Illahee 7/10/15 Kitsap Sun Article, MN Response, Escrow Process Started, Senate Bond Bill Passes, Pledge Letter, Phase 2 Plans, New Pledge Form?, Dock Bracing, Outfall Settlement?

Kitsap Sun Article.  What a great article appeared in Tuesday’s Kitsap Sun!

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MN Response.  We wanted to share this response from Minnesota.
 
There are plenty of national and regional land conservation orgs out there but this one was grassroots all the way. I love these stories about preserving a little “urban wilderness”: political grease, a landowner with a generous heart, committed community and even a donor who “recently inherited a booming oil field” in ND. Job well done. Congratulations!
Jaime A. Pinkham (Nez Perce)
Vice President, Native Nations
 
 
Escrow Process Started.  The escrow process has begun at Pacific Northwest Title Company and is scheduled to close on the 25.5 acre parcels on August 5th.
 
Senate Bond Bill Passes.  We were concerned earlier this week whether there might be a problem getting the $300K state money by the closing date as the Bond Bill had not been passed by the Senate, but it did pass on Thursday (7/9/15).  
 
Pledge Letter.  A letter will be sent to those who pledged (comprising about 70 percent).  A number of those who have pledged are already sending their pledged amounts to both the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) and the Kitsap Community Foundation (KCF).  Either one works, but since the IFP normally isn’t involved with acquisitions they are collaborating with KCF on the purchase.  The address for KCF is PO Box 3670, Silverdale, WA 98383.
 
Phase 2 Plans.  There were several standing in the wings waiting to see if the Phase 1 purchase was going to need some help.  We are hoping they and others will be available to help with Phase 2.  A series of meeting is being planned to make sure Phase 2 completes, and hopefully with more than a week to spare.
 
New Pledge Form?  The IFP board is looking over the pledge form to see if it should be updated for Phase 2.  
 
Dock Bracing.  While we have been preoccupied with the Timbers Edge/Lost Continent purchase the Port of Illahee contracted out to have crossbracing installed on some critical pilings.  Thanks to Commissioner Cassie Magill, who is the dock manager, for finding contractor Tim Knapp and his crew.  The dock stability has been a major concern in the event of an earthquake.
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Outfall Settlement?  The Prosecutor’s Office was contacted about the Outfall Settlement agreement since there was no response from the Department of Community Development (DCD) following the Illahee Community Meeting on May 18, 2015.  At the community meeting it was decided a meeting should be set up with DCD to determine why the terms of the settlement agreement were not followed. The minutes of the meeting stated “Rather than start costly legal action it was suggested that all parties get together and see if they could resolve the issue.”  So far the Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t been successful in setting up a meeting either.
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Stennis Departing.  A photo of the John C. Stennis (CVN74) as viewed from Illahee as it passes by Point White.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 7/3/15 Fire Danger Signs, Kitsap Sun Article, The Rest of the Story, Monday Deadline, Fund Raising Update, KCF, Tours Available, Speaking of Bucks

Fire Danger Signs.  We picked up additional fire danger signs and posted them in new areas around the Preserve.  Many don’t realize there was a small fire near the entrance to the powerline off of Riddell.  There was another fire just outside of the Preserve boundary on Rest Place. Both fires were put out by the fire department before they could grow.  In our last update we showed a photo where someone had a small camp fire in the Preserve, which is one of the reasons why we put up this new sign on Sunset.

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Kitsap Sun Article.  Below is an article that appeared in the Kitsap Sun this morning.  We have a number of people who live outside of the area who receive the updates and don’t necessarily subscribe to the Sun, which is why we are attaching it.  The article prompted lots of calls and some new donors. Thanks Kitsap Sun!
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The Rest of the Story.  The above article provides the ‘rest of the story’ about how and where the unexpected funds came from to purchase the properties.  Many thanks the the Krigsmans who contacted our elected officials, and to Representative Sherry Appleton for making it happen!
 
