BY STEVE DEDUAL
Jim Trainer would probably not be upset if you called him a “tree hugger,” nor would he get angry to be considered an “animal lover.” His job as a forester with the Washington state department of fish and wildlife keeps him up to his neck in both while he traipses around Kitsap and Jefferson counties looking for “eagle significant trees in development areas.” For Trainer though, his career is only the beginning.
On top of the demands of the state, he also has his own business, Treez, Inc., where he locates heritage trees for property owners, gives a presentation at local schools called Trees and Treetures, where he introduces children to animal fur, skulls, bones and claws as well as the sounds of black bears, their cubs and owl calls and he gives owl, bear, eagle and old growth tours.
Trainer’s latest project is what is known as an eagle platform, which gives eagles a level, secure spot for building their nests and is usually built of actual nesting material in the wild or of cedar in residential areas, that just went up at Illahee Manor Bed and Breakfast Estate. For Trainer, this was a perfect opportunity to replace one he lost in the past.
The story begins about two years ago in Brownsville when one of the four eagle nests in the area fell in a wind storm, killing the two eaglets contained therein.
“It was a sad day,” Trainer said. “The eaglet’s parents circled above the nest site for three days.”
Trainer said he spoke to the owner of the property where the nest was to see if they would allow him to put up but they were not very receptive to the idea citing that there would be too much traffic to the property if they did so.
While there was really nothing he could do, Trainer still continued to ponder the impact of losing a nest site.
Luckily for him, the owner of Illahee Manor, Brent Ewald, needed some advice recently about some trees on the property of his bed and breakfast and he called Trainer up to do the job.
This was not the first time Trainer had had dealings with Illahee Manor though. Last August there was a juvenile eagle that was injured on the property and Trainer was one of the rescuers who responded to the call.
Now, on the property doing some work for Ewald, Trainer decided that he would ask Ewald if a platform could be installed on his property in one of the trees. With eagle activity already present on the property and Ewald’s excitement over the idea of the birds being around, it was an easy sell.
“It will enhance the quality of life here at the inn,” Ewald said.
Trainer provided the cedar that was used for the platform and Ryan Walsh, owner of Peninsula Tree service in Poulsbo, donated his time to climb the tree and mount the platform. Ewald said he was glad he could do his part to help out.
“When you can do something that will make a good impact on the wildlife in the area,” Ewald said, “it counteracts some of the negative impact society has on it.”