Illahee 12/12/17 Photos, Port Meeting, Huckleberries, Homeless Camps, Wetland Map, Timbers Edge II, Major Contributions Needed, Preserve Meeting, Tax Deductions & RMDs, Does the Preserve Need Financial Help?, RCO Visit, Preserve Meeting

Photos.

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Coyote Report.  “A pack of coyotes has been causing a massive evening opera outside our place for the last five days.  I am very careful not to let my dog outside alone.  You may want to put something in your updates warning pet owners to be on the alert.”

Wednesday Port Meeting.  Residents are encouraged to attend the Port of Illahee meetings which are held at the Port of Brownsville’s Annex (until the Illahee Store can be acquired).  On the agenda is the Port’s lawyer, Ken Bagwell, presenting actions needed to acquire the Illahee Store.  Also on the agenda is the possible changing of the meeting time (currently 5 pm) to allow more workers and commuters to attend.”

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Huckleberries.  We came across someone eating huckleberries while walking their dog in the Illahee Preserve, as there were still berries like these in some areas.

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Homeless Camps.  In spite of close monitoring, homeless camps keep showing up in the Preserve.  It doesn’t take long for an area to be trashed, requiring volunteers to clean up the garbage.  Five camps were recently found and posted with a notice to vacate, in this case by a deputy and Preserve Stewards.  They are given time to pack up and leave, but nearly always leave a big mess, like these in the photos. 

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Wetland Map.  In past Updates mention was made of an ongoing 10 year wetland struggle.  The wetland was finally delineated this fall and a preliminary map prepared which shows a much larger wetland complex (over 2 acres) than the small less than half acre wetland that was presented during the first hearing in 2007, which is why the appeal was filed.   More on this in a later Update when the stream data is added.

Wetland Map 

Timbers Edge II.  A month ago emails/letters were requested from residents and Preserve users showing support for acquiring the Timbers Edge II property (the former Avery Homestead) for a southeast entrance to the Illahee Preserve.  Those letters of support appear to be efficacious as discussions are looking positive for a possible purchase.  Approximately $400,000 will still need to be raised with grants being a partial possibility, property trades, and community contributions.

Avery Parcels 

Major Contributions Needed.  Many give gifts this time of year and the Illahee Forest Preserve is a 501.c.3 non-profit established to support the Preserve.  Contributions can be made through the Kitsap Community Foundation to the Lost Continent/Timbers Edge Fund, P.O. Box 3670, Silverdale, WA 98383 or directly to the Illahee Forest Preserve, Jon Buesch, Treasurer, 6253 East Blvd, Bremerton, WA 98311.  

 

Tax Deductions & RMDs.  Gifts qualify for tax deductions to the amount allowed by law.  Also, for those over 70 who need to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) gifts can be given directly to non-profits so they aren’t taxed as income.  

 

Does the Preserve Need Financial Help?  The answer is YES!  Property purchases are very expensive, as are wetland battles involving lawyers and experts (reported to be nearly $20,000 this year alone).  The initial Timbers Edge purchase was $565,000 and the community contributed $130,000 in 2015.  A few faithful contributors are keeping the non-profit in the black, but more financial support is currently needed.  Acquisition progress is shown on the slide below.

Progress Slide 

RCO Visit.  A week ago the Preserve was visited by the state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) representative for Kitsap County.  The visit involved looking at the various properties around the Preserve that have been identified for a possible purchase.  The grant cycle is every two years with 2018 the next one and the Preserve will be applying for an acquisition grant for this cycle, using the earlier Timbers Edge purchase amount to meet the 50% grant match requirement.  

Illahee Map Labels Updated Sep 2017 8x11 (1) 

Preserve Meeting.  The Preserve Stewards meet monthly the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm at the Kitsap Pavilion meeting room, which will be December 19th.  Everyone is welcome.  Find out how the Preserve Stewards are taking care of this amazing forested treasure located in our backyard.  If questions, respond to this email.

 

Jim Aho

Illahee 4/17/15 Spring Scenes, Water Festival, The Lost Continent, New Website, Homeless Camps, Reporters Needed, TE Tours, Purchase Donations, Hairless Squirrel, Common Loon

Spring Scenes.  The goose below seemed ready to either attack or fly as I approached its nest.

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Water Festival.  On Tuesday over 1100 fourth graders attended the 2015 Kitsap Water Festival at the Fairgrounds.  It was an amazing event that has been going on for 21 years, that included display areas where a table promoting the Illahee Preserve and moreover, the purchase of the Timbers Edge properties. The photo below shows the question that was asked of those who stopped.
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If the question was answered correctly a handout with a tattoo attached was provided.  The cover of the handout is shown below.
The tattoo, which is only temporary and easily removable with baby oil, is shown below on a fourth grader’s hand who wants to help with the campaign to purchase the properties.
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The Lost Continent.  This is a name that was given to the area many years ago by children who explored the forest and Illahee Creek.  We heard this many years ago from some old-timers, and then saw it on the name of a grant in 2002 that resulted in the addition of about 90 acres to the Preserve.  It will likely be the name of a proposed grant in 2016 if the Timbers Edge properties are purchased.
TLC Logo  
New Website:  TheLostContinent.org.  When the tattoos were distributed on Tuesday (4/14/15) the website went online even though it was still being developed.  It is to be used to promote not only the purchase of the Timbers Edge properties, but also the purchase or conservation easements on the remaining targeted properties.
 
