Illahee 9/11/16 Photos, Preserve Camp Site, Preserve Camp Fire, Preserve Work Party, Hearing to be Continued, Port Meets on Wednesday


Preserve Camp Site.   It took several days for Park Stewards to post this camp site in the Illahee Preserve, but after they did the campers moved out, within the 24 hours required on the post.
Preserve Camp Fire.  This photo of a fire is what scares Park Stewards as they have been told by local firefighters that they are not prepared or able to fight a forest fire.  This appeared Sunday (9/11/16) morning and was cleaned up by a regular Preserve walker.
Preserve Work Party.  On Saturday (9/10/16) morning roughly 40-50 adults and children from the LDS church hauled away limbs, moved wood chips to trails, and weeded.  The Preserve is maintained by volunteers like these and we thank them for their hard work at keeping the trails so beautiful. The hope in the fall is to cover as many trails as possible with chips before the rains come.  The photos below shows just how nice the trails look after this work party.
Hearing to be Continued.  The All Secure Storage hearing was continued as was reported in the previous Update  We saw the following excerpts in an email:
What happened was the county, the applicant, and the appellant all agreed a continuance.  The appellant’s attorney asked for a deadline to prelude another long delay and the associated expenses involved, so the HE set a deadline of 180 days (to allow both parties to get new lawyers, since both are moving on), and 30 days before that she wants the exhibit and witness list. 
The same attorney suggested 2 meetings for everyone to get together, first to go over the facts, followed by a second meeting, which we presume is to try and come to an agreement.  The HE was reluctant to spell out details so it was agreed DCD would take the lead to set up meetings.
Port Meets on Wednesday.  A reminder that the public is invited and encouraged to attend the monthly Port of Illahee meetings, that meet on the second Wednesday of each month beginning at 5 pm.
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Two Complaints.  When we receive two or more complaints it is time to look into a problem.  This was the second complaint:  
“The last few days a guy down the beach has been harassing the birds in a yellow jet ski both while in the water and in flight when the birds try to fly away from him, generally about from my place down to the dock.  Do you know if this is legal? “
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/26/16 Photo, Preserve Work Party, Water Quality Testing, Grant Rating, Another Public Hearing Notice, Old Case, Kitsap Sun 2007 Coverage, Many Regulatory Agencies Involved, KC Approved Project, Hearing Costs, Next Steps, Update Coverage

Photo.  A box of entries that went to the Kitsap County Fair on Monday.

