Illahee Preserve Vision: A 600+ acre Forested Central Park and Wildlife Preserve
Between Bremerton and Silverdale there remains an area so pristine and wild it has been called“The Lost Continent.” This unique dense forestwith steep slopes surrounding a salmon stream has mostly escaped developmentand what is left needs to be saved for the Illahee Preserve.
Over the last 17 years the Preserve has grown from 352 acres to 572 acres, and now in 2018/19 there is another opportunity to acquire additional critical forest and riparian property before it is sold and gone forever.
Projects #1-#3 are threatened with development, #4-#6 are priorities, #7 is for future grants.
#1 Timbers Edge II is a 10.7 acre approved development that Kitsap County is assisting with half of the purchase by contributing $435,000 of Conservation Futures funding. The other half needs to be substantially raised by the end of 2018. Funding needed by end of 2018 ~$200,000
#2 All Secure Wetland is a 2.99 acre commercial property off of SR 303 impacted by a headwaters wetland complex that extends into the Preserve. If not purchased for the Preserve it will be sold, likely for a smaller commercial venture than the earlier proposed storage facility. Funding needed ~ $500,000.
#3 Illahee Road Wildlife Corridor represent ~11 acres (9 parcels) of steep slopes (along the upper hillside of Illahee Road) that limit, but don’t preclude, development but do provide a forested wildlife corridor and are targeted for acquisition by gifting, purchase, or conservation easement. Funding needed ~ $200,000.
#4 Elliott Easement is for a 3 acre Conservation Easement to provide connectivity to other Preserve properties, with later goal to see if a purchase acquisition can be negotiated. Funding needed: ~ $90,000.
#5 Heart of the Park represents ~12 acres (13 parcels) located in the center of the Preserve that was homesteaded before Washington became a state. Eventually they need to be purchased. Est ~$750,000,
#6 North Tributary Drainage is ~4 acres in a drainage area with unstable slopes. Est ~100,000.
#7 Illahee Creek Riparian and Estuary represents ~15 acres (4 parcels) of prime stream, riparian, and estuary habitat. Conservation easements are likely possible if grant funding can be secured.
These are all ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities to save and preserve available critical habitat.