Illahee 4/28/17 Photos, Orca Photos, Great Give May 2, Funding Needed, 2017 Preserve Projects, Elwha Films Showing Friday

Photos.  Preserve trillium, garden grazers, flowering plants.

Orca Photos.  Thanks to Jay for these orca photos taken one week ago (4/21/17) and we are sorry we are late in posting them, which is an opportunity to note we are still looking for other ‘community reporters’ to put out updates when we are out of town or unavailable.
Kitsap Great Give May 2.  Kitsap’s Great Give is on Tuesday, May 2nd, and the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) is on the list for receiving funding.  Contributions provide funding for everything from maintenance to acquisitions to legal costs.  Below is what was given in 2016.  Much more is needed this year as noted next.
Funding Need.  The next big funding drive will be to supplement a hoped for acquisition funding from the legislature for Phase 2 of the Lost Continent project. Below is the one page summary which notes that even with an appropriation, contributions of $130,000 will need to be raised.  That is the amount raised for Phase 1 so it is anticipated it can be done again.  And, if the appropriation doesn’t come through, there are other projects and acquisitions, see the list of 2017 projects
Acq Request
2017 Preserve Projects.  The map below shows the future plans for 2017 and beyond.
Elwha Films Showing Friday.  Thanks to all those who traveled to Gig Harbor to see the Illahee film two weeks ago and meet Shelly Solomon.  She will be at the showing on Friday evening of her two Elwha films.
Jim Aho 

Illahee 4/14/17 Environmental Double Feature Movie Tonight in Gig Harbor

Environmental Movies.  We have been told that recent movies at the Harbor Museum have sold out and people have been turned away. But because it is Good Friday there is room tonight for this double feature. 

Double Feature
Big Screen Last Chance.  The poster notes it will be the “LAST chance to see these flms on a big screen.” so we will take the opportunity tonight.

Jim Aho

Illahee 4/11/17 Heritage Film Series, Filmmaker, Ticket Info, Ebb & Flow Report, Illahee Film Background, Port Meeting Wed, Commissioner Vacancies, May Filing Deadline

Heritage Film Series.    This Friday, 4/14/17, at 7 pm the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor will show two local area films, “Buried in Sawdust for 50 Years” and “Illahee – Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time”.

Heritage Films
Filmmaker.  One of the reasons Shelly Solomon was chosen as the filmmaker for the Illahee film was because of the quality and artistic presentation of the Sawdust film.  This is a good opportunity to see both films.  The Friday evening showings will include a Q & A with Shelly and complimentary refreshments.
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Ticket Info.  Tickets can be purchased at the Harbor website:  Advance ticket purchase is recommended.
Ebb & Flow Report.  Last Saturday evening the Harbor History Museum presented Shelly’s latest film “Ebb & Flow” with the following report:  
Once again Ebb and Flow sold out :) and they turned people away…. not sure if anyone from your community went but we are now hoping Saving Puget Sound will sell out.
Illahee Film Background.  The Illahee film was a joint effort by many entities, with much of the funding support coming from a Centennial Clean Water grant administered by the Port of Illahee.  Local contributions also funded cineflex camera coverage from a helicopter on its way to cover the Elwha Dam removal.
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Port Meeting Wed.  This is a reminder the Port of Illahee meets the second Wednesday of each month at 5 pm.  Commissioners voted months ago to try and acquire the former Illahee Store, in spite of contamination from the Underground Storage Tanks (USTs), and are waiting to hear from lawyers on the status of proceedings.
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Commissioner Vacancies.  Two Port Commissioner vacancies will occur at the end of this year, and interested residents are encouraged to apply.
May Filing Deadline.  May is the deadline for filing for all elected officials.  Filing information is available on the Kitsap County website.  Port of Illahee information is available at the website.
Jim Aho

Illahee 4/6/17 Photos, Winter Waterfowl, Surf Scoters, Golden Eyes, Orca Visit, Car Removed, Land Slides, Gig Harbor Museum Films, Ebb & Flow Film, Sawdust & Illahee Film


