Illahee 3/16/16 Josh Farley Preserve Walk, Preserve Camp, Downed Trees, Float Use, Wildlife Photos, Sheriff Activity Questions Answered, Photos and Reporters Needed

Josh Farley Preserve Walk.  This Saturday should be a treat as we have heard great things about Josh Farley’s Story Walks.  We heard to day some 40 people have signed up and while they go rain or shine, the weather has been improving.

Preserve Camp.  Some of these camps come and go without them being posted with a notice to vacate.  We think it is because Preserve users tell them there is no camping allowed in the Preserve.
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Downed Trees.  This past windstorm brought down a number of trees in the Preserve, though no big ones across the trails, just smaller ones and lots of branches.  A work crew is being assembled to clear them prior to Saturday’s walk with Josh Farley.
Float Use.  In the matter of an hour or so the float below had the following visitors:
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Wildlife Photos.  This afternoon we had to slow down for several pheasants crossing the road.  The Illahee North detention pond area is where these photos were taken, with the last photo showing all three of the subjects.
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Sheriff Activity Questions Answered.  On March 7th while driving along McWilliams we were passed by one Bremerton Police Car and 3 or 4 Sheriff’s Deputies and saw them parked along Sunset Avenue.  We, along with others, wondered what happened and in the CK Reporter dated March 11th the following report provided answers.
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Photos and Reporters Needed.  We always need photos and we are looking for other amature reporters to report on the Illahee Preserve and Illahee Community events.  Just send your photo or story in and we will get it out in an Update.
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/7/16 Photos, Raven, Wigeon Answers, Water Quality Check, Downed Trees, Preserve Dumping, Brush Pickers Caught, Meeting Minutes, Illahee Store, Amazon Donations, Wed Port Meeting

Photos.  Evergreen clematis and flowers.

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Raven.  With a number of ravens around Illahee and the Preserve, getting a good photo should be easy, but it isn’t.  This is the best we have been able to do after years of efforts.
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Wigeon Answers.   We are fortunate to have readers who can answer our questions regarding birds, such as the following amazing response we received regarding our wigeon questions.
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That is a nice side-by-side photo of the Eurasian and American wigeon in breeding plumage.  The average life span of wigeon is low because of high mortality among ducklings, only about 1.5 years.  However, the specimens you reference are mature birds.  The primary source of mortality among mature wigeon is hunting.  Banding records indicate maximum lifespans of wild American wigeon at about 21 years.  There have been very few Eurasian wigeon banded in North America due to relative scarcity.  USFW records indicate the oldest banded Eurasian wigeon when shot was eight years after banding, but their maximum lifespan is probably quite similar to the American wigeon, 20-25 years in the wild.  There is a recorded age at death of 35 years for a male Eurasian wigeon in Europe where they are far more common.  That one was probably a captive.

Most of the wigeon that winter in the Puget Sound area nest in northern Alaska.  Consequently, they suffer relative light hunting mortality.  They are not hunted heavily during the fall migration due to low human populations along their migration route.  Once they reach the Illahee area, they are relatively safe.  Interestingly, there were no wigeon at all in western Washington as of 1900.  Untold thousands winter here now.  They are the beneficiaries of human conversion of primeval forest to grassland.  Wigeon are truly “cattle with wings.”

Water Quality Check.  The Navy continues to monitor water quality in the area with another two week sampling in progress at the Illahee community dock.
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As part of an R&D project to improve the ability to assess the impact of  stormwater runoff, it looks like we have an opportunity to deploy some passive samplers this spring and one of the stations that we would like to deploy them at is at the Illahee Port dock. These are small devices that we can hang below the floating dock where they would be out of the way (and out of sight) of any activities on the dock. We would like to deploy them on or about March 7th or 8th and recover them after about 2-4 weeks depending on the weather.
Downed Trees.  Recent winds caused trees to come down with some interrupting power.  The photo below is toward the top of Ocean View and the photo below is from the Illahee Preserve.  We were hoping to get another photo that was to be sent in, but instead got the following message: 
I am sad to say there is no photo.  A new camera arrived the day of the storm, we came home after driving by the tree, which had just blown down on our way home. We grabbed the camera, ran to the tree, took, what we thought were several pictures.  There was no memory card in the camera-darn it!
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Preserve Dumping.  Someone dumped some English Ivy cuttings at the Thompson Lane parking lot.  Thankfully this is one problem we don’t have in the greater forested area, but do have it in some of the riparian areas the Preserve hopes to purchase some day.
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Brush Pickers Caught.  The Preserve Stewards thought brush picking season was over until today when two individuals were caught picking salal in the Preserve.  They were cited by a Kitsap County deputy and shouldn’t be seen harvesting in the Preserve again.
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Meeting Minutes.  Below are the minutes from the Illahee Community meeting held a week ago (2/29) at the Sylvan Way library. 
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Illahee Store.  After the community meeting noted above, we heard a rumor that there is an effort by a few individuals to contact the store owner and the store lien holders to see if there is a way to acquire the store as part of an Illahee 100th Anniversary project.  Let us know if you hear anything about what might be going on.
Amazon Donations.  For those who shop on Amazon the company will donate 0.5% of your purchases to charitable groups like the Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit group that supports the Preserve.  Information is available on their website at:  We copied the first item on the FAQ website.