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Preserve Work Party.  On a hot Friday 53 Washington Youth Academy cadets and their supervisors descended upon the Illahee Preserve to haul and spread wood chips on trails, remove invasive plants, and provide trail maintenance help.  East Bremerton Rotary members arrange for and coordinate these major work parties, which is why the Preserve receives so many compliments for their well groomed and maintained trails.
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This Douglas squirrel was watching over the events, as were some ravens that we weren’t able to get photos of.
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Water Quality Testing.  On Tuesday (8/21/16) water quality monitoring continued at the Port of Illahee dock.  One of the containers tests for metals and the other for chemicals.  Why test in the summer?  Testing now when there is no storm water provides a baseline to compare with tests conducted when stormwater runoff is at its peak.
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Grant Rating.  No report yet on how the Illahee Preserve ranked with other state projects.  Parks personnel were all busy on Friday coordinating work parties like the Preserve one.  It will probably be on Monday before we know more.
Another Public Hearing Notice.  This Public Hearing Notice was issued by the County’s Department of Community Development for a Hearing scheduled for September 8th.
Illahee Greenbelt Community (IGC)?  The notice references an Illahee Greenbelt Community.  It was actually the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) non-profit group that was established to support the Preserve that appealed the project.  
Old Case.  The SEPA appeal case is almost 10 years old and the county decided to finally try and get the issue resolved.  It must be some kind of record for having a hearing record being open that long.  It made the front page of the Kitsap Sun several times, once in 2007 and again in 2008, and maybe again in 2016?
Kitsap Sun Coverage in 2007.  The essence of the case was well described in the following Kitsap Sun article:
Briefly the issue seems to be whether the Preserve should be allowed a buffer for the wetlands and stream that exist on both properties, or if the wetlands on the applicant’s property can be filled and mitigated elsewhere, which would leave the Preserve without a buffer for the wetlands and the stream on Preserve property.  We took a photo of slug as we walked among the skunk cabbage on Thursday to look at wetlands.
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Many Regulatory Agencies Involved.  What makes this case interesting in addition to the basic issue of buffers, is the number of regulatory agencies involved.  They include the Department of Ecology (WDOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and the Suquamish Tribe.  
KC Approved Project.  The project was approved by Kitsap County in April of 2007 and was appealed by the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) in May 2007.  A review of the file in 2016 found it essentially the same as in 2007.  As the project lingered over the years, the IFP investigated finding grant money to purchase the property and had even proposed a dog park (with environmental buffers) as they thought funds could be raised for a needed dog park in the East Bremerton area, but nothing materialized.  
Hearing Costs.  The IFP has ended up paying out considerable funds to fight the battle at the first hearing, which was followed by wetland expert reports, with lawyer fees in 2014 for meetings with DCD, and now for a fourth expenditure of funds for this next hearing.  The costs are significant, in the many thousands, and the IFP noted they could use help as they try to protect the Preserve interests.
Next Steps.  Kitsap County is supposed to issue a Staff Report prior to the hearing explaining their position, which in other counties is normally completed two weeks before a hearing (when notice is given to the public).  Our past experience with DCD is the Staff Report is issued as late as the day of the hearing.  We hope with a new DCD director with a legal background things will or have changed.
Update Coverage.  We have asked whether people are interested in our covering these issues, and the consensus has been we should as the Preserve is such a natural treasure for the community and the region.  
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/10/15 Timbers Edge Phase 1 Purchase Completes, Many to Thank, County Thanks, Community Thanks, Phase 2 Meeting, Preserve Work Party, Wood Chips, Earthquake Information

Timbers Edge Phase 1 Purchase Completes.  It took awhile for everything to come together, but the purchase of 25.5 acres finally closed on September 29, 2015.  Because state and some county funds were involved, an appraisal was needed to verify property values.  Below is what we saw on Facebook today.

Many To Thank.  So many people and groups to thank for making it happen.  The property owner, Jim Tallman, and the developers, John and Gary, who gave the community an opportunity to purchase are especially to be thanked.  They were the ones who contacted the community to see if we wanted to purchase the property and then stayed with us when we assigned the purchase details to the county (since it was to be part of the Preserve) which delayed it past the original closing date because of the then required appraisal.  Without their commitment and patience it wouldn’t have happened.
County Thanks!  Thanks to the County Commissioners, their staff, and Parks and the State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) and our Senator and Representatives!  They each played an indispensable part.
Community Thanks!  And finally a big thanks to the community members who showed their heart for their community, preservation and conservation of the Illahee Preserve, Illahee Creek and its watershed and aquifers, by contributing nearly $130,000 to reach our funding goal for the Phase 1 purchase.

Phase 2 Meeting.  What about the Phase 2?   We will begin meetings next week to discuss Phase 2 possibilities.  Some of the group working on Phase 1 are tired, and others are energized now that Phase 1 is completed.  If anyone would like to help, please let us know.
Preserve Work Party.  On Friday, October 2nd, another Washington Youth Academy work party completed a number of projects in the Illahee Preserve.  All the wood chip piles are now gone, and have been distributed to the trail system, and some of the small water puddles along the trails have been lined.  The Preserve has been getting high marks for having such a great trail system, thanks to groups like the Washington Youth Academy and the East Bremerton Rotary that coordinates the work parties.
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Wood Chips.  With the winds we had today (Saturday) we are likely to get calls from tree companies to see if we need wood chips for the Preserve.  We don’t need wood chips but if others would like a load of chips, give us you contact information and we will pass it on the the tree companies should they call us.
Earthquake Information.  We saw a display in Seattle the other day that showed the Seattle Fault Zone and noted that it goes west across Bainbridge Island and into Illahee.  The second photo is of the text under the graphics.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 9/20/15 Illahee Photos, Preserve Work Party, Police Reports, Hiding Spot, Why Illahee?, Culvert, Perry Ave Stormwater Project, Port Thank You, Lost Continent Updates

