Illahee 12/23/12 High Tide Photos, Illahee Creek, Snow Effects, Mergansers, Brush Pickers, Illahee Film

High Tide Photos.  Some more Illahee high tide photos, though not always taken at the extreme point of the high tides.  Schutt’s Point is nearly under water in the second and third photos.

Illahee Creek.  Illahee Creek’s high flows spread out over the flood plain.
Snow Effects.  At first we thought the wind did the following tree damage, but then we were told of the heavy snow that covered the Illahee plateau area.  These photos are all from the east side of the Illahee Preserve.  The last of the three photos below shows the effect of letting English ivy climb up a tree trunk and onto branches.  We haven’t checked the interior areas of the Preserve yet for snow damage.

Mergansers.  There have been lots of red-breasted merganser activity along the Illahee shoreline this year, indicating the presence of some kind of small fish in the area.
Brush Pickers.  We continue to get reports of brush pickers in the Preserve, usually 3 of them, with radios and they are trying to avoid being seen.  Please call 911 if you see them and if possible get a picture.  Also let us know via email or call 479-1049.  We went out there the other day after a call, and didn’t see anyone, but did hear a whistle sound, which may have alerted them to duck down so as not to be seen by us.  Park personnel also attempted to locate them but were unsuccessful.  Let us know if you have ideas.

Illahee Film.  Thanks for those who wanted DVD copies of the Illahee film for Christmas presents.  We still have DVDs available for purchase, so just give us a call (479-1049) and we will deliver them locally until they are all gone.

Jim Aho 

Illahee 12/13/12 Second Culvert Clean-out, Sediment Piles at Preserve, Piles Moved, Clean-up Person?, Illahee Film, European Wigeon, Illahee Story

Second Culvert Clean-out.  We reported the first clean-out of the Illahee Creek culvert was stopped after a mechanical failure of the excavator.  The second clean-out event occurred on December 5th with another 7 dump truck loads of sediment being removed.

Sediment Piles at Preserve.  It took awhile to arrange for the sediment removed from the culvert to be deposited at the Illahee Preserve, but it was well worth the effort because it is like bank run washed gravel and sand, which if purchased would run at least $12 a cubic yard.  With approximately 100 cubic yards of sediment the cost would be $1200.  This amounts to a significant amount of structural material being available in Illahee at a place where it is truly needed for a future picnic shelter.
Piles Moved!  So how do you move 100 cubic yards of gravel and sand sediment into place?  Our local Rotary representatives realized this was more than their volunteer’s equipment could easily move, and the local rental places weren’t much help either.  So for a few days they were left scratching their heads until someone realized the equipment needed was close by at The Soil Factory behind the Goodwill Store.  Contact with Marty Goit, owner, and Greg Busch found them more than willing to help and two days later the work was done.  Thanks to Marty and Greg for volunteering to make this happen at no cost to the Illahee Forest Preserve group!

Clean-up Person?  Another great story is we think we found out who is cleaning up much of the dumping that goes on at the Almira parking lot.  Word on the street is this person receives these updates as an email and when we report a dumping incident, they go and clean it up.   We thank you for your care and concern for the Preserve!

Illahee Film Delivered!  There were a number of residents, and some who have moved away, who requested copies of the Illahee film.  We keep hearing good reviews of the film, which was shown last weekend in Port Townsend.  We were sent of photo taken at the theater during the section of the film when Audrey Boyer was being interviewed.  
A number of copies were being purchased for Christmas gifts, one going to a former exchange student in Germany.  Call 360-479-1049 if you would like the film delivered.  The cost for one DVD is $20, or 3 for $45.  The rest of the Blu-ray copies were just finished and should be delivered soon.  Blu-ray DVDs are $25.

European Wigeon.  Last year we reported an European male wigeon among the flock of wigeon in the area as it has a red head and a tan marking at the top of its head.  They appeared again this year and we were able to distinguish the female in the group, as it has a reddish head rather than a grey head.  Otherwise the female wigeon are almost indistinguishable.

