Illahee 7/14/17 Preserve Fire Danger, Illahee Store, PLIA Grant, Contamination Testing, Deer Reports, Pigeon Guillemot, Illahee Day 2017

Preserve Fire Danger.  The Preserve is very dry so please watch out for fires.  There were some scary moments last year that we don’t want repeated, as local fire fighters are not equipped to fight a forest fire.
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Illahee Store.  Lots of action this past Wednesday and Thursday at the former Illahee Store site.  

PLIA Grant.  The Port was successful in obtaining a Pollution Liability Insurance Agency (PLIA) grant to conduct a second round of tests to better understand the extent of pollution on the property before it goes up for a sheriff’s sale, at a date yet to be determined.  
Contamination Testing.  The testing this week involved extending and expanding on the previous testing with more probing sites and four ground water wells installed. Contamination was again verified near the existing underground storage tanks, and also where the old tanks (since removed) were located at the previous store. 
Deer Reports.  With so many deer around, it is hard to know what to report.  Earlier this week a large pregnant doe was hit on Illahee Road and had to be put down by a Deputy (we have not shared the photo based on previous comments about showing injured or dead animals).  The four bucks in the photos were all in one person’s yard at the same time and were getting along, which won’t be the case in the fall during the rut.  We had a report deer like geranium and petunia flowers that were not safe even on patios.  One popular spot for deer was around a detention pond, that is until it was mowed.  The fawn is the only one we have been able to get a photo of this year.
Pigeon Guillemot.  On July 1st a Pigeon Guillemot was observed at the Illahee Dock, which is a rare occurrence because of the presence of bald eagles at the dock, seen nearly every morning on the light posts.
Illahee Day 2017.  The Port has set August 12 as the date for Illahee Day.  This will be Port Commissioners’ George Schaefer and Cassie Magill’s last Illahee Day and they requested to be in charge of refreshments in honor of their many years of service to the community. George has been a commissioner for 16 years and Cassie for 4 years.  Plan on joining them and the festivities to be held on the Illahee Store property on Saturday, Aug 12th.  Below is last year’s sign.  
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Jim Aho

Illahee 7/4/14 Flags, Ferry Names, Bear Responses, Preserve Work, Wood Chips, Rain Garden Work, Clean Water Kitsap, Pink Arrows, Girdled Trees, Adopt-A-Road Interest, Deer Reports, Local Scenes

Illahee Flags.  Nice to see flags flying in Illahee on the 4th of July.

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Ferry Names.  Illahee came out ahead in the Sun’s local voting for naming the next Ferry, according to the following article: See
There could be another Illahee in the state’s ferry future.
That was clearly your favorite name for the new boat that’s coming to Bremerton in a couple years. Now I have to usher the name through the bureaucracy and get it picked by the state Transportation Commission.
The first Illahee served the state for 59 years before being abruptly yanked in 2007 because it was rusting away. It was scrapped in 2009.
Over the past couple months, you sent in dozens of names. They were whittled to three most popular — Illahee, Suquamish and Radulescu. In final voting last week, Illahee received more than half (179), though Suquamish (87) and Radulescu (84) also showed solid support.
It might’ve been more fun to crusade for Tony Radulescu, the state trooper shot to death during a traffic stop near Gorst in 2012. Many of you realized that would probably be in vain, however. The guidelines state that names honoring individuals should be avoided, but will be considered it the person has been dead for at least 20 years and has enduring fame. As beloved as Tony was, he doesn’t meet those criteria.
Several of you mentioned he deserved to be memorialized, but in a different way. Tony got more support from you than the votes indicate.
Radulescu also bucked the guideline that the name be consistent with existing fleet names. With the imminent retirement of the Evergreen State, they’ll all be tribal words.
Illahee fits. It means “land,” “country” or “place where one lives” in the Chinook language.
It’s also a pretty community three miles north of Bremerton overlooking Port Orchard Passage that was a former Mosquito Fleet stop. A nearby state park also adopted the name.
The naming process hasn’t officially begun. Washington State Ferries first has to sent the Transportation Commission a schedule for when it needs one. Then the commission will  formally solicit names.
It’ll be up to me to build a case. I have to show how Illahee conforms to the ferry-naming guidelines, provide background, and get letters of support from local, regional and state bodies and officials. I’ll be pushing this as the people’s choice, so it would be great if you want to write up your thoughts and send them to me.
The proposals first go to the Transportation Commission’s ferry team, which reviews them for compliance. Eligible ones advance to the full commission, the ferry advisory committee executive council and Washington State Ferries for review and input. They’ll be posted on the Transportation Commission’s website for public comment. The full commission looks at all the input and the ferry team recommendation and makes its decision.

