>Miscellaneous Items – 5/27/09


Letters to the Editor re Homeless in the Illahee Preserve.  There was a recent letter to the editor in response to the Kitsap Sun article covered in our last Update.  The blog entries following the initial article weren’t very thoughtful or helpful in our mind, but the responses to the letter to the editor were much more interesting and insightful.  See the attached link: http://kitsapsun.com/news/2009/may/20/homeless-camps-raising-the-ire-of-illahee-park/

Response to the Illahee State Park Email.  In our last Update we included the text of an email expressing concerns about housing the homeless in a mothballed Illahee State park.  We received comments on both sides, with many of them phone conversations.  Most of those who live near the park and use it often have not experienced problems.  We talked with Steve Ryder, one of the Park Rangers, who said in the four years he has been there that there have been very few incidents and that Illahee is a very quiet and peaceful park, specifically when compared with other parks he has worked in.  He gave as an example this past Memorial Day weekend when the park was full and there was only one havesting citation issued at the beach. We had one person write us that after their hip surgery they started walking through the Park, but stopped when they saw some suspected drug people, which was the only other negative response.  The consensus was that there will always probably be some incidents at any public facility, and that there needs to be some regulatory presence, which is what the email was getting at.  Thank you to all for letting us know your thoughts!

Illahee Bird Watching.  Attached is the results of a recent bird watching event, and an announcement of another one coming up.
On Saturday, May 23rd Idie Ulsh led a guided bird walk thru Illahee Forest Preserve.  A total of 31 different species of birds were identified by sight or sound.  Highlights included a “first time” identification of a Hammond’s Flycatcher.  Numerous Western Tanagers were heard thru-out the forest, but not seen.  A Wilson’s Warbler was sighted near the gate on Thompson Lane.

Illahee Preserve Birding Tour
Idie Ulsh will be leading a bird walk thru Illahee Forest Preserve on Saturday, June 13th.  The focus will be upon sounds of forest birds.  Idie Ulsh is a Master Birder and past president of Seattle Audubon.  Idie is remarkable with her abilities to bird by ear.  Meet in the new parking lot located on Almira Drive at Illahee Forest Preserve.  From the traffic light on Highway #303 at Lowe’s Hardware, take Fuson Road up-the-hill and follow the hard right hand turn onto Almira Drive.  The parking lot is just ahead on your left.  Space is limited to about 12, so advanced sign up is required.  Bring binoculars. Bird books optional.  Start time is 7AM.  Questions or sign-up?  Please contact Vic Ulsh at work (360) 479-6900 orvic@bradleyscottinc.com.

River Otters.  We have had two emails asking what to do about river otters.  One has 5 of them living under their house and the other wasn’t specific.  We used to have three of them living near us, but we have some small dogs that get loose now and then and are small enough to go through the brush to their den, and so we think they moved, and probably ended up at these other residents.  It shouldn’t be too long before the otters will have their young and will hopefully move on. 

Suggestion?  Those with the otters are asking for suggestions on how to deal with them, other than contacting the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  If you have any ideas, let us know and we will pass them on.
Status of Incubating Goose Eggs.  We had reported earlier of a disturbed Canada goose nest that still had two eggs in it.  We tried incubating the eggs for five days without success (see the attached photo).  We finally broke open the eggs to see if they had been fertilized and the found they had with nearly complete chicks inside that would probably have hatched if they hadn’t been disturbed by probably a raccoon or possum. 
Jim Aho

>Press Release – 3/5/08

>The following ‘Press Release’ was sent to local newspapers today and is provided for your information. This was our first time so we are waiting now to see what the papers do with it.

Please note that all of the residents in Illahee will want to attend this meeting. Dr. Booth and Dr. Massmann are both former UW professors and really are renowned in their fields of geology and hydrology. One of the questions we will be asking Dr. Booth is – Where does the Blakely Harbor Fault line (that was identified following the 2001 Seattle earthquake) comes through in Illahee?

The Norm Dicks center is a great place for this type of presentation. By having it during the early evening time there should be readily available parking.


Port of Illahee
Surface Water Management Plan Grant Office

A Briefing of Illahee Creek and the Illahee Watershed by Scientific Experts

A mid-project briefing by renowned scientists working in Illahee will be held at the Norm Dicks Government Center on the evening of March 11, 2008 from 6-8 pm.