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.
Wed Port Meeting.  The monthly Port of Illahee Commissioner meeting is Wednesday (3/9/16) at 5 pm at the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road.  Residents and visitors are always welcome at this public meeting.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/31/15 Power Outage, Downed Trees, Friday Work Party, Illahee Outfall Meetings, vigilant Residents, Timbers Edge, Raccoon Photo, Orca Visit, Orca Regulations, Ant Correction

Power Outage.  We heard on Sunday afternoon there were 594 residents in Illahee without power with an estimated time to restore power set for Tuesday at 6:30 am, when a plea was made for help. We don’t know how it got expedited but after 32 hours without power we are glad it happened and thank those with contacts. Another 30+ hours would have been tough.  

Downed Trees.  We heard the power outage problem was the result of branches/trees over power lines in three locations along Illahee Road hill.  Only a few trees were down across trails in the Illahee Preserve, with several of them already taken care of.

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Friday Work Party.  There was another successful Illahee Preserve work party on Friday with 55 Washington Youth Academy cadets.  Invasive plant species were removed and wood chip piles were depleted as wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of wood chips were placed on the trails.  It takes many hundreds of labor hours to keep the Preserve looking great and it is all done with volunteers.  Thanks to the Washington Youth Academy and the East Bremerton Rotary Club for all their efforts on Friday!!!  And thanks to those who helped supply the work party with wheelbarrows and tools!
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Illahee Outfall Meetings.  This past week there were three meetings held to try and resolve the problem with the Illahee Outfall that “sticks out like a sore thumb”.  A resolution was eventually agreed to by those present which needs to have revised drawings approved by the Department of Community Development (DCD).  More information will follow.  The first photo shows the problem of the pipe sticking out too far.  The second photo is looking into the manhole at the pipe being held by two long bolts, which was deemed inadequate.  The manhole will be relocated and the pipe will be moved back, and a better anchoring system designed.  
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Vigilant Residents.  There are some who think the people in Illahee are simply complainers when they oppose some of the projects being contemplated.  The response has been it is the Illahee Community that has to live with the final result of projects.  If something is not done right residents may be looking at it and living with it everyday for as long as they live here, so they want it done right.  Additionally, they have found they cannot always depend on the county to watch out for the community, which is why they need to be vigilant.
Timbers Edge.  What is the hold-up with the 25 acre TE purchase (Phase 1)?  Turns out an appraisal is needed for the state funds and the county, who is pledging interim funds.  Complex appraisals take time so we are currently projecting middle to late September for the appraisal to complete.  Phase 1 needs to complete, so things are currently in a holding pattern for Phase 2.
Raccoon Photo.  Thanks to Rick for this photo during a past thunderstorm.
Here is the picture of the raccoon, that was frightened by the thunder. He/she was at eye level just outside our back door in a large cedar tree at 5533 Oceanview Blvd.  Looks like he was praying for protection from the storm.
Orca Visit.  The orca pod visit on August 18th turned out to be quite an event.  We saw some private videos that were amazing and have been trying to find someone who will share their videos.  Turns out some of them found out afterwards that there are some strict restrictions about how close you can get to whales, assuming these were the southern resident orcas.   The person in this photo was trying to maintain some separation when another group from the pod came up next to his kayak.  He had is video running taking photos of the far away orcas and when the others surfaced next to him you can hear how scared and surprised he was.  Cameras capture the sights and sounds of some amazing events.
Orca Restrictions.  The regulations for boaters are:
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Ant Correction.  In a previous update with reference to fire ants I have been corrected as follows: 
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These are not fire ants. There are no fire ants north of the Texas, New Mexico area. Fire ants do build mounds but they are made of earth not vegetation detritus. The ants you picture are one of several similar species collectively called mound building ants. They are benign to beneficial as they often prey on insect pests. Calling them fire ants may well cause people to destroy these relatively harmless creatures for no reason.
The ants might be thatching ants. That’s what we had. They were stripping my plants and made a mound as high as my waist. Never heard of them till I had them in my yard. Wish I’d taken pictures.
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/18/14 Eagle, Downed Trees, Stream Stewards Class, Water Meters, Wigeons, Eurasian Wigeon, Beach Walk, Illahee in Kitsap Sun Article, Port of Manchester Article

