Sunday, April 3, 2011

Brush Picker Report & Misc 4-3-11

Brush Picker Report.  If the following report is true, we should expect to see brush pickers in the Illahee Preserve tomorrow.  They evidently prefer to be there when it rains since there are fewer people there.

I had a lengthy chat today with one of my scouts in Illahee Forest  (no names revealed).  Their general feeling is the brush pickers are picking us blind right now.  This person is very perceptive and notices much detail during their walks.  They say the pickers are all Latin Americans who wear black rain coats and are very adept at hiding in brush when anyone else is around.  The black rain gear is perceived to be universal and almost a team uniform.  They believe the pickers are most apt to be active Monday thru Friday from 8 to 5.  They often get dropped off along Petersville/Riddell access and get picked up same place in late day.  They have also witnessed an Almira parking lot pick-up.  This person has recently found two VERY large bundles of salal (different locations) and taken it upon themselves to cut it apart and scatter the vegetation.  They also say the most common time for the pickers to be active is when it is raining because there are fewer trail walkers to detect them. 
If my observed trend is consistent, then we have another several weeks of brush thievery before it dies down until late Fall.  Just a few thoughts from the field. 

Unleashed Dog Report.  We received the following account of an incident with unleashed dogs today that we thought should be passed on.  Thankfully, this is only the second one we are aware of.

My wife and I had a very bad dog encounter at Compass Circle this morning. A guy with two big snarling dogs came out Doe Trail, dogs first. The dogs challenged me growling and showing big teeth. One big hound dog was particularly aggressive - classic junk guard dog appearance. The guy yelled out from the trail to ask if we had a dog, as if it was our fault if his dogs were being aggressive. When the guy emerged from the trail he said the dogs were OK, as they went to circle my wife while snarling. The mean hound was bumping into my wife's back while snapping at her. I gave the guy an earful as he leashed the meaner hound. It was frightening for both of us. We were both shaking. Worst dog experience I've had in the Forest. Those were two big, mean dogs. This idiot is exactly why every dog should be on a leash. Any little dog running into the path of these mean big dogs would be lunch. Completely unacceptable behavior this morning.

Last Preserve Report.  When we put out our last report on tree clearing in the Preserve a week ago, we had not yet received the following report from those doing the clearing:  (Remember, this was from last week (3/27/11)

We went on trail brigade with chain saws at 6:30 this morning. 12 trees cleaned up. A Northern Pygmy Owl greeted us near north end of Golf Course Loop trail. A pair of hairy woodpeckers worked on a dead tree along Bootleg Trail. Birds are more vocal as Spring has arrived in the Forest. Rained entire time. Horses have damaged trail in many areas.

These are some dedicate volunteers who would get up so early on a weekend to take care of the Illahee Preserve trails.  Thanks guys for your dedication and support!!

Kids Tour Illahee Creek.  Last Sunday an energetic bunch of kids from the Unitarian Fellowship were given a tour of Illahee Creek.  They met at the Krigsman's and walked up the the old concrete reservoir that was put in by Dr. Schutt.  The kids went through the water and brush easily while the adults struggled along.  The picture of the group was taken by the Krigsman's potting shed along side the creek, before the wet and muddy excursion took place.

North Perry Water.  We wanted to acknowledge that North Perry Water was at the aquifer briefing last week, along with their hydrologist.  We thought about this when we went by the newly cleaned water reservoir on Sunset.  It looked so nice we took its picture.  The boom in the picture was used to elevate those doing the pressure washing.  Thanks to all the North Perry folks for also keeping our drinking water clean and healthy!

North Perry Riddell Well.  We heard that at one time North Perry was looking at relocating their Riddell well at Perry Avenue to the west side of the ridge going through the Illahee Preserve, which would put it in the Meadowdale Aquifer (which is in the Steele Creek watershed).  We also heard they withdrew their request because of some issues with the Tribes.  Some Illahee residents are wondering if it would help if the community were to publicly support the move.  We aren't sure we have all the facts on this issue, but feel if the relocation supports the communities desire to restore Illahee Creek, then we should be doing all we can to help North Perry in its relocation request.  We brought this issue up to get discussions started.  Let us know your thoughts.  This may be a good item to present at the quarterly Illahee Community Club meeting in May. 

Input Needed and Appreciated.  As you can see much of what we put out in these updates comes from your input.  Thank you for trusting us with it and letting us pass it on.

Jim Aho

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