>Miscellaneous – 4-11-11


Trillium Blooming In Preserve.  One of first flowers to bloom in the forest are Trilliums.  We took the following picture on Sunday to show just how beautiful these flowers are.  A couple of interesting facts from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillium are:
Picking a trillium seriously injures the plant by preventing the leaf-like bracts from producing food for the next year. A plant takes many years to recover. For this reason in Michigan[1] and Minnesota[2] it is illegal to pick and/or transplant trilliums from public lands without a permit from the State.

Trillium is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants. At maturity, the base and core of the trillium ovary turns soft and spongy. Trillium seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants extract the seeds from the decaying ovary and take them to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they germinate in a rich growing medium.
North Perry Water Response.  We received the following response from North Perry Water’s General Manager, George Smalley, regarding our inquiry whether the community could help or show support for a possible relocation of the Riddell well:

I know it seems that there is always a correction to be made every time a news letter goes out, so here it is.
It’s not that the Tribe “ shut NPW down” on the proposed well site on Almira Drive.
It was the simple fact that the Tribe and Dr. Massman were convinced that pumping at the new site on Almira could possibly affect a stream in Tracyton, which is a closed stream with a healthy salmon run.
North Perry Water did not want to end up in Court over the appeal by the Tribes and could not agree on where or how much water could be added to several streams throughout the District to offset perceived pumping affects on the streams  from Tracyton to Brownsville and Illahee.
The new well site on Almira was to be drilled into a deeper aquifer than the well on Perry Avenue, which is  near the beginning of Illahee creek., ( Perry Ave well site),   and the Pickering well site @ maple and Pickering St. That would have allowed NPW to pump the shallow aquifer less at those sites, and hopefully give the aquifer more time to recover between pumping times. It would not affect how often the District would be pumping the Riddell site. It should be noted however that the Riddell well does pump from a  deeper aquifer than the Perry site and the Pickering well  site. Right now the aquifers  looks very healthy and water levels are good For whatever reason the District, has been pumping and selling less water over the last five years than previously, as are other purveyors in the County.
I believe it is the result of the economy and conservation efforts that are responsible for this.
Even though the shallow aquifers look good, we do believe that getting into the deeper  aquifer is the right thing to do . The District is still looking at other options when it comes to pumping out of the shallow aquifer.
It is good to know that the people of Illahee are willing to help in negotiations on a new site in the future if needed.

Piebald Deer Movement?  We were asked whether the piebald deer seen south of Illahee State Park, is the same one that was observed north of Illahee.  And so we have included the attached info on the north Illahee piebald deer so those around the State Park can tell us if it is the same one.

This is probably the same piebald deer that visits us every few days.  I am sending a couple of pics to see if its the same one.  I have pics of this deer from Summer of 07, so he is about 4 years old.  We actually are starting to see what I believe are some of his offspring.  They have a few white spots but are mostly cream colored.  I hope hunters don’t try to shoot this deer.  I have talked to the major land owners in my area and they have said they won’t allow hunting on their land.
Hopefully there is no hunting in the Illahee Preserve and the surrounding areas.
Rolling Hills Golf Course Gifting Finalized.  We have been waiting to hear that the gifting of the Rolling Hills Golf Course by Don Rasmussen and Kerma Peterson to Kitsap County has been finalized and just heard yesterday that it has.  Thanks to Don and Kerma and to Commissioner Josh Brown for helping to make it all happen.  

Possible Next Step re Timbers Edge?  We heard that the finalization of the Golf Course gifting is what the Illahee Community Club has been waiting for as they will now be contacting the two Land Trusts that expressed interest some time ago about the possibility of purchasing the Timbers Edge properties.  The golf course is evidently a major part of the bigger plan for expanding the Illahee Preserve and now they feel that they are in a better position for a land trust to want to come in to help.

Illahee Garden Tour This Summer?  We were notified that a core group of Illahee gardeners are pursuing whether there is enough interest to have a garden tour in Illahee this summer.  If you would like to be part of this group or have some suggestions for possible gardens that could be toured, please let us know and we will pass the information on.

Jim Aho

>Brush Picker Report&Misc 4-3-11


Brush Picker Report.  If the following report is true, we should expect to see brush pickers in the Illahee Preserve tomorrow.  They evidently prefer to be there when it rains since there are fewer people there.