The Monday Deadline.  Lots of questions about whether we will make the July 6th deadline.  We are saying we will, provided the pledges keep coming in.  We have scheduled a Monday meeting with the developer to start the escrow process.  
 
Fund Raising Update.  Today pledges for $7,500 were received according to our Treasuer, along with a $1,000 check.  That puts us at over $750,000 (98%) with just under $17,000 to go to get to $767,000.  
 
KCF.  Donations given on-line with credit cards through the Kitsap Community Foundation (KCF) won’t show up until Monday, though some have been calling us to let us know they have given there.
 
Just Call In Your Pledges.  At this stage if you want to pledge you can just call in your pledge to (360) 479.1049.  That way we will know if the funding goal has been reached and then we have a few weeks afterwards to gather the funds.
 
Tours Available.  We will be giving tours to those attending the Fir Drive and Nobles Lane Fourth of July picnic tomorrow.  We recently cleaned the Stinging Nettle from the path so let us know if you are interested.
 
Speaking of Bucks,  Speaking of bucks (the bucks or funds needed to purchase the first TE property) this photo came in today.
buck

Illahee 6/17/15 Birkenfeld Grant Rejected, Major Donations Urgently Needed, Can It Be Done?, Current Status, Great Give Funds Received, Who Contributes?, $340,000 Must Still Be Raised, Three Weeks Till Escrow, Kitsap Sun Article, Help Needed!

Birkenfeld Grant Rejected.  We thought we were a good fit for a Birkenfeld Trust grant, which was the only quick turn-around grant that fit our tight schedule.  We learned today that the grant committee did not select us, which is a major disappointment. 

 
Major Donations Urgently Needed.  We are now $340,000 short of what is needed to purchase the Phase 1 properties (25.5 acre) and will need some major donations to come in.
 
Can It Be Done?  We have been asked if it is at all possible for the purchase to happen?  We are working several angles and think it is still possible, but it will take some outside help from those with significant resources.
 
Current Status.  Over $77,000 (10%) has been received so far in pledges and donations!  While there were several $10,000 pledges, most of the others range from $5,000 to $200  and we have classified this as a grass roots effort so far by mostly local citizens to support saving the forest, stream, and watershed.  Some of those who are older have mentioned this as their “legacy” donation for future generations. 
 
Great Give Funds Received.  On Saturday a check came in from the Kitsap Community Foundation’s Great Give Campaign for just under $7,000 (from 31 contributors).  We had received $6515 in donations on May 5th, and KCF added $748.60 (11%) from their matching pool, but then they subtracted credit card and other fees, which brought the total to $6,939.08.  Not bad for a one day event!
 
Who Contributes?  The other day a student who wrote a report on Illahee Creek donated $20 cash, and an elderly person living on Social Security pledged $1,000 and said their roof repair could wait.  A $10,000 contribution/pledge combination came in from a cashed-out annuity.  While the big contributions are absolutely necessary for a successful purchase, it is heartwarming to see so much coming from those who aren’t wealthy and yet are willing to make substantial contributions.
 
Successful Phase 1 To Help Phase 2?  We would like to think that being successful with Phase 1 will help inspire larger donations for Phase 2.  However, with the failure to secure a Birkenfeld grant, we are now looking to major donors to help with Phase 1.
 
$340,000 Must Still Be Raised.  This past week a total of $2,000 came in in pledges, which helps, but still leaves us $340,000 still to be raised is a short time frame.
 
Three Weeks Till Escrow Start.  In order to close by the August 5, 2015 deadline, escrow must start 30 days in advance, which is July 6th, which means we have only 3 weeks to raise the remaining funds.
 