Illahee Story.  In our last update we asked residents to help uncover local stories and received the following:

At 7:00AM on Sunday morning as I was looking out my kitchen window, out of the corner of my eye, a elderly woman appeared walking up my driveway in a bright red coat. As I was still in my pajamas, I asked my husband to please answer the door. After they had a brief conversation, the woman left and I could see that she handed him something. How was it that this elderly woman walking with a brisk walk so early in the morning would wander to our home only to leave something which she wanted shared with the Illahee Community?

That something was of utmost importance to her. Low and behold, it was a childs book, entitled “Where Once There Was a Wood” by Denise Fleming. It is a story for children about how we must protect the earth so that wildlife will have a chance to roam and that through our actions we can treat the earth gently. This Illahee resident has asked that this book be shared with the community.

If you would like to check it out, or feel like you would love to read it to your child, please feel free to call Judith or Irwin Krigsman at 792-6934. We would be happy to deliver it to you.

Now, I know why I live in Illahee, people care and people share!

Jim Aho

Illahee 8/24/12 Kayak Stolen Thursday Evening, Illahee Film, Work Party

Kayak Stolen.  On Thursday night a kayak was stolen from a residence north of the Illahee Community Dock.  The kayak had a red top, somewhat faded, and a white bottom.  It appears the thief was headed south toward the dock based on where they left the wheeled carrier they likely used to get the kayak to the water.  There aren’t many places to get a kayak out so we presumed they took it out at the dock.  If anyone has seen anything or has information that would be helpful, please let us know.  A reward is being offered.

Illahee Film at the Admiral.  It is official that the Illahee film will be shown, along with an Elwha film, at the Admiral Theater on October 12, 2012.  The poster for the event shown above is all that we know at this time.  We don’t know what the admission charge will be.

Saturday Work Party.  A bus load of Washington Youth Academy (WYA) cadets will be helping with a number of projects in the Illahee Preserve on Saturday, August 25th.  We hope to have some pictures of their efforts in our next update.  Thanks to all the volunteers who help make the Illahee Preserve such a great park, and especially to the WYA for their support of the Preserve!

Jim Aho

Illahee 6/24/12 Website Information, Website Traffic, Leadership Kitsap Team, LK Accomplishments, LK Thanks, Illahee Film

Website Information.  We thought it would be good to explain some about our website that has be undergoing some recent changes.  We still have lots to learn about websites, but with some help we are getting better.  Awhile back we changed website managers and also the software for creating the website posts that most of you receive as emails.  It has been a learning experience as we went from two or three people involved with putting an update on the website to primarily just me, and after a year or more I think we are getting better. 

Website Heading Photos.  Our website admin adviser has taken it upon himself to take photos from past updates and resize them and rotate their usage as website heading photos.  While we are asking him to remove a couple of them, such as the original Timbers Edge plat layout, we like what he has done and some of our favorites are used in this update. 
Website Traffic.  We were astounded to find out recently just how often the website is accessed, and still wonder if it is really true.  We have been looking at the website,, that provides website statistics.  When we first looked at the usage a few weeks ago, the visitors each day averaged 88, followed by the next period at 30, and this time it was 53.  We are presuming these are weekly averages, and we welcome anyone who can double check these figures and verify the information is correct.  Below is what we copied from the mustat website.  Even though it was given a low rating for a website, we think it is quite remarkable for a small community.


Each day, generates 266 pageviews from 53 visitors. The website receives an average of 1,649 visits and 8,244 pageviews per month. It is given a rating of E, due to its very low performance.

