Illahee 8/30/17 Work Party Report, Trails, Noxious Weeds, English Holly, Car in Ditch, Illahee Creek Restoration Project, Port Comprehensive Plan

Work Party Report.  Last Friday (8/25) Washington Youth Academy (WYA) cadets, 54 of them, descended on the Illahee Preserve to assist Rotary and Stewardship volunteers, 9 of them, with a variety of tasks.  

Trails.  Trail work, consisting mainly of keeping 30 wheelbarrows loaded with chips moving a half mile to the Hall of Cedar’s trail.  
Noxious Weeds.  Noxious weeds in the Preserve are unwelcome and every attempt is made to remove them. Scotch broom was removed from the Compass Circle meadow area, along with Himalayan blackberries.  Thistle is a particularly nasty weed and while a small patch was removed at the end of Thompson Lane, the powerline has a large infestration that will need to be controlled in 2018.  Tansy Ragwort is more of a pasture type of plant that was found on recently aquired property at the end of Thompson Lane.  If cattle or horses ingest it it causes irreversible liver damage.  Tansy was bagged and will be brought to a landfill.  Knotweed is another nasty weed under the powerline that needs to be controlled and will require more attention. 
English Holly.  English holly, is not a noxious weed but rather a weed or bush of concern, that grows amongst the forest canopy and is particularly troublesome in that cutting those too large to pull up results in new shoots coming from all around the stump, sometimes in a radius as far a 20 feet away, creating a bigger problem than a single plant.  The goal is to find them when they are small and can be pulled up and hung by their roots so they will die, as can be seen in this photo.
Another use of English holly is for blockage of rogue trails and paths to illegal homeless camps, which is what is being done with these that were pulled along Almira to a recently removed camp site.  
How Many Hours Worked?  Over 400 hours between the cadets and the Rotary and Stewardship supervisors.  No wonder the Preserve has the reputation for the best maintained trails, along with the fewest noxious weeds.
Car in Ditch.  We couldn’t see what the problem was until we got closer.  Don’t get too far off the shoulder on McWilliams road as the ditch is a drop off in certain areas.
Illahee Creek Restoration Project.  The following is from a paper entitled “Illahee Creek Watershed Preservation & Restoration Project” summarizing the results of a 2008 Port of Illahee/Department of Ecology Centennial Clean Water grant.  These are some noble and necessary goals and need to be noted, and earlier Port Commissioners need to recognized for their proactive concerns many years ago when they applied for the grant.
The purposes (goals) of the Illahee Creek Watershed Preservation & Restoration Project are:  
(1) to acquire adjacent Illahee Preserve properties and Illahee Creek riparian corridor properties, including those that constitute prime salmonid spawning and rearing habitat; 
(2) to restore forested areas for recreation and wildlife; 
(3) to restore salmonid use to near historic levels; 
(4) to restore the natural ecological processes of the forest, riparian corridor, and the watershed; 
(5) to control the storm water surges and excessive sedimentation that plagues Illahee Creek and Puget Sound (through retention/detention and bio-retention facilities); 
(6) to advocate for raising the height of the Illahee Creek culvert to compensate for the raised flood plain in the lower reaches of the stream and to prevent the possible washout of the culvert and Illahee Road;  
(7) to eliminate fecal coliform sources that pollute Illahee Creek; 
(8) to ensure sufficient aquifer recharge of the base flows in Illahee Creek necessary for salmonid use and survival; 
(9) to inform and educate the local community and the public at large regarding the above issues and involve them in the restoration processes, and 
(10) to facilitate public use and enjoyment of the natural features and ecological processes of the Illahee Preserve and Illahee Creek Watershed. 
While Illahee Creek is only a small salmonid producer in the West Sound Watershed area, with only small runs of chum and Coho in a good year and intermittent use by steelhead and cutthroat, it is a major polluter of Puget Sound with excessive amounts of sedimentation being deposited into the Sound during storm events.  And although much of its stream corridor and watershed consists of prime habitat (65% undeveloped with most of that protected), a relatively small area of development on the outer perimeter of the watershed, constructed before storm water mitigation regulations went into effect, has resulted in over 40 years of excessive sediment pollution of Illahee Creek and Puget Sound.  Additionally, Illahee Creek is impacted by diminishing low base flows during times of low precipitation, along with the presence of fecal coliform pollution in the stream. 
Significant progress has been made over the last few years to begin to document the issues and accomplish both property acquisitions and some restoration, primarily through earlier grants from the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Coastal Protection Fund (CPF), and Department of Ecology (DOE)/Port of Illahee; along with the recent generosity of the owner of the Rolling Hills Golf Course (104 acres) and the Timbers Edge owner and developer (25.5 acres). The property acquisition and easement phase is now ~85% complete (with the remaining 15% consisting of ~30 acres of conservation easements and ~50 acres of acquisitions).
The Port of Illahee, the Illahee Forest Preserve Non-Profit Corporation, the East Bremerton Rotary, the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, and Kitsap County have committed resources and are working collaboratively to accomplish the purposes and goals of the restoration project, with financial support, volunteer labor, inter-local agreements, etc.  Integral to the success of the remaining acquisitions and conservation easements will be the continuing quest for gifts and grant support to secure the properties. 
Port Comprehensive Plan.  The Port of Illahee has done a great job of leveraging their limited annual tax funding ($79,646) with grants, and will be presenting their next 6 year Comprehensive Plan on Sept 11th at 5 pm at the Sylvan Way library at a public meeting for residents to provide comments and input.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/15/13 Ship Photo, Noisy Seal, Illahee Day on Saturday, Illahee Petition, State Park Program on Saturday, Noxious Weeds

Ship Photo.  Only one photo submitted since the last update and it almost wasn’t noticed except the ferry had to navigate off its normal course, which made them look around to figure out why.  We don’t know the name or number of this ship.