Illahee Photos.  Thanks to those who share their photos.
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Illahee Preserve Work Party.  Thanks to the LDS church group that accomplished some major tasks on Saturday, September 12th.  Not only did they clean up and give the rain garden a “hair cut”, they also hauled and spread woodchips on trails.  Adults, teenagers, and younger children make it a fun and productive morning, which was followed by a BBQ.  Thanks to all the volunteers to make the Illahee Preserve such a special place!
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Police Reports.  In our last Update we reported on police chase in Illahee, a crashed car, and a drug dealer who fled on foot, and eventually was found and apprehended with the help of a police dog. The first report if from the Kitsap Sun and the second from the CK Reporter.

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The Hiding Spot.  Below is the house where the suspect hid in a lower level storage area where the dog located him.
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Why Illahee?  Why does Illahee have so much of this kind of activity?  We think the reason is Illahee Road is the only road east of State Route 303 (Wheaton Way) for those wanting to go between Bremerton and communities to the north.
Culvert.  We monitor the Illahee Creek culvert under Illahee Road periodically to check the clearance as it has been decreasing over the years.  The current clearance is 21 inches maximum, but as you can see from the photo that is just at the center.  The culvert was not cleaned this year as the county has been completing many stormwater projects in Illahee to help decrease the stormwater surges.  Our concern is a major storm, capable of moving logs down the creek, could plug the culvert and wash out the road, which would leave us with some big traffic problems.
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Perry Avenue Stormwater Project.  We received a number of inquiries about a stormwater project on Perry Avenue that dumps water over the hillside into Illahee Creek.  This project was recommended by the Port of Illahee/Department of Ecology report issued in 2008 and was completed recently by Kitsap County Public Works.  The last photo shows two guys installing a second flange.  Those flanges were then covered with 8 cubic yards of concrete which serves as an anchor for the pipe just before it goes over the bank.  At the end is a diffuser to dissipate the energy before it enters Illahee Creek.  The area has experienced a number of slides and this should help.
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Port Thank You.  We want to say a special thank you to the Port of Illahee commissioners who years ago had the foresight to apply for a grant to help resolve the stormwater problems in the creek that also affected Puget Sound.  The Port’s authority extends beyond just the Illahee dock which not always understood.
Lost Continent Phase 1 Acquisition Update.  We heard the acquisition in progressing as they wait for an appraisal of the project to complete.  The acquisition is to complete by September 29th and 25.5 acres will be added to the Preserve.
Lost Continent Phase 2 Acquisition?  We don’t know the status of the Avery Homestead parcels which is Phase 2.  With the delay in closing for Phase 1, Phase 2 had to be put on hold.  We will let you know what we find out about Phase 2.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/11/15 Double Rainbow, Crime Reports, Port Meeting, Preserve Work Party, Wheelbarrows Needed, Illahee Day on Saturday, Port Issues, TE Prelim Plat, Phase 1 Appraised Value?

Double Rainbow.  Thanks to those who share their photos and for this one of a double rainbow taken from Illahee and looking toward Bainbridge Island.

