>Miscellaneous – 12/11/10

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Illahee Creek Culvert.  The culvert under Illahee Road wherein the waters of Illahee Creek flow, has been a concern for the Illahee Community for some time.  The December 3, 2007 storm filled the culvert with sediment and if a big log had come down and plugged the culvert it would likely have washed out Illahee Road.  With the current storm approaching we are watching the culvert closely, and some big upstream logs.  Attached are two photos, the first shows the culvert with a 32 inch clearance, and the second shows some big upstream logs.


Guard Rail Installation Complete.  The guard rail installation along Illahee Road completed on Friday across from Fisher Park (see photo).  It wasn’t without some problems as a North Perry Waterline was ruptured in the process.  Many realized something had happened as the turned on their facets and found brown water.  It happened around noon on Thursday and was repaired quickly and the brown water also went away.


Restoration Signs in Preserve.  Two restoration signs were installed in the Preserve on Friday.  One was to secure an unauthorized trail, and the other to note the future restoration in the area commonly known as Golf Course Hollow, where stormwater is a problem (see the last photo).


Eagle Scout Signs Missing.  We were extremely disappointed to see that in less than a week some of the trail signs that Justin McAlister and his Boy Scout troop had put up (last Sunday), had been removed.  Attached is a photo of some that are still there plus the empty spot where one was last Sunday.  We received comments about how nice they were and how helpful it was to have them there from those who walk the trails daily.  If anyone has any information on who is taking the signs please let us know.

Horse Comments.  We received a number of comments regarding the two Updates that explained the horse situation.  What was new to us was that several mentioned that their dogs either liked to roll in the horse droppings, or would eat it. 

Before the Rain Photos.  We took some other photos this morning before it started to rain.  Attached are photos of the big pond under the power lines near the end of Johnson Road (north of the golf course).  This big pond is the headwaters of the north fork of Illahee Creek and also the headwaters for one of the branches of Steele Creek.  We also took photos of the detention facility at Illahee North.  The water was overflowing from the detention pond where it is essentially tightlined (except for 150 feet) to the outfall at the Illahee community dock (see photo).



Wood Duck.  When taking our ‘before the rain’ photos we noted a wood duck swimming with two mallards.  It is a first sighting for us and we were glad to get the attached photo. 

Wildlife Update Coming.  We have a number of photos that we need to pass on regarding wildlife and promise to do so soon.  We have been asked to increase the kilobyte (KB) size of our photos so they are easier to view.  We are still learning on how to do this and attempted to do so with our last photo. 

Jim Aho

>Preserve Activities – 12/5/10

>Trail Signs Up.  It was quit a work party on Sunday (12/5/10) in the Illahee Preserve as Justin McAlister’s Eagle Scout Project & Scout Troop installed trail signs throughout the Preserve.  Thanks to Justin and all those scouts and parents that came to help!  The Illahee Preserve is a proof and confirmation that volunteers such as those making trail signs, can plan, maintain, and support a major county park.  Our filmmaker, Shelly Solomon, and official Illahee photographer, John Lind, were there covering the event and there will be other photos coming.  We have attached several photos that we took of the event.


New  Brochure & Boxes Installed.  This is a good time to mention that the trail map brochure is being updated and hopefully will soon be available to put in the new brochure boxes that Justin’s project installed just under the Park’s Department rule’s sign.  Thanks to the architectural firm of Rice, Fergus, Miller for their continued support of the Preserve by preparing the initial brochure and now updating it.  Note that the brochure was updated after Justin’s project began and so we have some new trail names and one completely new trail that Justin will be considering adding to his project, kind of a Phase 2 project if he can get the materials and find the time.


Trails Being Used.  When we are at the Preserve we are amazed at how many people are using it, from walking their dogs (the biggest percentage) to walking, jogging, biking, and horseback riding (see item below). 


Mini 4-Wheeler.  Every now and then we run across those using motorized vehicles in the Preserve, which is illegal.  We came across the smallest 4 wheeler (battery powered) we have ever seen with three youngsters on it (see photo).  They had come some distance by going down alleys to get to the Preserve, but while they were enjoying their ride up and down the trails, we had to tell them that motorized vehicles are not allowed in the Preserve, and they left.  They were very nice and polite kids.

Horses.  While motorized vehicles are not allowed, horses are, and there were two horses using the Preserve trails on Sunday (see photo).  There has been some discussion amongst the Stewardship Committee that with the increasing use of the Preserve by those walking, biking, and jogging; that horse back riding might not be appropriate at some point.  Those are the kind of issues discussed at Stewardship Committee meetings, which are open to the public, so if you have issues or would like to attend, please let us know and we will pass the info on.

Jim Aho 

>Are Horses Allowed in the Preserve? – 12/6/10

>Problems In Previous Update (12/5/10).  The previous update had a comment regarding horses in the Illahee Preserve, along with a picture of two horses that were in the Preserve on Sunday.  The comment read as follows:


Horses.  While motorized vehicles are not allowed, horses are, and there were two horses using the Preserve trails on Sunday (see photo).  There has been some discussion amongst the Stewardship Committee that with the increasing use of the Preserve by those walking, biking, and jogging; that horse back riding might not be appropriate at some point.  Those are the kind of issues discussed at Stewardship Committee meetings, which are open to the public, so if you have issues or would like to attend, please let us know and we will pass the info on.

Early Morning Phone Calls.  The morning after putting out the Update with the above statement on horses, I received calls and comments from members of the Illahee Stewardship Committee, including my own daughter, that according to the approved Stewardship Plan for the Illahee Preserve, horses are not allowed.  I checked the Plan and they are correct per Section IV.b.4.iii (page 24) which states: “The following uses are deemed not to be appropriate: (a) Camping, (b) Horses, (c) Motorized vehicles, (d) Paintball.”  I was informed that if I am going to report on policy issues, such as horses being allowed, my comments need to be approved by the Stewardship Committee, so as a ‘sort of reporter’ I had to eat some humble pie today.

Park Signs Say Otherwise.  The problem is that the Parks Department signs that surround the Preserve (there are 5 of them), each mention horses in several places and state that they, like hikers and bicyclists, are to stay on designated trails.  The exact statement is under the Trails heading and reads as follows:  HIKERS, BICYCLISTS AND HORSES MUST STAY ON DESIGNATED TRAILS.  We have attached a photo of the sign for those who would like to see all the rules.  

Previous Discussions with the Parks Dept.  Evidently there has been previous discussions on this topic and the reported response from the Parks Department has been there are no designated ‘equestrian trails’ in the Preserve.  This doesn’t make sense to us since we don’t designate between other types of trails such as bicycle and pedestrian trails in the Preserve.

Confusion on the Rules.  Some on the Stewardship Committee admit to this being confusing and especially to those horse owners who currently use the Preserve.  We agree that it is confusing  and think the Parks Department’s signs and regulations should match the Stewardship Plan.

Parks Department Notified.  We were told the Parks Department has been notified and they are aware of the issue and are looking into it again. 

Jim Aho