Bear Responses.  Some of the responses from the last update on the bear.
Some years ago a friend who lives about half way between us had a bear get into his bird feeders, and a girl whose family lives near the Steele Creek estuary, which would be north and west of you, had a bear destroy a bird feeder she had made, which would again be some years ago.  Maybe it is the same bear with a taste for bird seed.  Also, a couple of years ago we had a bear come through Illahee and ended up in an apple tree eating apples.  He came from the north and then went back north.  Again, maybe the same bear?  Interesting to speculate.  I’m just glad we have enough habitat left for them to be around.  Now if they got into my garden, I might feel differently.

…the bear actually returned that same night for about 45 minutes.  I think he took a nap after his initial feeding that afternoon.  I added a couple of pics showing the height of the feeders and him easily reaching them.


My feeders have been down since the bear was here, but I have repaired them and intend to put them up again.  They have suet cages on them in addition to the sunflower seeds. We really enjoy the variety of birds and mammals that feed on them.  Next time they will be higher and further from the tree trunk


I think this bear was here two years ago, but we didn’t see him.  I had different feeders then and he really mangled them.  I first thought some raccoons were the culprits, but the tree had claw marks that were a full hand span wide.  Obviously no raccoon.  Probably this same bear and he is getting bigger!

Preserve Work.  The Illahee Preserve is sometimes called an experiment of whether the local community can manage and maintain a major park.  In this case Greg Bush from the Soil Factory volunteered again to level the piles of dirt and sand at the Almira Parking lot where eventually there are plans for a picnic shelter. Thanks to Greg and Marty Goit at the Soil Factory!
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Wood Chips.  There were a few years when few wood chips were available, including the time when the rain garden went in, and the Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit group paid over $400 to have mulch brought in.  Those days of a shortage of chips are gone as a few weeks ago it appeared the Thompson Lane parking lot was going to be totally filled with chips.
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Again, Greg Bush and Marty Goit of the Soil Factory came to our aid and moved the wood chips over the guard rails, where they will be spread later.  Thanks again to Greg and Marty.
Rain Garden Work.  More help for the Preserve came unexpectedly on Wednesday (7/2/14) when a county rain garden cleanup crew showed up to take care of the weeds in the Native Plant Demonstration Rain Garden beds at the Almira parking lot.  Thanks to the county’s Clean Water Kitsap group for all their help!!
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Clean Water Kitsap.  For those who may not have noticed there has been a name change and the Surface and Storm Water Management (SSWM) group has been changed to ‘Clean Water Kitsap.’

On May 22, 2014, the Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Management Program officially became Clean Water Kitsap. This program collects stormwater fees from properties in unincorporated Kitsap County in order to fund efforts to reduce pollution, specifically through reducing polluted runoff. 

Pink Arrows.  Does anyone know who is marking trees in the Preserve with pink chalk arrows.  If there is a reason for the markings they will leave them on for a short while.  Let us know and we will pass the information on.
Girdled Trees.  Some large fir trees came down in Illahee on Monday and questions were asked about why.  It turns out many years ago some of the neighborhood kids strung a wire-rope zip line between the two trees that girdled (stangled) them causing the tops to break and then multiple new tops formed along with trunk rot at the location of the girdling making it necessary to take them down.
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Adopt-A-Road Interest?  A number of Illahee residents walk our roadways, and some of them pick up trash.  If individuals, community or service groups sign up for the county’s program they receive training, safety equipment, bags and free disposal for their help. We have been asked if this could also be community or port sanctioned activity, or if it should be done by individuals.  Any thoughts?   2014 volunteers “who meet the program’s annual cleanup commitment and wish to show off their adopted road are recognized with an Adopt-A-Road sign.”  
Deer Reports.  A report came in about an aggressive doe with a fawn that reportedly attacked a dog and guy in the 3rd Street area.  Let us know if you have more information.  We also received this photo of a local buck.
Local Scenes.  Clam digging, yet there are warning signs still up from January. Fishing and crabbing season began this week, and gardens are looking great. 
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Jim Aho