Crime Report.  And thanks to Vic who shared the Sheriff’s report on the breaking and entering, burglary, and theft of a vehicle report.  We hope to get more details soon.
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Local Crime Report.  We do get email notification of local crimes and attached are what they look like.  The one above is from a distance and the one below is closer in.
Port Meeting on Wednesday.  The regular Port of Illahee meeting is the second Wednesday of each month, which is tomorrow, August 12th, at 5 pm at the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.  More later on one of the agenda items.
Illahee Preserve Work Party on Friday  There will be a major Illahee Preserve work party on Friday August 14th with over 50 Washington Youth Academy cadets and the Preserve’s Rotary and Community Leadership Team.  
Wheelbarrows Needed!  With lots of wood chips to be spread more wheel barrows are needed.  They can be dropped off at the Almira entrance between 7:30 and 8:30 am and picked up after 3:45 pm.  Larger wheelbarrows are preferred to small ones, but all are needed.
Illahee Day.  Saturday August 15th is Illahee day at the Illahee Dock and at the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road, between 4 and 7 pm.  Food and beverages will be provided by the Port of Illahee.  Come and meet the commissioners and your fellow Illahee residents.
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Port Explanatory Statement.  We haven’t seen the wording for the proposition that will be on the ballot in November to eliminate commissioner districts, but we understand this is what went in to explain it.

The port commissioners adopted a resolution proposing that the Port of Illahee cease using three commissioner districts.  Currently commissioner candidates must come from the commissioner district in which they reside.  If the proposition is approved candidates will only need to reside within the Port of Illahee boundary.  This is authorized by the Revised Code of Washington, Chapter 53.12.021, and requires a simple majority vote for approval.

Voter’s Pamphlet Requirements.  There is a state statute to ensure the right information is included in the voter’s pamphlet, and it it up to the port to find those both for and against a ballot measure.  See the requirements below: 
Resolution FormatVoters Guide 
Pro and Con Statements.  The Port needs help to find both those for and against dissolving district representation in favor of at-large representation for port commissioners and it is hoped attendees will help with the draft statements.  Below are two draft statements to get the process started. 
CON STATEMENT.   The Port of Illahee has been running just fine for the past nearly 93 years with Commissioners elected from the districts in which they live. With such a great record, it is ridiculous to think that we need to change now, especially since there are more and more people living within the districts.  
PRO STATEMENT.   The Port of Illahee is a small port extending three miles along the waterfront and extending approximately one mile inland.  Currently the port is divided into three geographical commissioner districts and commissioners must reside within their district boundaries.  The port has found it difficult at times to recruit within these small districts.  Discussions weighing the advantages and disadvantages of commissioner districts resulted it a Port Resolution to eliminate the district requirement in favor of at-large representation.  Residents of similar small ports, such as Manchester, Keyport, Poulsbo, and Eglon, voted to eliminate their commissioner districts in 1996 – 1998.  Approval of this proposition will eliminate individual commissioner districts, and any resident within the port boundary will be eligible to run for a commissioner position. 
Required Port Committees.  Please consider attending the Port meeting on Wednesday and help out with the required committees and helping develop the statements for the Voters Pamphlet!  Below is the form the county requires to document the committee’s makeup.
TE Preliminary Plat.   Below is the TE preliminary plat the was approved by the Hearing Examiner many years ago.  It is being used now to determine the appraised value of the property that is being purchased as part of Phase 1 of the Lost Continent purchase.  The second drawing shows the number of lots that could have been built, 8 + 18 + 9 = 35.  (Note that with the Phase 1 purchase of the 25.5 acres, there will be no sewers and the 84 small lots shown on the plat will be replaced with 43 larger lots, and Phase 2 plans are to work with a land trust to purchase them.) 
TEPrelimPlatLots to be Appraised 
Appraised Value?  The appraiser needs to determine the net value of those lots in today’s market that could run between $20K – $25K per lot.  We heard the RCO does not consider the open space tracts that we had valued at $10K – $15K per acre.  In either case we feel the price the property is being purchased for will be more than substantiated.
Jim Aho

Illahee 2/15/15 Early Spring, Preserve Work Party, Fruit Tree Question, Meeting Report

Early Spring.   So many photo opportunities with our early spring.  Here are two with the last being of rhubarb starting to emerge.