Per day Per week Per month Per year
Visitors 53 372 1,649 19,414
Pageviews 266 1,862 8,244 97,06

Website Photos.  We found out that we need to be careful how large the photos are that we include on the website and in an update.  The large photos that look great on our large screen monitor do not work for many of you, so we have decreased the sizes and are trying to come up with the right percentage.  Thanks to those who have responded when something doesn’t work right.
Website Fonts.  We have been told to stop using the font “Comic Sans” and we are currently using “Serif” but would like to find something else.  We don’t know what the reasons are but we are trying to conform.  These issues are behind the scene items, but we know some of you are interested.
Leadership Kitsap Team.  We attended the Leadership Kitsap (LK) graduation event this past week and we need to again thank the LK “Dragons” (one of four teams) who decided their team project would be to help the Illahee Preserve.  The team consisted of 7 members whose names and their sponsors are:
Zeb Breuchman, PSNS & IMF
Doug Campbell, Navy Region Northwest
David Dinkuhn, Parametrix
Gessica Guidry, Kitsap Public Health District
Debbie Robinson, NUWC Keyport
Rochelle Stockwell, Clearwater Casino
Connie Zapp, Holly Ridge Center
Description of LK Support.  Several have tried to describe the impact of the LK support to the Preserve.  The one we liked best was “It was like the Preserve won the lottery.”  Another closeup was “It was like having a magic genie and the first wish was the genie couldn’t say no.”  And, “It was like an answer to prayer.”
LK Accomplishments.  Below are just some of the accomplishments we are aware of, there may be more.
1.  Numbered sign posts at each trail intersection.
2.  Map showing the numbered sign posts, courtesy of Rice, Fergus, Miller architectural firm.
3.  Concept map showing Almira Parking lot improvements, courtesy of Parametrix.
4.  “Day at the Park” celebration on May 5th.
5.  Reader board notice for above celebration and listing of website, which might explain our 88 visits a day.
6.  Illahee raspberry Preserve gifts for the celebration.
7.  Raised over $1000 for the Illahee Forest Preserve 501.c.3.
8.  Increased the awareness of the general public to the Illahee Preserve.
9.  Created a new logo for the Illahee Preserve.
10.  By establishing a celebration date, interpretive signs were completed, an Eagle Scout project kiosk was installed, a paver walkway plan was established, and new trails were created and old trails were closed.
It was an amazing amount of work that was accomplished in the roughly 5 or 6 months and we thank each member of the “dragons” for all they accomplished and the Leadership Kitsap program.
Illahee Film Question.  There has been a question as to whether Illahee residents would attend a showing of the Illahee film if it was shown at the Admiral Theater.  Evidently the Illahee filmmaker, Shelly Solomon, as recently completed a film on the Elwha Dam removal and a proposal was made that both films should be considered for showing at the Admiral.  We said we would put out the question in an update.  We don’t know what the admission cost would be.
Jim Aho

Illahee Update 5/18/12 Illahee Film Questions and Answers

Illahee Film Questions.  Lots of questions continue to be asked about the new Illahee film “Illahee -Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time“.

BC Showing This Weekend?  Our filmmaker, Shelly Solomon, is showing her film series, which includes the Illahee film, this weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia at a “Restoration 2012: Beyond Borders” conference program entitled “Engaging Your Audience:  Promoting Restoration Via the Power of Film – Films shown in spectacular Blu-Ray”.

Reviews?  We are anxious to hear how the film is reviewed outside of Illahee.  We have been told that what the Illahee community has done is an inspirational story, so it would be interesting to see if others concur. 

Local Reviews?  There have been many favorable verbal comments about the film, but no real reviews yet, though there have been some short emails.  It would be good if someone would review the film so we could pass on their evaluation.

Another Showing?  We have also been asked if there will be another local showing.  We would like to see that happen in conjunction with Shelly’s most recent film “River as Spirit – Elwha River Flyover.”

On BKAT?  Eventually the Illahee film will be offered to the Bremerton Kitsap Access Television (BKAT) station to see if they would air the film, but not until after there is another local showing.

DVD or Blu-Ray Format?  Since most do not have the equipment to play Blu-Ray videos, regular DVDs comprised the bulk of the first order.  The initial order of DVD’s was for 200 DVDs and 20 Blu-Ray DVDs.