Winter Waterfowl.  Soon our wintering waterfowl will be leaving.
Surf Scoters.  Our favorites are the Surf Scoters.  
Golden Eyes.  Two species of these colorful winter migrants, the first being Barrow’s Goldeneye, the second Common Goldeneye.  Both nest in cavities in trees.
Orca Visit Monday.  We missed seeing or photographing these Monday visitors.  Illahee’s Facebook noted the visit with the following post.
Orcas 4-3-17
Car Removed.  Thanks to the Park’s Department for arranging for the removal of this car from the Preserve.  If no one claims cars like these they go up for auction at Chico Towing the first Saturday of each month.
Rick from Chico Towing was great. He figured he couldn’t get his tow truck into the car, so he decided to try to start the car and back it out. Because the thieve had punched out the ignition, Rick didn’t need a key. However, the battery was missing. But, Rick had a portable battery charger that he hooked up to the battery terminals and , voilà the vehicle started! He expertly backed the vehicle out of the trail, hooked it up to his truck, and towed it away.
Land Slides.  There have been numerous land slides along the steep banks of Illahee Creek this year.  Because of the steep slopes it isn’t easy to get photos. Thanks to John for these photos.
Gig Harbor Museum Films.  The Harbor History Museum has a Heritage Film Series showing several films by Leaping Frog Film’s Shelly Solomon.  Shelly produced the Illahee film that showed locally and regionally a few years ago.
Harbor Museum
Ebb & Flow Film.  The Ebb & Flow film will show Saturday evening (4/8/17), and tickets are going fast.
There are only a few seats left.  We just had this  film show in Olympia to a massive crowd and at the reception it was hard to move around.
The Harbor Museum is tiny and only a few tickets left…. tell people if interested buy tickets on line ASAP and don’t risk buying at the door.
When this film premiered in Seattle in October, 350 people showed up and we only had room for 300 people :).   This film is going to show at the MOHI and Wing Luke museums and its booked to show in Alaska, Canada and California… 
Sawdust & Illahee Film.  Next Friday (4/14/17) will be a double feature “Buried in Sawdust” and “Illahee – Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time”.  Illahee was just added so we will send out its writeup later.  If you haven’t seen either of these films this is a good opportunity.
Sawdust Film
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/27/17 Photos, Road Patch, School Street Utility Work, State Park Wind Damage, Critical Areas Ordinance Meeting, Wetland, All Secure Storage June Hearing, 10 Years Unresolved, Possible Resolution?

Photos.  The skunk cabbage photo will be explained further in the wetland section.  The rabbit is a first for me during a walk today in Illahee.  

Road Patch.  After the water main break was fixed and the hole filled and the road patched there is little evidence of Saturday’s excitement that closed Illahee Road. 
School Street Utility Work.  School Street also had a water break earlier this year as buried power lines were put into conduit.  
State Park Wind Damage.  Thanks to Cliff who emailed these photos on March 18th showing wind damage at Illahee State Park.
Critical Areas Ordinance Meeting.  On Thursday (3/30/17) the public will have an opportunity to hear a presentation on the proposed Critical Area Ordnance draft.
Wetland.  The Illahee Preserve has an amazing wetland complex along State Route 303.  Many have asked why the nearly 40 acres around the Park & Ride were never sold off like the acreage containing Fred Meyers, Lowes, United Storage, and the former Eastside Auto Wrecking Yard.  The reason is the area is a wetland complex containing the headwater streams of Steele Creek, and a Critical Aquifer Recharge Area (CARA).  The streams go into culverts under the Park & Ride, McWilliams Road, and Walgreens, which keep them from being fish bearing, but nevertheless important as critical areas.  The area is so impressive from a wetland perspective it has been suggested that a trail and observation platform be built for public access and observation.  The photo below shows insects attacted by the smell of the skunk cabbage.
All Secure Storage June Hearing.  The headwater streams and wetland area are next to the location where the All Secure Storage project is proposed (red center square).  The SEPA Hearing is currently scheduled for June 22, 2017.  
10 Years Unresolved.  The SEPA appeal was filed nearly 10 years ago (5/7/07) and still hasn’t been resolved.  The issue was first undisclosed streams and wetlands, which resulted in the Hearing Examiner at the time stopping the hearing after the Department of Ecology’s Western Washington wetland expert issued his report during the hearing, noting the adjacent stream and wetlands.  The Illahee Preserve Stewards had presented a photo album during the hearing, but it wasn’t until a recognized expert issued an official report that the Hearing Examiner realized there really was a stream and wetland of significance.  The project made the front page of the Kitsap Sun several times in the early years.
Possible Resolution?  We bring this up because the Illahee Preserve Stewards approved a resolution last week, that was presented to the county’s Non-Motorized Facilities Citizen’s Advisory Committee that also met last week.  It is past time that this issue be resolved with the state and county taking the lead.  The Preserve Steward’s resolution states how this could benefit all the involved parties.  
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/25/17 Water Main Break, Road Closed, 2″ Line Break, 6″ Line Break, Downstream Damage, Water Restored, Facebook Coverage

