallas Clarke” meeting room, at 5pm, on the second Wed of each month, starting Jan 13, 2010.  Parking is available at the Dock and the old Illahee store.
Relatively Rare Goose in Illahee.  On New Years Day we were asked about the pink footed goose in Illahee.  It took us awhile to spot it among the Canada geese in the area, and sure enough there was a goose with pink feet.  The feather colorings are similar to the Canada geese so it wasn’t readily noticeable, though it had white just back of its bill. 

Greater White-fronted Goose.  Turns out the goose is a greater white-fronted goose, that seems to have found some new friends with the Canada geese, and possibly more as it seems to be paired up with a Canada goose.

Monogamous Geese.  Seems like both species (white-fronted and Canada geese) are generally monogamous, so we are wondering what is going to happen when spring approaches, as the white-fronted goose is an artic dweller during the breeding season.  We have attached the following link for those who might want more information on the species: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/131/articles/introduction

Picture Attached.  We were able to photograph the goose but the quality of the photo is not very good since we don’t have a good zoom lens.  We will try to keep tabs on this goose and would appreciate help from others who might spot it.

Jim Aho