Eagle.  A local bald eagle surveys the waterfront from the top of a fir tree.

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Downed Trees.  We were out of town during last weeks wind storm so we were surprised to find several downed trees still across a couple of trails, though all the other areas were taken care of by Illahee Preserve volunteers.  These last two will be removed by the volunteer maintenance crew on Sunday.
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Stream Stewards Class.  There is a class coming up that should be of interest to those interested in the Illahee Preserve, watersheds, and Illahee Creek.  There is an article in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun  about logging in Heritage Parks, and while Illahee isn’t mentioned, it is a Heritage Park and needs to eventually have a Forest Stewardship plan prepared.  The Stream Stewards Class is a good beginning for developing a Forest Plan.
Water Meters.  We thought it interesting to see these two new water meters being installed along Illahee Road the other day.
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Wigeons.  There are lots of American wigeon ducks that winter in the Puget Sound area, and are shown in the photo below, except for the red headed one and its mate.
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Eurasian Wigeon.  The red headed wigeon and its mate are Eurasian wigeons common to the northern most parts of Asia and Europe, and winters in southern Asia and Africa.  We tend to see a few of these every year in the Puget Sound area.
Beach Walk.  The beach walk in the article below is followed by a sea star disease wasting training.
Illahee in Kitsap Sun Article.  We had several who noticed that Illahee was mentioned in the following page 2 article in the Kitsap Sun on Saturday (1/18/14).
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Port of Manchester Article.  We also had several who mentioned the Port of Manchester article on the front page of Saturday’s (1/18/14) Kitsap Sun.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 11/3/13 Cormorant, Downed Trees, Caterpillar, Wood Chips, Port Election Letters, Power Outage

Cormorant.  Friday (11/1/13) was a quiet day at the dock for photos, except for a cormorant, and then a row boat.

Downed Trees.  The Preserve is checked regularly for downed trees over the trails.  The tree below was taken care of on Thursday (see the before and after photos).  Other trees were cleared Sunday morning after Saturday’s wind storm.  Thanks goes to the volunteers who so faithfully keep the trails open!  Also, let us know when you find downed trees over trails, since we aren’t out there every day.
Caterpillar.  This caterpillar was on one of the branches of the above downed tree.  It seemed late to see caterpillars.  We identified it as a
Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata) whose larvae stage is supposed to be from July to September, so it is a late sighting.
Wood Chips.  If you recently visited the Almira parking lot of the Illahee Preserve, you are aware of all the new piles of wood chips.  We heard the Rotary is hoping to have another work party with the Washington Youth Academy, but may need a few other volunteer work parties to help spread the chips.
Port Election Letters.  There were two ‘letters to the editor’ in the Kitsap Sun last week regarding the Port of Illahee election, which we want to include in this update, since it not only informs residents, but the updates also privide a historical record, which is easily accessed on the website.  The first one has a link to it and came out on Wednesday (10/30), the second came out on Thursday (10/31) but did not have a link.

Power Outage.  There was an approximate four hour power outage in parts of Illahee on Saturday from the wind storm. Thanks for the photo of the downed wires along Illahee Road, which was located opposite of the Illahee North development.
Jim Aho

Illahee 12/28/12 New Preserve Info Box, Downed Trees, Moon Halo, Dogwinkles, High Tide Effects, Deer Poaching, Cackling Geese, End of Year Giving Options

New Preserve Info Box.  A new “Info Box” appeared at the Almira parking lot on the initial Rain Garden sign with some rain garden brochures.

