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All Hands on Deck to Help Protect the Great Blue Herons

By On

Update - posted Tuesday, May 21

Many people have been enjoying (from a safe distance!) the activity down at the heron colony at Post Point. The “chicks” are getting really big! A consensus seems to be forming that the city’s only Great Blue Heron colony is worth protecting— permanently. But this situation would never have come to light had we not filed an appeal of the Critical Areas Permit allowing construction so close to the colony. Please consider a contribution to the herons’ legal defense fund: https://www.gofundme.com/save-the-post-point-herons

Luckily, a long-term solution is within reach: use Greenways funds to purchase the ENTIRE undeveloped plat on Shorewood Drive to create a heron reserve. We can do this. After all, the herons have been accommodating us for nearly 20 years. It is well past time that we accommodate them.

Below posted on May 12

Our appeal has been filed on the Critical Areas Permit that would allow two houses to be built along Shorewood Drive in Edgemoor, next to the city’s only Great Blue Heron colony. One housing site encroaches on the mandated protective buffer around the nesting tress. The appeal is winding its way through the lamentable, quasi-judicial process to a hearing before the city Hearing Examiner, tentatively scheduled for late July. Local chapters of the Audubon Society and Sierra Club have petitioned to be parties to the appeal.

Meanwhile, we need all fans of protecting urban wildlife to step up and get involved. Here are five things you can do:

1) The herons need a good lawyer! I have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help compensate local attorney Phil Buri for the time he’ll be dedicating to represent us and the herons before the city Hearing Examiner. There are two lawyers on the other side of the table as well as the developer! Follow this link to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/save-the-post-point-herons

2) Share the above link with your social media networks.

3) If online donations aren’t your thing, you can also send a check made out to Jamie K. Donaldson and mail it to: Save the Herons, 1050 Larrabee Ave, Suite 104 440 (yes, there’s a space there) Bellingham, WA 98225. I have set up a separate P.O. box and account at WECU to manage funds to pay the lawyer. After deposits are made, he will invoice me and I will write checks from this account.

4) Contact your city council members to tell them you want permanent protection for the Post Point Heron Colony by purchasing the entire remaining undeveloped plat on Shorewood Drive using our Greenways Funds.

5) Query mayor Kelli Linville and also the four mayoral candidates about their knowledge of, and commitment to, permanently protecting the heron colony by purchasing the entire remaining plat on Shorewood Drive using our Greenways Funds.

We can do this. The herons at Post Point have endured over a decade of human disturbance and have stuck it out clinging to the bluff above the water treatment plant. They provide us with a daily reminder of how lucky we are to live in an area rich with natural wildlife. But they remain very skittish about their habitat, and we simply don’t know what disturbance will send them away. We need to provide them with permanent legal protection for the Critical Area around their core nesting area by using our Greenways Funds—which we taxed ourselves for, in part to protect wildlife—by purchasing the undeveloped plat on Shorewood Drive in its entirety.

About Jamie K. Donaldson

Contributor • Member since Apr 03, 2019

Jamie K. Donaldson is a long-time activist for peace, social justice, and the environment. She was the founder of the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center in downtown Bellingham, and currently works [...]

Comments by Readers

Wynne Lee

May 14, 2019

I support *everything* we can do to protect the herons & sincerely appreciate all your work on this Jamie.

While I think purchasing (or having purchased… lost chance, probably) the property is the best approach, I’d really *really* like to see someone respond to Gabe Rogel’s extensive comment/pushback on Jamie’s April 4 original post about this. He offered what seemed to be useful facts for everyone to know - a cogent discussion would help me a LOT.

 

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John Servais

May 14, 2019

Wynne,

A legit request.  Will look to provide that.  Perhaps best if a new article that can then support comments about the letter and the response.  

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B. Sadie Bailey

May 20, 2019

Jamie; have you approached CELDF with this issue? (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund) - they might be able to help, although they have their hands busy with pipelines and the Trump Administration’s attempt to gut all environmental and protections. Might be worth a try since their mission is rights of the environmentl and they work with a lot of local communities.

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Jamie K. Donaldson

May 20, 2019

Hello B. Sadie,

Thanks for the suggestion.  This organization came across my radar recently.  But truth be told, I think your assumption is right:  CELDF has its hands full at the national level.  It is urgently needed there!

Here at the local level, there are enough of us who value the unique treasure of having a Great Blue Heron colony right in the city, that we will do the right thing.  The herons have accommodated us for nearly 20 years i.e., enduring the train traffic, dog park, passersby, shrinking of their protective buffer on the downslope side. Now it is time to accommodate the herons.  We can  use our Greenways Funds to purchase the ENTIRE undeveloped plat right behind their colony., thus ensuring their permanent, legal protection.  Easy peasy.

 

 

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