Homeless Camps.  After realizing the mess homeless camps can become if they are allowed to remain in the Preserve, volunteers have begun monitoring the Preserve more closely, and posting any site as soon as it is discovered.  This site shown below was discovered on Tuesday and posted on Tuesday evening.
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The notice looks like this, and they are given 24 hours to vacate the site, which they did when the site was checked on Wednesday.
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The back side of the notice notes services that are available.  The postings and notices are done in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Department.
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Reporters Needed.  We are always looking for new reporters to tell the Preserve and Illahee stories, and especially younger ones.  Let us know if you are interested or have any suggestions of someone who might be reluctant to volunteer.
 
Timbers Edge Tours.  Thanks to those interested in touring the Timbers Edge property.  We need to clear a pathway of fallen branches and blackberries, and decide what to do about all the stinging nettles, and hope to have something going by next weekend.
 
Purchase Donations.  We will be getting information about received donations and how to donate for another update.
Hairless Squirrel.  Thanks for the photo and does anyone know what is wrong with it?
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Common Loon.  For those who like bird sounds, our favorite is the loon, and we only hear their sounds when they come through in the spring and fall.  We only heard their distinct call once this spring and were able to get photo.  Other favorite calls are from the ravens that seem to stay more in the forest.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 7/25/14 Flycatchers, Illahee Stormwater Project, Stormwater Article, Benthic Testing, Other Bugs, SWD in Raspberries?, Illahee Day, Homeless Camps, Wood Chips, Interim Map

Flycatchers.  We were not aware of flycatchers until we received the email below showing photos of 4 babies. Wikipedia notes its diet “As a flycatcher it will wait on a perch and when it sees a flying insect it will chase it without any apparent effort. They also enter swarms of gnats, mosquitoes and wherever such insects congregate. They fulfill an important role in keeping insect populations in check, particularly mosquitoes. and they also eat caterpillars and spiders.”

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A pair of Pacific Slope Flycatchers raised a brood in my back yard (see attached). They often use man made structures to nest on and in this case it was a ladder hanging on the side of my well house. It was on the bottom step. Fortunately, I have only a couple of cats in the neighborhood and they didn’t find the nest. The pictures are only 2 or 3 weeks apart.
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Illahee Stormwater Project.  Kitsap County is currently working on a stormwater pond project in the Kariotis development that benefits Illahee Creek.  They are enlarging an
existing stormwater pond and increasing the size of the drainage piping. We heard the people in the development have not been happy with the disruptions, such that the county produced an information sheet to explain the project.  Below are some photos of the roadwork to put in the larger pipe and the pond after the surrounding vegetation has been removed. 
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Stormwater Article.  Last Sunday’s Kitsap Sun (7/20/14) had a great article on stormwater and we will try to find the link to it later. 
 
Benthic Testing.  And Monday’s Kitsap Sun followed with an article on benthic testing. We will try to find the link to this article also. Illahee Creek is tested every two years and the results have not been good, likely the result of the excessive sedimentation that has filled the culvert under Illahee Road, and threatens the culvert with a washout.
 
Other Bugs.  While the benthic testing looks at aquatic bugs, we found some bugs hatching out under a lettuce leaf, that appear to be stink bugs.
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SWD in Raspberries?  Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) (Drosophila suzukii) is a
soft fruit pest that at least one Illahee resident feels it is attacking her raspberries, and possibly her blueberries.  She recently soaked her raspberries in a salt water solution and out came a bunch of very small white worms.  If they are the spotted wing drosophila they are from Asia and were discovered in California in 2008 and in Washington and Oregon in 2009. Below is a life cycle slide of the SWD from a WSU publication:
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Illahee Day.  For planning purposes, the Port of Illahee has selected August 16 to celebrate Illahee Day.  The location is near the entrance of the dock and the time is from 4 – 7 pm.  We will post more information as it becomes available.
 
Homeless Camps.  Only two homeless camps found this month, but there are concerns as the word on the street is that homeless camps in the Central Kitsap area are scheduled to be removed, which usually results in them looking at moving into the Illahee Preserve.
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Wood Chips.  Wood chips continue to be unloaded at the Preserve’s Almira parking lot.  The other evening we helped level a big chip pile near the Preserve’s sign and wish we had taken a before picture.  
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Interim Map.  Good news about trail maps.  A new one is being developed, and an interim map was printed up and posted on Wednesday.  Thanks to Rob and the guys at the Planetarium on Pacific Avenue for the interim maps.
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Jim Aho