Downed Trees.  There was one big bunch of downed trees at the beginning of Bootleg trail that was recently cleaned up.  Thanks to the volunteer trail maintenance crew!  They have asked that we let them know whenever anyone encounters downed trees across a trail.
Moon Halo.  With a relatively clear evening last evening there were “lunar halos” visible for awhile.  We saw the large halo and received a photo where you can see part of it, though it is a little dim.  These are somewhat like rainbows in that your location determines what you see.  The halo is formed because of ice crystals in high thin cirrus clouds refracting the light from the moon.  More information is available at 
Dogwinkles.  We also received photos from some late night kayakers who noticed lots of frilled dogwinkles at low tide.  This snail is found from Cental California to Alaska and at this time of the year and “will lay many yellow spindle-shaped eggs about a half inch long attached to rocks in a communal nursery” which is what the photo below shows.  More info can be found at: 
High Tide Effects.  The effects of the extra ordinary high tide a few weeks ago were still evident along the shoreline, but especially so at Illahee State Park where the unprotected shoreline continues to erode into the Sound.  A number of years ago erosion and slides resulted in some large trees falling on the beach.  From what we saw today, there could be some more trees coming down in the future if the erosion from high tides continue.
Deer Poaching.  We received the following notice of a dead deer that was shot with an arrow.  Years ago we heard about another big buck that had been shot with an arrow.

My neighbor came over and asked if I could dig a big hole to bury a deer that was dead in the seasonal creek behind his house.  He said it had been there a few days, and every day he goes back to look at it, more and more is eaten away.  He called the county and they said it was his responsibility.  Like a good neighbor, I dug him (deer) his grave.  Yes, I did take pictures (attached), but as we were dragging it in, my son pulled out the tip of an arrow.  Thought you might like to know…. someone’s been poaching deer.
Cackling Geese.  In a previous update we asked if anyone could help us with the name of the small goose that appears to be a miniature Canada goose.  Several responded with the fact that it is a Cackling Goose.  We saw one cackling goose today with a bunch of Canada geese, which clearly shows the size difference.
End of Year Giving Options.  There are two non-profits working to help Illahee.  The first is the Illahee Forest Preserve, a 501.c.3 not for profit corporation, formed to support, expand, and maintain the Illahee Preserve.   The second is the Illahee Community group, a 501.c.3 not for profit corporation established to support the Illahee Community.  Both are supported by gifts and contributions which are tax-deductible according to IRS rules.  The address for the Illahee Forest Preserve is P.O. Box 2503, Bremerton, WA  98310.  The address for the Illahee Community group is P.O. Box  2563 , Bremerton, WA  98310.  We copied the purposes of the the Illahee Community Club below as they appear on an application form.  We have been working with both of these organizations and would be glad to answer any questions regarding them.  Simply email us or call 479-1049.

The Illahee Community Club (ICC) was reorganized in 2008/2009 to expand its boundary (Port of Illahee) and purposes (to support restoration and preservation). The Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity with contributions tax deductible, as allowed by law. Gifts and bequests are appreciated.
The purposes of the Illahee Community Club are:
 To restore, preserve, and maintain the Illahee community as an historic, scenic, and culturally significant area.
 To combat community deterioration through remedial actions such as elimination of fecal coliform and storm water pollution.
 To restore and preserve the Illahee area of Puget Sound, including freshwater, wetlands, floodplains, estuary, nearshore, marine, and upland habitats for the benefit and education of the general public.
 To restore and preserve the following items adversely impacting the Illahee Creek Watershed as delineated in the Department of Ecology / Port of Illahee funded Parametrix Report, “Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan,” which are:
Surface Water Runoff, Landslides, Reduced Aquifer Recharge, Water Quality, Functionality of Illahee Creek Culvert, Degraded Salmonid Habitat.
 To restore and preserve the natural features of the Illahee area including the Illahee Preserve (a Kitsap County Heritage Park), Illahee State Park, and area wildlife and habitat for the benefit and education of the general public.
 To advocate for accomplishment of the goals and objectives in the Illahee Community Plan that support the restoration and preservation of the local Puget Sound area for the benefit and education of the general public.
 To solicit and obtain financial support for the education, restoration, and preservation of the aforementioned items and other impacts adversely affecting the Illahee area of Puget Sound.
 To work with private landowners, public water groups, schools, land trusts, government agencies, public and private.

Jim Aho