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Preserve Work Party.   What do you do when you have too many wood chips?  
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Answer:  You ask for help from the Washington Youth Academy (WYA).  
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This event happened faster than we could react to it.  The week prior the work party was cancelled because of the heavy rains, and then it was quickly rescheduled for Friday (2/13). Thanks to the East Bremerton Rotary Club for their coordination of these events, which incidentally includes arranging for a port-a-potty (required for all day events), which is provided by Jim Fox of Cool Car Classics (which meets on the first Tuesday the months of April to September at Shari’s on SR 303).
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Trail maintenance was one of the WYA projects as increased usage of the Preserve has worn down some of newer perimeter trails, exposing roots which then become tripping hazards. This required building up the trail around exposed roots, which are then covered with wood chips.  
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Another project was to help try and control Scotch Broom, a highly invasive plant that flourishes in the NW, especially around clearing areas.  This pile was pulled in the Compass Circle meadow area.
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Fruit Tree Question.   We were asked about recommended trees and thought it best to query others.  Any suggestions for this young couple?
We are in the process of deciding which fruit trees to grow in our garden.  Do you have any recommendations for fruit varieties that do well in the Illahee micro-climate?  We are considering apple, pear (for sure Asian, maybe European), peach, and cherry.  Also, do you know much about the types of rootstock that are well suited to our soil and weather?
Meeting Report.   There were a number of people who couldn’t make the Illahee meeting this past Monday and they have requested a report.  They used the attached PowerPoint slides.  We will try to get a copy of the meeting minutes for more details.
Slide 1
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Jim Aho

Illahee 10/14/14 Preserve Work Party, Preserve Dumping, Coyotes on Beach, Beaver Request, Beavers – Yes or No?

Preserve Work Party.  Last Friday (10/10/14) there was a major work party at the Illahee Preserve with the Washington Youth Academy (48 cadets and 4 support staff) and a small group from the aircraft carrier John C Stennis (CVN 74) that took care of all the wood chips at the Almira and Thompson Lane parking lots.  

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Additionally, logs from the habitated trees were moved to replace deteriorating logs lining the Native Plant Demonstration Rain Gardens at the center of the Almira parking lot.
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The wood chips at Thompson Lane were blocking parking stalls and needed to be removed before the fall rains began, which started after the work party.
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Thanks to these amazing volunteers and those who supervised who help make the Illahee Preserve such a special place!  

Preserve Dumping.  And after all the work to clean up the Almira entrance, during the weekend we had another dumping incident.  If you ever see this happen, please get the license number and call 911 and email us so we can do a follow-up story.
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Coyotes on Beach.  We got another report of coyotes on Illahee beaches and are hoping for a photo someday.
Beaver Request.  We also heard there was a request that beavers be introduced along the upper reaches of Illahee Creek, since there are reports of beavers needing to be relocated.  We heard there was a report that noted beaver in Illahee Creek were desirable to help control stormwater surges as their dams are porous enough for fish to get through.  
Beavers – Yes or No?   We said we would help champion the effort and will be contacting the county and local Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel to see what needs to be done, so let us know your thougths as this should be an issue where there is definite support within the local community.
Jim Aho

Illahee 12/5/13 Humming Birds, Preserve Work Party, Illahee Good Samaritan, Port Meeting, Port Districts, A Compromise?, Disaster Preparedness Comments

Humming Birds.   With about 6-8 humming birds flying around, these two seemed to be patiently waiting for the sweetened liquid to thaw out this morning.