Cost To Fund the Film?  It is difficult to determine the real cost to produce the Illahee film because of the number of hours experts, the filmmaker, and residents spent that were pro bono (donated without costs).  Some have said we have a $40,000 film that cost just under $20,000.  What community members found out in the producing process was that nearly every graphic and photo used in the film has a cost associated with it, not to mention the cost of the helicopter flyover of the area, which was paid separately by residents and others in Kitsap County.  Major contributors to the film were the Department of Ecology, the Port of Illahee, the filmmaker, the Illahee Forest Preserve, and the Illahee Community.

Experts/Professionals.  All of the experts/professionals in the film donated their time, and include:  Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe;  Josh Brown, Kitsap County Commissioner; Joel Massmann, PhD, Keta Waters; Chris May, PhD, SSWM; Paul Dorn, Fisheries Biologist for Suquamish Tribe; and Derek Booth, PhD, Stillwater Sciences.

Replication Costs?  Another consideration following the completion of the film was how to ensure high quality replication and packaging, which were additional costs.  In order to continue to maintain the high standards that were set for the film, high quality copies and attractive packaging were ordered from the filmmaker.  

Suggested Contributions?  Determining what the suggested donation should be for the film required looking at recouping the replication costs and looking ahead to completing a sequel film to cover the important items that did not fit into this film, which included footage from a PhD oceanographer on the Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel and other residents with important Illahee history segments.  This resulted in the following recommended donations for the film:

DVDs – $20 each, orders of 3 or more – $15 each 
Blu-Rays – $25 each 

Sequel Film Date?  The anticipated date for the Illahee Sequel film is late 2013, or 2014, which of course depends on the availability of the filmmaker.  Also to be noted is the sequel film will require additional funding as the proceeds from the film sales will not cover all the anticipated costs.

Comments Welcomed.  Not many communities document their history and progress with film, and fewer yet are done in such a high quality and professional manner.  We would like to know your thoughts on the current film and also your thoughts and ideas regarding a sequel film.

Jim Aho

Illahee Update 4/23/12 Woodpeckers, Compass Circle Wildlife Meadow, Trail Intersection Posts, Walkway Plans, Rain Garden Weeds, Illahee Film, Detention Pond

The Illahee Preserve is filled with the evidence of woodpeckers, and they are often spotted as can be seen by these pictures.  They are of a hairy woodpecker as evidenced by it’s medium size and long bill.  The red feathers on the back of its head indicates it is a male.  We thought the photo below which shows its feet was interesting.

Questions re Wood Chips and Compass Circle Wildlife Meadow . Most of the questions we answer at this time have to do with something like “Why put wood chips on the bike trails?” and  “What is going on with Compass Circle?”  We answered some emails a few weeks ago so we thought we would include those questions and responses below.

EMAIL  My husband and I live maybe a mile from the preserve and enjoy popping over for some mt. biking.  Yesterday we were upset to see the massive amount of woodchips dumped on the trails!  Wood chips may be nice for a leisurely stroll but for bikes it’s a near deal breaker.  Even when riding downhill the chips produce so much resistance that you have to actively and exhaustingly pedal even on a decline.  Thankfully our two favorite trails hadn’t been tainted by the chips yet (spotted doe and an unnamed windy hilly trail in the back near the golf course).

I could understand if the trails were super mucky but in general the trails are hard packed dirt w/ a nice coating of pine needles and other tree debris so I’m not sure why woodchips are even needed?

I read the pamphlets at the trail head about creating an interpretive trail etc, I would suggest also keeping bikers in mind.  There are no decent bike trials in the Silverdale/Bremerton area and having some place to ride without having to head south to Banner woods or north to the pope resource land near Pt.Gamble would be a huge benefit to the community.

By creating trails that are tailored specifically for walking you will attract the casual nature walker but I believe you’ll also attract homeless people and teenagers looking for a  safe place to get high and drink since there would be less risk of running into someone on the trail. (BTW while pedaling up hill yesterday I rounded the corner and encountered a young man and woman smoking from a bong walking down the trail, I believe if they felt there was a risk of more bike activity (since bikes are quick and silent) they wouldn’t have chosen the preserve).