I had a lengthy chat today with one of my scouts in Illahee Forest  (no names revealed).  Their general feeling is the brush pickers are picking us blind right now.  This person is very perceptive and notices much detail during their walks.  They say the pickers are all Latin Americans who wear black rain coats and are very adept at hiding in brush when anyone else is around.  The black rain gear is perceived to be universal and almost a team uniform.  They believe the pickers are most apt to be active Monday thru Friday from 8 to 5.  They often get dropped off along Petersville/Riddell access and get picked up same place in late day.  They have also witnessed an Almira parking lot pick-up.  This person has recently found two VERY large bundles of salal (different locations) and taken it upon themselves to cut it apart and scatter the vegetation.  They also say the most common time for the pickers to be active is when it is raining because there are fewer trail walkers to detect them. 
If my observed trend is consistent, then we have another several weeks of brush thievery before it dies down until late Fall.  Just a few thoughts from the field. 

Unleashed Dog Report.  We received the following account of an incident with unleashed dogs today that we thought should be passed on.  Thankfully, this is only the second one we are aware of.

My wife and I had a very bad dog encounter at Compass Circle this morning. A guy with two big snarling dogs came out Doe Trail, dogs first. The dogs challenged me growling and showing big teeth. One big hound dog was particularly aggressive – classic junk guard dog appearance. The guy yelled out from the trail to ask if we had a dog, as if it was our fault if his dogs were being aggressive. When the guy emerged from the trail he said the dogs were OK, as they went to circle my wife while snarling. The mean hound was bumping into my wife’s back while snapping at her. I gave the guy an earful as he leashed the meaner hound. It was frightening for both of us. We were both shaking. Worst dog experience I’ve had in the Forest. Those were two big, mean dogs. This idiot is exactly why every dog should be on a leash. Any little dog running into the path of these mean big dogs would be lunch. Completely unacceptable behavior this morning.

Last Preserve Report.  When we put out our last report on tree clearing in the Preserve a week ago, we had not yet received the following report from those doing the clearing:  (Remember, this was from last week (3/27/11)

We went on trail brigade with chain saws at 6:30 this morning. 12 trees cleaned up. A Northern Pygmy Owl greeted us near north end of Golf Course Loop trail. A pair of hairy woodpeckers worked on a dead tree along Bootleg Trail. Birds are more vocal as Spring has arrived in the Forest. Rained entire time. Horses have damaged trail in many areas.

These are some dedicate volunteers who would get up so early on a weekend to take care of the Illahee Preserve trails.  Thanks guys for your dedication and support!!

Kids Tour Illahee Creek.  Last Sunday an energetic bunch of kids from the Unitarian Fellowship were given a tour of Illahee Creek.  They met at the Krigsman’s and walked up the the old concrete reservoir that was put in by Dr. Schutt.  The kids went through the water and brush easily while the adults struggled along.  The picture of the group was taken by the Krigsman’s potting shed along side the creek, before the wet and muddy excursion took place.

North Perry Water.  We wanted to acknowledge that North Perry Water was at the aquifer briefing last week, along with their hydrologist.  We thought about this when we went by the newly cleaned water reservoir on Sunset.  It looked so nice we took its picture.  The boom in the picture was used to elevate those doing the pressure washing.  Thanks to all the North Perry folks for also keeping our drinking water clean and healthy!

North Perry Riddell Well.  We heard that at one time North Perry was looking at relocating their Riddell well at Perry Avenue to the west side of the ridge going through the Illahee Preserve, which would put it in the Meadowdale Aquifer (which is in the Steele Creek watershed).  We also heard they withdrew their request because of some issues with the Tribes.  Some Illahee residents are wondering if it would help if the community were to publicly support the move.  We aren’t sure we have all the facts on this issue, but feel if the relocation supports the communities desire to restore Illahee Creek, then we should be doing all we can to help North Perry in its relocation request.  We brought this issue up to get discussions started.  Let us know your thoughts.  This may be a good item to present at the quarterly Illahee Community Club meeting in May. 

Input Needed and Appreciated.  As you can see much of what we put out in these updates comes from your input.  Thank you for trusting us with it and letting us pass it on.

Jim Aho