Water Main Break.  Today, 3/25/17, about noon a major rupture of a 6″ water line occured just south of the intersection of Ocean View Blvd and Illahee Road.  By the time we got there the water line was in the process of being closed.  It had to be done slowly in order to prevent water hammer and further damage to the system.
Road Closed.  The closed road meant driving to State Route 303 to travel around the break, a trip of about 7 miles, as there are no parallel routes to detour traffic in that area. 
2″ Line Break.  In addition to the main line break, a 2″ line broke just above it, that had to be repaired before work could be done on main line.
6″ Line Break.  Underneath the telephone (black pipe), power (gray conduit), and gas (yellow pipe) lines was the 6″ water main the burst (not visible), making an otherwise simple repair much more difficult, and time consuming.
Downstream Damage.  Some of the damage to homeowners downstream was significant.  North Perry Water contacted their insurance agency and they had workers out helping clean up in a matter of hours.
Water Restored.  As we write this water has been restored.  Thanks to North Perry for their quick response in handling the break!
Facebook Coverage.  And thanks to the Facebook posters for their coverage!
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/18/17 Friday Work Party, Rotary Sponsored, 45 Wheelbarrows, WYA Cadets, Wood Chips on Trails, Lunch, Drone Coverage, Volunteer Supervisors, Scotch Broom Detail, Wheelbarrows Loaded, Trails Enhanced, Hours Expended

Friday Work Party.  Another major work party at the Illahee Preserve with about 65 participants happened on Friday, March 17, with volunteers showing up from 7 am and departing after 4 pm.  For all day events with the Washington Youth Academy (WYA) require a Port-a-Potty which is provided for by Jim Fox of Cool Car Classics.

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Rotary Sponsored.  Work parties with the WYA are sponsored by the Rotary Club of East Bremerton, who has adopted the Illahee Preserve as one of its service projects and coordinates major events like these.  We decided to cover this work party ‘by the numbers’.

45 Wheelbarrows.  Wheelbarrows are a logistical item that has been solved by the Rotary and United Storage, with a Go-Mini Container holding about 30 wheelbarrows and tools.  These are complimented by 8 more from the Park’s Department’s Volunteer Coordinator and her trailer, and another like amount from Rotary members who drop them off the day of the work party, as shown in the photo.
50 WYA Cadets.  Around 8:45 am the bus shows up with between 50-55 cadets.  Friday there were 50 cadets plus their supervisors.  
8 Wood Chip Piles on Trails.  There were roughly 8 large wood chip piles located at various spots around the Preserve, that were dispersed to the trails, primarily along the trails west of Thompson Lane.
30 Minute Lunch.  After parking their wheelbarrows it was time for short lunch break for the cadets and for those guiding the work.  
1 Drone Coverage.  We had drone coverage of the work party and an opportunity to view the drone during lunch. 
9 Volunteer Supervisors.  Thanks to Ceci for making sandwiches for the guys in the orange vests! 
10 Cadet Scotch Broom Detail.  When the chips were distributed other tasks were assigned and this group went after the Scotch broom (a noxious invasive plant in WA) in Compass Circle.  With so many deer in the Preserve a meadow area has been maintained.  There was evidence the deer had been eating the Scotch broom, but still the plants were gaining on the area, so it was time to remove them.  Some of the cadets decided to go after the larger and more difficult to remove plants, and in every case succeeded, as in this situation.
10 Wheelbarrows Loaded.  The task was well estimated as the cadets filled 10 wheelbarrows with the broom.  Without these 10 cadets and the other 40 cadets working on other projects, the Preserve would not be the treasure it is.  Thanks to the WYA, the Rotary Club of East Bremerton, and the Park Stewards! 
5 Trails Enhanced.  Below are two photos taken on Saturday to show what the enhanced trails looked like.
400 Hours Expended.  Over 400 volunteer hours were expended on Friday by all concerned, not to mention all the preparation time getting ready, which is why the Illahee Preserve is reported to have some of the best forest trails in the county.
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/14/17 Abandoned Car Reports, Owner Unknown, Clues, Disposition, Yacht Information, Spring Photos

Abandoned Car Reports.  Calls, emails, and photos coming in about an abandoned car in the Illahee Preserve.  