Speakers include: Fisheries biologist Pete Lawson of Paramentrix; Geologist Derek Booth, PhD of Stillwater Sciences; Hydrologist Joel Massmann, PhD of Keta Waters; and Stormwater Engineer, Erin Nelson of Paramentrix.

Dr. Booth will discuss the general geology of the Illahee area and in particular the relationship with groundwater and surface water hydrology, along with his thoughts regarding whether Illahee lies within a seismic fault zone. Dr. Joel Massmann will discuss the underlying aquifers in Illahee and their relationship to Illahee Creek and low base flows. Pete Lawson will present his biological assessment of Illahee Creek and fish habitat recommendations. Erin Nelson will discuss their progress in identifying solutions to the storm water surges plaguing Illahee Creek. There will also be brief overview of the results of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

These projects are funded by grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Washington State Department of Ecology, and by the Port of Illahee, the Illahee Forest Preserve, and the Illahee Community. Water quality testing programs and stormwater planning are supported by Kitsap County Department of Health and Kitsap County Public Works.

# # #

If you’d like more information about this topic, or would like to schedule an interview with one of the speakers, please call Jim Aho @ (360) 479-1049, or email Jim @ jimaho@gmail.com.

>1-5-08 Illahee Preserve Awards Banquet

>This is a report on the Illahee Preserve’s annual awards banquet (potluck) held Friday evening (1/4/08).

The group recognized:
• Dori Leckner of the Kitsap County Parks Department for her excellent support, quick responses, and dedication to the Illahee Preserve, a Kitsap County Heritage Park.
• Judith and Irwin Krigsman for essentially sharing Illahee Creek with the community and for all their activities in support of the Preserve, Illahee Creek, and the community.
• Port of Illahee Commissioners, Dennis Sheeran, George Schaefer, & Don Deitch for their continued support of the Preserve.
• Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee Chairman, Dale Boyle, Vic Ulsh & Eugene Brennen for their collective effort as chairpersons, along with their individual and extensive contributions to the Preserve such as trail work and coordination with the East Bremerton Rotary Club.
• Audrey Boyer for faithfully publishing articles about the Preserve in the Illahee Community Newsletters.
• Cynthia Brakstad, the IFP treasurer, for not only handling the finances, but also for preparing the income tax returns.
• Jim Trainer for his donation of 285 tree saplings for ripaian planting and for all the things he does for the community.
• Jim Aho for his work with the Preserve and the Preserve’s support group, the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP).
• All the volunteers who helped in 2007 with trails, invasive plant control, tree planting, water quality monitoring, etc.
• The Preserve’s financial supporters for contributing to the very significant expenses in 2007.
• The newly reorganized Illahee Community Club (ICC) for their community involvement and for preparing to help with Preserve issues.
• The Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) 501.c.3 corporation, described as a mighty and effective organization in 2007, for the following successes:
1. The Coastal Protection Grant that purchased the Jessica Williams property.
2. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant that did water quality checks for almost 2 years, removed invasive English Ivy along Illahee Creek, planted tree saplings along the creek corridor, and funded an assessment of the creek and the reservoir.
3. The hiring of an attorney to help protect the Preserve’s wetland buffers.
4. The hiring of the best wetland expert available to survey the wetland areas.
5. For providing material and financial support for the Illahee Preserve, which helps keep our taxes lower.

The group previewed: a new video presentation narrated by Jim Trainer entitled “Forest Trails and Critter Tales” that will be distributed soon locally. Portions were filmed within the Illahee Preserve and Illahee.

The Illahee Preserve’s goals for 2008 include:
• Completion of a parking lot and primary Preserve entrance at Almira and Fuson.
• Kiosks and Illahee Preserve trail maps..
• Updating the Stewardship Plan.
• Progress with the golf course.
• Success with grants for targeted properties.
• Success with grants for salmon restoration projects..
• Success with construction grants to start working on Illahee Creek sedimentation problems.
• Success with protecting the Illahee Preserve wetlands.

We thank the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, and their support organization, the Illahee Forest Preserve, for their work in 2007, and wish them another successful year in 2008.

Dennis Sheeran & Jim Aho .