Check out Banner Woods, it’s a GREAT resource that caters to not only bikes but trail runners, walkers, horses, etc.  And you don’t see woodchips anywhere in Banner.

Thanks for reading my rant, and if you decide to start creating trails with bikes in mine let me know as I would be willing to volunteer my time.

RESPONSE  Thanks for taking the time to find our email address and to let us know your concerns.  We know the concerns of bikers when we first put down a layer of chips. The good news is that in about a month it will get better, except possibly for the new trail that was just established around Compass Circle, which will take some time to get packed down as portions were soft even before the chips were added.  We are trying to make the trails and the trail system better for all the users and have found from experience that a periodic covering of the trails with chips helps to better define the trails and helps during wet weather with mud.  When we first got the Preserve properties there were lots of these issues and the chips have helped so you will hopefully bear with us on this.  Thanks for the suggestion to check out Banner Forest as I haven’t been there and wonder how they have handled the mud issues.  We should also let you know that the Illahee Preserve is an experiment in volunteers supporting and maintaining it so if you have suggestions on how we can do better, please let us know.
ANOTHER RESPONSE  I’m also a mountain biker, and I just wanted to add that I agree- the preserve could fill a big void for mountain bikers between Banner Forest and Green Mountain. Spotted doe and the trail by the golf course were designated ‘secondary’ trails in part with mountain bikers in mind, and as a result they are singletrack, twisty, and hilly, and they don’t get the wood chip treatment except where necessary. Exactly the kind of trail mountain bikers like. It would be great to have a few of these kinds of trails connected to make a trail running / mountain bike loop that wouldn’t clash as much with strollers or dogs (not that mountain bikers aren’t respectful, but strollers can be wide and hard to pass, and dogs like to chase bikes).
One of the problems, however, seems to be the lack of input and voulenteerism from the MTB community. Which is really too bad, because the kind of trails that mountain bikers like are also especially enjoyed by other user groups, such as trail runners and those who want a more intimate trail experience.  But it does take some expertise and a lot of work, and the people putting in the hours right now are mostly walkers.
QUESTION  We noticed in the compass circle area that its now closed for restoration.  My husband and I were both perplexed how cutting down the trees would help restore the environment?
RESPONSE  There has been a long standing concern for wildlife and early on a wildlife meadow area was proposed for this site.  What was happening was it was being encroached upon by blackberries and the perimeter alder trees were leaning over the area.  When it got to be less than a quarter acre, it was decided something needed to be done, and it was determined the meadow area needed to be somewhere around a full acre, which is why the area was cleared of blackberries last fall and why the perimeter alder trees are being removed.  We are trying to maintain a diverse environment for the limited wildlife we have in the active use area, which are primarily birds and includes many different species and a bunch of owls.

Trail Intersection Posts. We understand modifications have been made to the new trail posts that were installed by Leadership Kitsap after some of them were stolen.  We took a picture of one if you haven’t been in the Preserve recently.

Walkway Plans. We also took a photo of the area where a new walkway is being planned that will lead to a new kiosk.  This project is being accelerated so as to be ready for the May 5th celebration being planned by Leadership Kitsap.

Rain Garden Weeds. Lots of weeds growing in the rain garden plots at the Almira parking lot.  We are looking for help to weed the plots and keep them clean.  If you can help please respond with an email.  We are expecting help on Saturday from youth volunteers helping out with Central Kitsap’s Super Saturday, which will mean we should have some clean plots to start with.

Trillium. Another photo, this time of a trio of trillium, and a link for those who might want more information on this spring flowering plant found in the Preserve.  For some trivia the trillium is official wildflower of the state of Ohio.

Illahee Film. We understand a limited number of copies of the Illahee film will be available at the May 5th celebration at the Illahee Preserve, for those who are interested in purchasing a copy.

Detention Pond Report. It has been reported there are lots of frogs and tadpoles at the detention pond at the south end of the Almira parking lot, and a couple of mallard ducks at times.

Jim Aho

Illahee Update 2/18/12 Brush Picking, Vandalism, European Duck, Heavy Weather Race, Illahee Film

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.