Noisy Seal.  Last year we reported on an especially noisy seal and by the late night noises, it appears it has returned.  It rests on the same float as the seals in the photo below.  It is reported that residents bothered by the night noises can get the seals to leave by shining a high intensity light on the raft.
Illahee Day on Saturday.  We have been asked to send out another reminder that Illahee Day this year is on Saturday (8/17/13) from 4-6 pm at the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road by the dock.  The Port is supplying Subway sandwiches, soft drinks, and water.  Instead of the work parties held in the past many residents just wanted to have a time to gather and talk with fellow Illahee residents.  Also, a petition will be available to sign (see next item) and copies of the Illahee DVD will be available for purchase.
Illahee Petition.  The following petition will be available for signature.  There have been lots of auto accidents at the curve at the bottom of Illahee hill primarily due to excessive speed, not to mention those having near misses turning onto and off of Illahee road in the vicinity of the curve.  The Port was considering purchasing another traffic radar sign similar to the one north of the dock area, when it was mentioned that this should be a road department safety issue because of the high accident rate.  The petition would be to have the county purchase this sign or whatever traffic speed calming equipment that would help.



The community of Illahee is concerned about the accident 
rate and excessive speed in this targeted area of Illahee 
Road and we request that this safety issue be addressed 
and resolved by the traffic division of Kitsap County Public 
Works Department

State Park Program on Saturday.  We also noticed on the Illahee Community bulletin board another special opportunity on Saturday from 10 am to noon, to hear a “Trees and Treetures” presentation by Illahee resident Jim Trainer.  The details are on the flyer below.
Noxious Weeds.  The other day we noticed a warning posted on a sign that the county was spraying for an especially noxious weed called Tany Ragwort.  We went out to take a picture of one today, but couldn’t find one, thanks to their hard working eradication crew.  We did however notice two new yellow archange infestations along Thompson Lane, along with some illegal dumping.  While yellow archangle is pretty and is often in planters, it is especially invasive in a forest and needs to be eliminated.  

Jim Aho 

Illahee 8/15/12 Dumpster Photo, Noxious Weeds, Forest Stewardship Policy Response, Remand Analysis, Illahee Film at the Admiral

Dumpster Photo.  We were able to take a photo of the dumpster (that was filled to overflowing last Saturday as part of Illahee Day) before they hauled it away on Monday.  Thanks again to all the volunteers who keep Illahee and the Illahee Preserve looking so nice, and to the Port for bringing in the dumpster!

Noxious Weeds.  Last Wednesday at the Port meeting mention was made that they had received a briefing on noxious weeds at a quarterly Kitsap All Ports Meeting.  It has been reported that there are some serious infestations of knotweed, a particularly bad weed, north of the community dock.  In addition to the shoreline having noxious weed problems, the Illahee Preserve also has its share of noxious weeds.  After that Port meeting we also attended a noxious weed briefing and are now much more aware of these problem weeds when we walk around Illahee.  We will try to comment periodically on some of the noxious weeds in Illahee.  We noticed bags of noxious weeds a few weeks ago along McWilliams as can be seen in the photo above.  The picture below is of a Yellow Archangel ground cover infestation in the Preserve just off of Rest Place.  We will explain more about the red markings on the trees in another update.
Forest Stewardship Policy (FSP) Response.  In an earlier update we reported on the Forest Stewardship Policy plans the county has for its parks, such as the Illahee Preserve.  We understand the public comment period for the plan is now closed and that the Illahee Preserve issued the following statement regarding the policy:
The Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee and the Illahee Forest Preserve 501.c.3 jointly voted unanimously in favor of the following statement regarding the draft Kitsap County Parks Integrated Forest Stewardship plan:

Request the Forest Stewardship Policy (FSP) document be amended to define the role of the Stewardship Committees, where they exist for county parks. The Illahee Preserve believes strongly that local Stewardship Committees should have final say regarding FSP recommendations for their specific park/forest.  If the FSP does not provide for local autonomy, the Preserve respectfully requests the Illahee Preserve be excluded from the FSP program, but recognizes the importance of the FSP for other parks/forests, and would welcome advice through the programs and science of the Forest Stewardship Policy program.
It will be interesting to see what the Parks Department and eventually the Commissioners will do with this input.
Remand Analysis.  The final public comments regarding the remand of the 2006 Compreshensive Plan ends on August 27th according to an article in the Kitsap Sun.  The link to the article is: .  We thought it would be good to see the percentages of the different zoning areas being proposed for Illahee and came up with the graph below.  The rural section is next to Gilberton.  The mixed use is the Park and Ride at McWilliams.  What is most interesting is that one third of Illahee is parks (Illahee State Park, Rolling Hills Golf Course, and the Illahee Preserve).
Illahee Film at the Admiral.  We just heard the Illahee Film will be shown with a film on the removal of the Elwha dam, at the Admiral Theater in October 2012.  More details to follow.

Jim Aho