We must act now to save a regional treasure and a forest for future generations. The Kitsap Forest and Bay Community Campaign is the final phase of a multi-year effort to secure the purchase of the Port Gamble Forest. We must raise $3.5 million to ensure the Port Gamble Forest will not be sold and developed. Learn more, and donate now at SavePG.org
Several months ago I wrote about NKTA's desire to find new board members. Two people have volunteered - Debbie Weinmann and Sandee Watson.
Sandee Watson joined the NKTA Board in October. She is a Washington native and has lived in Indianola for more than 20 years. As a regular user of the Heritage Park and Port Gamble trail systems, Sandee joined the board to contribute to its work toward preserving, growing and improving the community trail systems so they can be enjoyed by runners, hikers, birders, equestrians and cyclists for generations to come. Outside of NKTA Sandee works in Poulsbo as a professional liability insurance broker for architects and engineers.
A lot of trail maintenance and construction was done at North Kitsap Parks this year by NKTA and partner organizations. Grants by REI provided funds for much of the work.
In July the Evergreen Mountain Biking Alliance (EMBA), Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC) and NKTA cleared brush, etc. from the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park's (PGFHP) Beaver Pond Trail and rerouted a portion of it to decrease the trails impact on beaver activity. The old route has been maintained for a while to serve as a pet free wildlife viewing area.
When Kitsap County purchased its Heritage Parks they had been planted in Douglas fir for use as lumber. The trees were spaced close together to ensure sufficient survival. The timber company would later thin the trees for optimum harvest. While the County isn't concerned with optimizing the timber that can be obtained, it does need to provide room and light under the trees in order to benefit wildlife and to provide room for native plants and trees to grow and create a more natural forest. The process of doing so is called "restorative thinning" and you may have seen this happening in the Heritage Parks.
We invite you to skip Black Friday shopping this year and join NKTA, REI and Forterra outside instead of hitting the stores. Visit one of Kitsap's many parks, or better yet, grab your friends and family for a guided Bird, Bike & Hikes in the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park led by Kitsap Audubon Society, Evergreen Mountain Biking Alliance and North Kitsap Trails Association and volunteers. Bring the WHOLE Family. There is something for everyone. Experience for yourself why we love this place - and why we are working hard to save it!
Much of NKTA's work involves promoting trails and obtaining grants to expand or improve them. It is a relief to get out and actually work on them. We are looking forward to several opportunities to do so this year, so get out your trails tools and be ready to go! REI grants will provide funding for the following projects in the Port Gamble Heritage Park this summer:
Whether you want to learn more about the Forest and Bay Campaign to transform more Pope Resources forest into a conservation and recreational asset, or just want to take a short hike in the Port Gamble Heritage Park, join NKTA’s Hiking/Biking/Birding tours in July, August and October. July hikes start at 10am from the Port Gamble Heritage Park trailhead south of Port Gamble.
Donate now and have your gift doubled to save 2,800 acres of forested watershed, trails & wildlife habitat in Port Gamble!
The NKTA Board has voted to match $10,000 in donations, and others involved with NKTA are contributing $15,000 for a total match of $35,000. Make your contribution now through September 15th to have it doubled by going to: SavePG.org
NKTA has worked with the Kitsap Forest and Bay Project since its inception five years ago to purchase 3,600 acres of Olympic Property Group forest lands and miles of actively used trails south of Port Gamble. Two years ago that Project competed Phase I when Kitsap County purchased 540 acres along Gamble Bay and created the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park. The Kitsap Forest and Bay Community Campaign is the final phase of that original effort.