WYA Work Party. Those driving on Riddell past the Illahee Preserve on Friday likely noticed Washington Youth Academy (WYA) cadets loading wheel barrows with wood chips, or later in the day noticed the three piles of wood chips were gone. Thanks to the 46 WYA cadets for all their hard work, which in addition to transporting the wood chips to trails, included moving woody debris and the planting of 500 trees. Thanks also to the Rotary Club of East Bremerton for arranging the work party and supplying the majority of wheel barrows. And to the Parks Department for also helping with wheel barrows and tools, and to Washington State University Extension program for supplying the trees.
Brush Pickers Back. It is hard for us to believe that the same brush pickers that we encountered on January 30, 2012 were back today (2/18/12). We took a picture of their truck in January, and again today when it appeared the driver came back to pick up his three friends who again picking salal. When we confronted the pickers a little earlier in the afternoon they took off running, but dropped the heavy load of bundled up salal, which we confiscated. The bundle was so heavy we couldn’t lift it and had to drag it to the parking lot. You can see the size of it next to the dedication rock.
King 5 Video. It took someone who knew what they were doing to get the King 5 video coverage of last week’s brush picking. We were hoping the TV station would put it on their website, but when they didn’t we had to find someone who recorded the news, then isolate the portion we wanted, so we could post it on YouTube. Thanks to those knowledgeable individuals!
The shady crew bosses will have both a legal and illegal crew. The crew boss will take a bigger cut of of the illegal pickers to put in his pocket and mix it in with the legal pickings. Some of the illegals may be on the run and dangerous. It can be scary working a forest and running into a group of marauding pickers with machetes and wondering if they are going to run or protect their pickings.
I walk the park every other day and have run into pickers several times as well as campers.