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Preserve Work Party.   An Illahee Preserve work party is scheduled for early Sunday (12/8/13) morning as they want to get some wood chips down on a new trail section before the rains begin.  Volunteers who can push a wheelbarrow are needed, and new wheelbarrows have been purchased and will be available on Sunday.  See the notice below regarding the details:

We will have a small work party starting 8AM this Sunday morning, December 8th at Illahee Preserve.  Focus is moving some wood chips with wheelbarrows a short distance over relatively level ground for dumping onto a new trail section.  Target time for completion is 10:30AM.  Any hearty souls wishing to participate should arrive at the Almira parking lot of Illahee Preserve (near Fuson & Almira) by 8AM this Sunday.  Your own work gloves are the only tools needed. 

Illahee Good Samaritan.   There was a thankful letter in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun regarding the call from an Illahee resident that resulted in the rescue of the two teenagers a couple of weeks ago.  A photo of the letter is shown below:
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Port Meeting.   The Port of Illahee’s regular second Wednesday of the month meeting is this coming Wednesday (12/11/13) at 5 pm at the Port’s meeting room, lower level of 5500 Illahee Road.  Below is the map of the port boundaries on their website.
Port Districts.   A number of Illahee residents during the recent election agreed that having three separate districts didn’t make a lot of sense.  We decided to repost a report on the subject that went out in an update on April 20, 2013 that noted that other small Ports had eliminated internal districts.  Based on the turnout of this past election 10% of those voting would probably be about 130 to get it on a ballot.  However, the port commissioners could also approve it with a simple majority vote.  
4-20-13 Report
The current district boundaries are roughly as shown on the map below, with the Illahee Road addresses shown below coming from the county’s website.  
A Compromise?   Another alternative has been suggested for two districts, a north and south district, with the dock and Ocean View being the dividing line, and the other position being at-large from anywhere within the Port boundaries. Again, this is something the commissioners could approve or it could be put on the ballot with a petition signed by 10% of those voting in the last election. What this might look like is shown on the map below.
Disaster Preparedness Comments.   We did get a report regarding the Big Buddy heater (shown below) that was recommended at the community disaster preparedness meeting in November.
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Just wanted to let you know the Big Buddy heaters you showed in your newsletter are available at lots of local stores, including Fred Meyer and Walmart.  The best price for the heater is at Walmart (better than Amazon) and the best prices we’ve seen for the propane cannisters is Fred Meyers (3 for $9).  The heater is small and easy to carry around, and it does put out lots of heat.  We will let you know more about its use if we end up needing to use it for a long period.
Jim Aho

Illahee 11/24/13 Preparedness Recommendation, The Rest of the Story, Preserve Work Party, United Storage Support, Cool Car Cruise Support, Navy Ship?

Preparedness Recommendation.  One of the recommendations at the Disaster Preparedness presentation on Monday (11/18/13) was an indoor heater called a “Big Buddy”.  We noticed they had them at the Sportsman’s Warehouse so we took a couple of pictures of the front and back of the box in case anyone was interested.