The Truck & The Truck & Driver. The picture above is what we took on January 30th at the Thompson Lane parking lot.  The picture below is the same truck and its driver that we took at the Almira parking lot on February 18th.  The guy seemed pretty upset that we had their salal.

Guard Rail Vandalism. We received the report below this morning about the vandalism of the reflectors on guard rails near the Illahee Creek culvert.  We were told later in the day they hit the other guard rails going up Illahee Road.

Would you please include this information in your next community update.

At approximately 9:50 P.M. a loud banging noise was heard along Illahee Road.  It was quite evident that something was happening along the highway.  By the time we reached the roadway, the vandals were gone, but this morning as it got light we see that the loud banging was the removal of the reflectors being hit by a heavy object all along the west side of the guard rail.  Many reflectors were left on the inside along the guard rail.

It would be great if these folks could have been caught, but in the time it took to get out there, they were gone.

European Duck. It isn’t very often you look outside your window and see a European duck on the lawn, which was the case today.  The differently colored wigeon in the picture is a eurasian wigeon, that evidently got mixed up somewhere along the way.  We have heard they can often be found with American wigeons, but this is a first for us.

Heavy Weather Race. The Bremerton Yacht Club held their Heavy Weather Race today.  This is a yearly event and the boats change course in the area just north of the Illahee Community Dock.  We copied this from the IPBA website as it briefly explains what the event is about.  There is more information on their website.

The purpose of the International Power Boat Association (IPBA) is to promote the safe piloting of pleasure boats and to sponsor and sanction predicted log racing contests to improve the piloting and seamanship abilities of contestants. Although we call our sport Predicted Log Racing, it is actually a navigational contest where the contestant “predicts” how long in hours, minutes, and seconds it will take him or her to get from point to point on the race course.

Film & Shellfish Festival. The third film being shown at the Film & Shellfish Festival on Saturday evening 2/25/12 is about the benefits of shellfish to the environment and also to those who choose to raise them.  Illahee has just over 3 miles of saltwater shoreline and it appears there are only a handful of shoreline residents who are “farming the tidelands”.  The film provides some good information for residents considering raising shellfish on their beaches and Taylor Shellfish will have information, and hopefully examples, of what is available for those who are interested.  It is in the spring time when shellfish companies have their major seed sales, so this is a good time and place to get more details.  They will likely have extra copies of the CD that will be shown as that is where we got this one.

Illahee Film. We have had a number of residents express their interest in the Illahee film, and especially those who contributed to paying for the helicopter to fly over with the cineflex camera.  Only a few people reviewed the draft film and the consensus was the helicopter coverage really helps viewers get a better idea of the watershed, the extent of the Illahee Preserve, and where some of the storm water surges come from.

Jim Aho

Illahee Update 2/10/12 King 5 Video, Email Re Brush Pickers, Illahee Film Location, High Tides

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!

Email Re Brush Pickers. We received an email regarding brush pickers to help us better understand the process they go through to sell their goods.  If you see any pickers or campers please let us know.

As an ex employee of Alpine Farms I am familiar with pickers. Most are above board and are contracted by farmers or floral companies through Hispanic crew bosses to harvest in designated areas. However pickers sometimes raid into other properties either because they are not familiar with properties lines or because the crew boss is not so scrupulous Thus the need for farmers to hire private rangers to protect their crops.

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.

Illahee Film Location? Lots of planning being done for the premier showing of the Illahee film project.  The filmmaker has requested a nearly totally dark room for showing the high quality blue-ray film of Illahee, and is asking if the Norm Dicks Government Center chambers< where it is currently scheduled, will work.
Location Has Changed. We had to change the location of the film event from the Norm Dicks Center to the ARC facility in Bremerton at 3243 Perry Ave because of concerns about being able to have the room dark enough to show high definition blue-ray films.  We thought by showing the films in the evening that there wouldn’t be a problem, but the lobby lights are bright and some of them cannot be turned off or dimmed, and with the two story high glass walls, and no curtains, we had no choice but to move the event.  This means the location on the poster below will be changed.  We wanted to send this out so everyone can think about attending.