Owner Unknown.  We are hoping someone will recognize the car as initial contact with the Sheriff’s Department indicated they don’t know whose it is.
Clues?  We thought the VIN number would make it easy to trace, but maybe not if it is an out of state car?  And then there is the handicapped parking pass that was going to be checked this afternoon.
Disposition?  Preserve volunteers want the vehicle out before Friday’s work party.  It will likely be towed with Parks trying to find the owner to be reimbursed for the towing bill.
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Yacht Information.  Several emails regarding the above yacht photo in yesterday’s Update with the following details about the boat, including the weekly charter rate.
yacht info
yacht charter
Spring Photos.  Alder catkins and new Indian Plum leaves are more signs Spring is just around the corner.
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/13/17 Photos, Port Meeting Report, Preserve Blowdown, Work Party Friday, Deer, Dog Attacks

Photos.  Marine traffic and the Saturday departure of the USS Independence (CV62).

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Port Meeting Report.  Lew Noah, a Port of Illahee commissioner in the 70’s and 80’s shared the history of the diving reef they installed in the front of the Illahee Dock.  It consisted of 5000 tires with four large Navy anchors holding it in place.  Lew noted that it was checked 6 months later and there were commercial quantities of two types of shrimp at the reef.
Preserve Blowdown.  Thursday evening’s windstorm brought down a number of trees across Preserve trails.  They were taken care of early Saturday morning by the volunteer maintenance crew.  Thanks to these guys who work even in the rain to keep the trails clean and clear!
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Work Party Friday.  Lots of wood chips along Thompson Lane and at the Almire parking lot where they are staged for a work party on Friday with the Washington Youth Academy cadets.  It is a pleasure to walk on the trails after a work party, though bicyclists are less happy as they like a hard and compacted surface to ride on.
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Deer.   These three deer, a doe and two yearlings, jumped out of the brush as I walked by.  
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Dog Attacks.  First there was a report of two horses being attacked by dogs, and then a few days later rabbits, a goat and a sheep were attacked and killed, evidently by the same dogs.  The reports were on the Illahee Community Facebook site, which is closed so you need to ask to be added.  It has provided a convenient place for unfortunate incidents like this to be shared and hopefully quickly resolved.
Jim Aho


Illahee 3/7/17 Port Meeting Wednesday, Past Commissioner To Share, Kitsap Ports, Local Ports Map, Port Relationship With Preserve, Port Salmon Projects, Port Watershed Study, Port Mission, Port Website

Port Meeting Wednesday.  The Port of Illahee meets the second Wednesday of each month at 5 pm at 5500 Illahee Road.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.  The sign provides the details.

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Past Commissioner To Share.  Past Port of Illahee Commissioner Lew Noah will share about his tenure on the commission including when they installed a diving reef in front of the Illahee Dock.
Kitsap Ports.  Interestingly, Kitsap has more port districts than any other county in Washington.  See the map and the list of ports.
Port Districts Map
Port Districts Legend
Local Ports Map.  The bulk of the districts are local, and relatively small compared with the Port of Bremerton whose area seems to cover most of the county without a port district.  The numbers and red borders are precincts.
Local Port Districts Map
Port Relationship With Preserve.  The Port has had a varying relationship with the Illahee Preserve depending on the mix of commissioners. Some residents, and commissioners, think the mission of the Port is to just be concerned with the Illahee Dock.  Others think the mission is more, such as salmon projects and the Illahee Creek watershed with its stormwater issues. 
Port Salmon Projects.  Salmon rearing projects both along Illahee Creek and at the Illahee Dock were Port supported.  Many volunteers were needed to feed the fry in the fish pens that were tied to the Illahee Dock around the years 1999 and 2000.  We wish there were some photos of the pens (if anyone has some we would like to get copies).  The photo below is a chum salmon returning to Illahee Creek from one of the projects.
Port Watershed Study.  A number of years ago the Port applied for and received a $268,000 Centennial Clean Water Grant from the Department of Ecology to conduct a watershed study of Illahee Creek.  The results showed some major problems that needed to be corrected.  Many of the recent stormwater improvements at the headwaters of Illahee Creek are a result of the grant, and there will be more in 2017.  
Port Mission.  This is from the Port’s website.
Port Mission
Port Website.  The Port has a relatively new website,, designed to host all the public information associated with the Port.  If you have suggestions please let the commissioners know.
Jim Aho