Letters to the Editor

Central Kitsap's Anderson Landing Preserve still needs work

We should all be pleased that Commissioner Brown visited Anderson Landing Preserve, one of the best examples in the county of how volunteers get the job done and provide the park facilities we all want. Just a few notes about the Commissioner’s report.

Anderson Landing Preserve is actually on Warren Road off of Anderson Hill Road in the Silverdale/Seabeck area. Warren Avenue is in downtown Bremerton.

The preserve actually has an upper and lower section. The part Commissioner Brown described is the upper section with trails that lead out to viewing sites over Hood Canal and the original Anderson Landing location on the shores of Hood Canal.

The eagle’s nest was in place long before the Commissioner returned to Kitsap and well before work to create trails began. The nest tree was a significant factor in the route followed by the trails because of the need to keep people away from the tree. Eagles still nest in the tree but other wildlife, particularly deer, have gone absent from the upper level area.

The area is not a park, but is a wildlife and nature preserve. There are no facilities other than a small parking lot at the head of the trails on Warren Road. In the preserve there are many steep ravines and other hazards. Those using the trail system must be properly prepared before they step off from the parking lot.

Because Anderson Landing is a preserve, it is not appropriate to bring dogs or other animals into the area. The trails are for people and not for walking dogs.

The section that the Commissioner did not visit, the lower section of the preserve, where Little Anderson Creek once flowed freely, is a different story. Over the past several years, a lot of activity has taken place to “clear and clean up” the lower area around the creek. Unfortunately, the clean up effort had several unintended and unexpected consequences. Effort to remove derelict vehicles from the site disturbed large areas of sediment that, during the heavy rains last winter, were displaced and filled much of the creek bed and covered the area west of Anderson Hill Road. The original stream bed has been diverted and narrowed. During rainy periods, shallow overflow meanders through the newly deposited silt layer. The original natural stream passage for spawning salmon has been seriously degraded.

The effort to remove Japanese Knottweed was less than successful. Propagated by fragmentation and migration, the weed now covers a substantial part of the area. Similarly, an effort by conservation groups to place “woody debris” in the stream is now reflected in the numerous tree trunks scattered all over the lower area. The area has the appearance of a landslide rather than a stream side. The “placed” trunks are no longer “natural” in any sense of the word.

The hard work and dedicated efforts of the small group of volunteers working Anderson Preserve has taken a serious setback. I hope that the county and state agencies that provided “help” and guidance that resulted in the problems will be available to assist in cleaning up the mess.

JACK HAMILTON

Silverdale

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