Photo Request. We are a little short of Illahee photos to include in these updates, so if you have any good ones to share, we would appreciate it.

High Tides. We are going through a few more days of early morning high tides in the 13 foot range.  Last month the highest tide was not what showed up on the tide chart, but what happened when the barometric pressure was exceptionally low.  One resident said the predicted 12+ tide looked more like a 14+ tide because of the low pressure.
Jim Aho


Illahee Community Update 8-9-11 Rock Cod, Owl, Illahee Film&Illahee Day

Rock Cod.  The other day we stopped at the Illahee community dock and asked like usual asked how fishing was. We were surprised that they said it was great and one person showed us three rock cod he caught.

Barred Owl.  There are a number of barred owls in the area (notice the vertical strips on the chest area which look like bars – a spotted owl looks nearly the same but has horizontal strips across its chest area) and attached are two pictures and the email we received recently.
We had a great surprise tonight. My son was taking out the trash (no that’s not the surprise) and he saw an owl in the tree in our front yard.  The owl sat for pictures which was great.  We have been hearing the call of this owl in the morning (usually around 0445).  At first we thought we were hearing voices, then we moved to Beatles music (Goo-goo-g’joob), then we finally woke up enough to realize it was an owl. All attempts to locate the bird had failed, but tonight the bird posed for us!  
Illahee Film.  The Illahee film project is progressing and the film maker would like to include a flyover of Illahee as part of the story.  If anyone knows of a pilot who might be willing to take our film maker up to film Illahee, or if you have other ideas on how we could do this please let us know.
Port of Illahee Meeting.  We have been asked to let residents know when the Port of Illahee meets and they meet the same time each month, at 5 pm on the second Wednesday.  They meet at the Port facility at 5560 Ocean View Blvd and the meeting is open to the public.
Illahee Day in Less Than Two Weeks.  On Saturday morning, August 20th, will be the fourth annual Illahee Day, if our memory is correct.
Sponsored by the Port of Illahee.  This event is sponsored by the Port of Illahee and we hear there will be several options to participate.
Option 1 – Meet Your Neighbors.  This option is for those who would just like an opportunity to meet their neighbors over a cup of coffee at the dock between 8;30 and 11:30 am.  The local Starbucks on State Highway 303 across the road from Walmart, will be donating coffee for the occasion.
Option 2 – Work Parties.  There are a number of work items being planned for the Port properties and the Illahee Preserve.  The Port is looking at stripping the parking lot (weather permitting), pressure washing the dock, and cleaning up around the Port office building at 5560 Ocean View Blvd and the newly acquired Deitch property. At the Illahee Preserve they will be working around the rain garden, and possibly on trails.  For work party participants the Port will provide a lunch between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.
Afternoon Garden Tour.  So far we have Carol Henning and Jim Aho, both Master Gardeners, who have agreed to show anyone interested, their gardens.  They will be at their gardens between 1 – 3 pm.  They live next door to each other and their addresses are 5934 and 5940 Illahee Road.
Jim Aho

Monday Meeting to Hear Brush Picking Proposal.  We received notice last week that brush picking was being proposed for the Illahee Preserve (as a funding source for the Parks Dept) and late last week we heard that Scott Raymond of Raymond Evergreen was going to be available to discuss the subject with the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee and other interested parties.  

