Help our local half marathon be a great success! Volunteers are needed for everything from passing out race packets first thing in the morning, to manning aid stations, to encouraging runners along the route and manning the finish line. Some marathon proceeds support NKTA, so help us help them! Visit poulsbohalf.com to sign up for a volunteer station and time slot. 6:30 am to Noon.
Revised Weekday Road/Trail Closures for Port Gamble Park
The roads leading into the area surrounding Hope, ET, and Ranger will be closed to recreational use on weekdays until logging is finished. Yellow and Orange are the closed roads and logging areas. The closure has been expanded because the initial closure boundaries were ignored and people were not yielding to vehicular traffic on the roads. This is creates safety concerns. One person was actually hit by a low boy, but is thankfully ok. The closure is scheduled through January but Pope has consistently finished early by as much as a month. During the closures access to the park should be made through the South end via Stottlemeyer or Port Gamble Rd gate. You will still be able to go North from the Bayview Parking area. South end via Stottlemeyer or Port Gamble Rd gate.
Pope Resources’ Timber Harvest in Port Gamble Heritage Park
Since 2007 Pope Resources has been working with a broad coalition of stakeholders as part of the Kitsap Forest and Bay Project to conserve forestland in North Kitsap, and prevent development. In 2014 Pope Resources sold 535 acres (the Shoreline Block) to Kitsap County for conservation and development into the Port Gamble Heritage Park. That purchase included both land development rights and the standing timber on the land. In December of 2016, Pope Resources sold Kitsap County an additional 1,360 acres of land in the Port Gamble block, increasing the Park to about 1,900 acres total. However, in this second sale, Pope Resources retained the right to harvest the standing timber for 25 years. After Pope Resources harvests the existing timber and replants new, the new trees will belong to Kitsap County.
The ORCA airfield / Uplands Trailhead near Port Gamble will be closed through the end of the year due to the Port Gamble Bay restoration project resulting in no through access in this area.
Accordking to the Kitsap Sun, "Contaminated sediment pulled from the bay was heaped at the old mill site, forming an artificial hill on the waterfront. Pope Resources, which spent more than $20 million on the cleanup, will truck the mountain of soil to a field just south of town, where it will be spread out and capped with clean dirt."
You've seen them at the park and on Bond Rd - large thermometers tracking the progress being made toward the purchase of the Port Gamble land. We are so close! The Kitsap Forest and Bay Coalition has raised $2.2 million to save the forest. The deadline to raise the remaining $1.3 million is fast approaching but it is not too late to donate. A generous Bainbridge Island couple will match up to a $100,000 for all donations through June 15th! Please help preserve this amazing resource - make donations online at SavePG.org.
Speaking of Donations...
Thank you for your support of the North Kitsap Trails Association during the Great Give in May. We exceeded our expectations and raised nearly four times the money we did last year! This year, 79 generous donors donated around $20,000 - wow! Your generosity and support for saving the forest are very much appreciated. The North Kitsap Trails Association, in turn, committed $10,000 more in matching funds. That means together we were able to preserve another 12 acres of forestland. It is so exciting and rewarding to see a community come together to save such a treasure. Thank you!
Beaver Trail Update
NKTA has been working with the Great Peninsula Conservancy to improve access along the Port Gamble Beaver Pond trail. A rerouted trail provides a path that doesn't disturb the pond's animals was constructed earlier, while the old trail lets visitors get close to a true wonder of nature - beaver dams! NKTA will continue working with GPC this summer complete GPC's project. The old boardwalk will be removed so the loop portion of the trail will be closed, making it an up-and-back walk. However, two new viewpoints will be constructed to create incredible views of the beaver dams and ponds and make the walk well worthwhile! Further south, a new boardwalk that will support horses has replaced the old rickety one. Only some additional gravel for the bridge approaches and installing cedar railing caps remain to be added. We sincerely thank REI for their financial support to improve our trails.
It will take the work of volunteers to make all this happen. Watch this space for days and times of work parties this summer.
We are Halfway There!
This winter the Kitsap Forest and Bay Campaign moved one step closer to protecting open space in Kitsap County forever. Almost half the acreage in the Port Gamble forest - 1,335 acres to be exact - were purchased this winter and designated permanent, protected parkland! A big thank you to all who helped make this happen!
However, our job is not done yet; acreage along the western ridge line remains subject to development. The Kitsap Forest and Bay Coalition has raised most of the $3.5 million needed to save it but has to raise the rest by the end of June - this year. A generous Bainbridge Island couple will match up to a $100,000 for all donations through June 15th! Please help preserve this amazing resource - make donations online at SavePG.org or by donating through NKTA on May 2nd at the Kitsap Great Give (see details below).
What's with all the logging?
Actually, there are two answers to that question! First, the logging in the original 540 acre Heritage Park is called "restorative thinning" and it is meant to help turn the park from a tree farm to a natural forest. It is kind of like weeding your garden - pull out what you don't want to encourage what you do want! So, the County is thinning the trees to create a more natural forest by providing room and light for native plants, trees and wildlife. See the NKTA website for a more detailed explanation and pictures showing the difference between a natural forest and a tree farm.
Kitsap County invites you to a community open house to learn about a feasibility study underway for a 6-7 mile shared-use trail connecting SR 104 in Port Gamble to Stottlemeyer Road NE. This shared-use trail is part of the Sound-to-Olympics Trail connecting the Hood Canal Bridge, Kingston, Poulsbo, and Bainbridge Island.
Port Gamble Trail Feasibility Study Open House
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Village Green Community Center
26159 Dulay Road NE Kingston, WA
Amy Sutton joined the NKTA board in February 2017. Amy has lived in Poulsbo for 19 years, working as a middle school language arts teacher. She has passed countless hours and countless miles on the trails, hiking with the dogs in her life, most currently with Finn, the yellow lab. She also rides the trails on her horse Bailey. Amy appreciates having public land that can be accessed and enjoyed by such a variety of users. She says, “I know how firsthand the value of being able to access this wilderness and all it has to offer. To me the land has been a gift and preserving it will make it a gift we can give to future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.” Amy is excited to do her part to help conserve the public land in North Kitsap.