Kitsap Sun Article.  What a great article in the Kitpsap Sun on Friday by Rob Woutat!  Rob used to live in Illahee and so he knows the people and the issues.  His article helped explain where the term “The Lost Continent” came from and the name on the many signs throughout the area advertising TheLostContinent.org.  We have had several calls from the Sun article and a $500 pledge.  
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Help Urgently Needed!  We do need help from many to raise the last 45% or $340,000 of the funds for this first purchase.  We need to complete Phase 1 (25 acres) before we can even think about Phase 2 (the remaining 10.7 acres).   Below is the document we plan to distribute far and wide to garner support and the remaining funds.
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Jim Aho  (I need to let readers know that I am not an impartial reporter of information regarding the TE purchase campaign.  I, along with others, have a considerable amount of time and money invested to see if we can make these purchases happen.)

Illahee 1/23/15 Eagle Photos, Saturday’s Windstorm, Kitsap Sun Article, Preserve Downed Trees, Outfall Photos, Daffodils

Eagle Photos.   Photos of some local guardians.

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Saturday’s Windstorm.   Last Sunday morning we ventured north to photograph downed trees and didn’t get up to Ocean View until this area was cleaned up. 
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Kitsap Sun Article.   The Illahee Preserve and the Timbers Edge purchase opportunity were the subject of a front page article in Sunday’s (1/18/15) Kitsap Sun.  The link to the article is:  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/bremerton/controversial-development-could-become-part-of-illahee-preserve_23742792   We have been impressed over the years how good the Sun reporters are at succinctly and accurately reporting on Illahee issues.
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Preserve Downed Trees.   Thanks to those who advised us of all the trees downed across trails in the Illahee Preserve.  Below are a few of the photos.  The Rotary and Illahee Community trail crew is scheduled to clean them up on Sunday.
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Outfall Photos.   We had to wait until the tide was out to take these photos of the outfall that was installed the previous week.  
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The straw covered dirt is a quagmire of mud incapable of walking on unless you have hip boots, and you would likely loose them.  
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We are fortunate that most of our underground utilities are underground, but again Illahee gets the short end of county planner actions, and they wonder why some of us get upset.  We wish they had to live with their decisions.  Again, sorry for being so cynical, but we know things can be done so much better.  
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Daffodils.   We are thinking a couple of warm days and we will see our first daffodils.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 1/27/14 Hazel Nut Tree Blossoms, Indian Plum, Ducks, Bushtits, Saturday Work Party, Kitsap Sun Article

Hazel Nut Tree Blossoms.  Spring must be just around the corner when the hazel nut trees start blooming.  The catkins are prominent now, and on hazel and oak trees, they are male.  According to Wikipedia “The word catkin is a loanword from the Dutch katteken, meaning “kitten”, on account of the resemblance to a kitten’s tail.”

 hazelnut
The hazel nut female flowers are single flowers as shown in the photo (thanks to Rob) below.

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Indian Plum.  These photos of nearly emerging Indian plum leaves were taken a few days ago.  The leaves are probably out by now. Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) leaves and flowers are some of the first to come out in the spring.
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Ducks.  Two duck species were caught together in the fog.  The bigger ones are common goldeneyes, and the smaller ones, buffleheads.
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Bushtits.  We were told at one time there were twenty bushtits on this suet feeder.
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Saturday Work Party.  There is a work party being planned for the coming Saturday (2/1/14) to move woodchips, and volunteers are needed.  The work party will begin at 8 am and if enough people show up it could complete by 10 am.  Wheel barrows and tools will be provided.  If you can help, they would like to get an approximate number.  We will pass on any email responses we receive.  The trail in the photo below is new and in need of chips after a tree fell on it. A Rotary maintenance crew is shown cleaning away branches.
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Kitsap Sun Article.  This past summer there were investigators contacting past jurors on the Gentry trial that took place many years ago.  The murder of Cassie Holden was a sad day for Illahee residents, and it took years for justice to take place, primarily because of DNA evidence, one of the first such cases in the state.  Appeals have been files regularly and according to the article Washington’s Supreme Court found no evidence of racial bias in the latest appeal.
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Jim Aho