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The Rest of the Story.  In our last update we referenced the Kitsap Sun article regarding the two teenagers rescued on Tuesday (11/19/13).  It turns out there was more to the story and an Illahee resident who needs to be thanked for possibly saving the teenagers life – let us know if you know who that person is.  We received a couple of emails and talked with some people who saw the teenagers in Illahee earlier that day looking at one of their boats near the shoreline.  We have edited some of the info in the emails.
That errant float came into the area from the south about 4 months ago in a late summer wind storm.  The Dinghy that those kids were found in (you pictured it) was with that float.  I grabbed the dinghy and pulled it back in and have had it on my beach for the last few months.  The kids probably stole the dinghy and were using a 2 x 6 from my beach also to “row” it.  It leaks pretty bad.  The BI police have returned the dinghy to me.  If anyone knows who the rightful owner is then I would be glad to give it to them as it is not very seaworthy. 
….  The kids are age 13 and 14 – runaways from Rocky Point and it appears they took a bus then walked the beach for awhile before they got in the boat.  (The report from those seeing them in Illahee on the beach was they were wearing fashionable school clothes and appeared to be looking at boats along the shoreline.) They were hypothermic enough that it is pretty certain that they would have died by morning if not found or had got into shore.  They were only about 150 feet off shore when found but were trying to paddle the wrong way and against the tide.  They were almost a mile from the boat rectangle search area that Fire was running command on.  The chopper saw them on an expanded search area and using their new FLIR gyro-stabilzed thermal imaging camera. 
I don’t know who from Illahee called it in to 911 with a good and sure report of young voice yelling for help that is the real hero.  If that report had not happened or had been deemed less credible there likely would be a very sad story for the two families of those kids.
Errant Float. The errant float evidently has appeared in Illahee twice.  The first time on Sunday the 18th of August, and the second time on Saturday the 24th of August.  We made contact the Port of Illahee and Illahee State Park, along with Army Corps of Engineers debris recovery vessel for the Seattle District, the M/V Puget. The current schedule, to be verified on Monday, is for them to possibly pull the float from the beach at high tide on Tuesday (11/27/13).
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Preserve Work Party.  Another very successful Illahee Preserve work party occured on a cold Saturday (11/24/13) with the Washington Youth Academy (WYA) bringing a bus with 44 cadets.  Wood chip piles around the Almira parking lot were cleared and placed on trails, trial improvements made, and some redundent trails were closed.  Additionally invasive plants were removed from Compass Circle, a sign reinstalled, and logs moved. Thanks to the WYA, the Rotary Club of East Bremerton, and the support decribed in the next two items.
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United Storage Support.  Thanks to United Storage and Moving for providing a Go-Mini storage unit to stow wheel borrows and tools.  The storage unit will be kept at United Storage until needed for work parties.  This was made possible by United Storage and the East Bremerton Rotary.
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Cool Car Cruise Support.  Another major support need was met by Jim Fox who supplied the Sani-Can. Restrooms are needed for all day events like this and we thank Jim for his help.  
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Navy Ship?  The photo of the Illahee dock shows a Navy ship in the background.  We don’t know the name or number of this ship.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 10/20/13 Preserve Work Party, Roses Removed, Mushrooms, Benthic Testing, November Community Meeting

Preserve Work Party.  We had a very productive work party on Saturday (10/19/13) at the Illahee Preserve.   Rain garden plot #1 was full of weeds and native roses that went wild and a group of volunteers from the Family of God Lutheran Church came to help rectify the problem.  Wheel barrow loads of weeds were pulled and two areas were planted with native coastal or beach strawberries (fragaria chiloensis).  We selected some photos of the event that show the group and the before and after status.

Roses Removed.  A few years ago we planted a few nootka roses (rosa nutkana) in plot #1 before we decided that we wanted the center to primarily consist of ground cover plants.  While the nootka roses were native and pretty they were too aggressive and prolific for our rain gardens and need to be removed.  See the photo below showing the underground runners of the plant, that had basically taken over the plot and the reason for it being taken out (we noticed  the new Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington does not recommend it for rain gardens, and we now understand why).  The removed roses were relocated to the perimeter of Compass Circle, again with the help from the Family of God Lutheran Church volunteers. 
Mushrooms.  Three more unique mushrooms were discovered this weekend, and hopefully we can get some more help in identifying them.  The first one was large and had a curvy body.  
The second looked and felt like cottage cheese.
The third one had a fringe around the edges.  
With such a great help last time identifying them, we thought we would try again with these newly discovered mushrooms.

Benthic Testing.  A week ago the county finished its benthic testing of local streams with Illahee Creek being one of the streams tested.  We have included one photo taken at the time and hope to have an update later that describes the reasons for the testing and the results from the samples taken two years ago.  More to come later.
November Illahee Community Meetings.  We were just notified that the Illahee Community non-profit group has scheduled a community meeting at the Sylvan Way library for 6 pm on Monday, November 18, 2013.  No other details will likely be available until they have a board meeting on November 4th.

Jim Aho