Sensitive Subject.  We remember from responses this past year that this is a very sensitive subject to Illahee residents.  When we put out an update about brush picking in the Preserve we received over 30 responses almost immediately.  That was the biggest response in recent years.  If you are interested and/or concerned you are welcome to attend.
Meeting Time & Place.  The meeting is Monday (7/18/11) at 6:00 pm at the Parks Department Office area in the Training Room, which are both under the Eagles Nest at the Fairgrounds.
Stewardship Meeting on Tuesday.  Also, residents are welcome to attend the regular monthly Stewardship meeting on Tuesday (7/19/11) at 6:30 pm in the Port meeting room at 6650 Ocean View Blvd, where the brush picking proposal is on the agenda, along with other Preserve issues.  We received the following email and link from a concerned resident who heard about the proposal which should make for an interesting meeting on Tuesday:
Article by a local Tahuya Forest property owner’s observations about brush picking and its effects on his propety in the woods:
Port Meeting Last Wednesday.  We have been asked about what happened at the Port of Illahee meeting this past Wednesday, since we noted it in our last update.  Illahee Day will be August 20th and it will be a clean-up day.  Also, the Port is working on a number of items that we have been asked not to put in an update until they materialize.  There is one report that we can share which is the grant status report.
Grant Status Report.  One of the items we found most interesting at the Port meeting was the status report on the Port’s grant from the Department of Ecology.  Some very interesting things have been happening and others will be happening.  We have attached the report below.  We were impressed that the volunteer hours and in-kind contributions amounted to nearly $45,000, thereby decreasing the impact on the Port’s finances (which are our tax dollars).  As the report says – THANK YOU TO THE PORT AND ALL THE VOLUNTEERS!
Photo of Illahee Film Project.  We want to include at least one photo in each update and found this one of Shelly Solomon filming Bob Johnston at the Illahee dock early this summer.  Bob is not only an Illahee resident but is also an oceanographer on the Puget Sound Partnership’s Science Panel.
Jim Aho
 Port of Illahee Grant Report 7-13-11 1.  Grant Funding Ends.  The funding for the grant ended June 30, 2011.  While not all the products have been delivered, they are in process.  It was decided during the final phase of the grant, to concentrate on products that will not be put on a shelf, as would likely happen with written reports, and look to more visible communication avenues such as websites, films, and interpretive signs to get out the grant information. 2.   Water Quality Report.  We are finishing the water quality report, which documents the fecal coliform monitoring results that were obtained during 40 months of testing at 14 different locations.  3.  Websites.  The Port of Illahee website,, now has all the Centennial Clean Water Act Grant Quarterly Progress reports and the link to the Kitsap County website,, for the Parametrix Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan.  The Illahee Community website,, has been transferred to another hosting site and is in the process of having historical data transferred and will include the embedding of current updates in the home page.  All three websites (Port, County, & Community) are considered essential to distributing grant information and findings, as the watershed plan is just the starting point for current and future actions necessary to protect and restore the waters of Illahee Creek and Puget Sound. 4.  Interpretive Signs.  Twelve interpretive signs have been ordered from Alderwood Signs in Lynnwood, WA, and 12 base units have been ordered from JPL Habitability in Manette, WA.  Drafts of the signs were completed in the software Photoshop in order to make it easier for our volunteer graphics artist, Vic Keranen, to work with.  The text on the signs went out for multiple reviews and revisions with the various organizations involved.  The installation of the signs and base units will be accomplished by volunteers. 5.   Public Information and Education.  Shelly Solomon, the filmmaker hired to present the findings of the Parametrix report, has interviewed many experts and residents and is finishing up the film project one section at a time.  Shelly is known for her high quality films and her ability to tell a compelling story.  There is a short and long version of the film which includes some of the history of Illahee.  Volunteers have been crucial and supportive.  Also helping with the funding of portions of the film, in addition to the Port of Illahee and the Department of Ecology, are Kitsap County, the Illahee Community, and the Illahee Forest Preserve. 6.   Habitat Work Schedule (HWS).  Volunteer Joy Davison completed the entry of our prepared documents for the West Sound Watershed Council (WSWC) into the DFW Habitat Work Schedule (HWS) used by the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP) & Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) databases, to document current and future Illahee restoration projects.  We have been requested to have photos of each of these projects, which is another outstanding task that needs to complete. 7.  Volunteers.  Nearly every task of the grant has used volunteers to the maximum, which has helped leveraged grant money to the maximum benefit of the Port of Illahee and the Illahee community. The documented in-kind support was $44,295! Thank you to the Port and  all the volunteers who have made this grant successful!