About Jamie K. Donaldson

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 is retired from the University of British Columbia. She currently serves as president of the Board of Directors of the Bellingham Food Bank. Jamie is also a member of the North Cascades Audubon Society and local Sierra Club.

By: Jamie K. Donaldson (10)

Fledgling Great Blue Herons Need Our Help

Byy On

Hurry down to the Post Point Great Blue Heron colony in the next few days to catch sight of a wondrous event: the giant baby herons are preparing to leave their nests and venture out into the world. They need our help. Contact Mayor Fleetwood NOW and urge him to acquire the adjacent undeveloped lots to create a permanent, protected reserve so the herons can thrive: mayorsoffice@cob.org or call (360) 778-8100.

The birds, a Washington State Priority Species, are “branching” out onto limbs of nearby conifer trees, practicing flight by flapping their huge wings and making a loud ruckus. Others continue to hang out in their nests, perhaps waiting for a sign. Speaking of signs, we have Bellingham Public Works Department to thank for heightening the fence in front of the colony and adding signage that advises people to keep their dogs on leash, avoid loud noises, and refrain from bothering the herons while they’re trying to forage for food on exposed tidelands. Thank you, Public Works!

As readers of NWCitizen know, the city has been putzing around with heron protection for 20 years without sealing the deal to create a protected reserve. I ask you: Where else in the city of Bellingham is there a wildlife reserve? To my knowledge, the Post Point Great Blue Heron Reserve would be the first of its kind, and what a tremendous asset for all of us to enjoy. The Greenways Fund, which Seth Fleetwood helped create, stipulates that its monies can be used to protect wildlife habitat. Have we ever done so? In 2016, the Greenways Advisory Committee unanimously recommended that the city acquire the privately-held land next to the herons’ nesting trees to further protect the birds. Nothing changed, and meanwhile, there is still an application pending in the planning department to subdivide the larger lot in question with the presumed intent to build at least one house too close to the nests. Part of this plat is within the 300-foot non-disturbance, safety zone for the birds recommended by the wildlife biologist hired by the city, and adopted by the city as per the signage.

Clearly there are many pressing issues on people’s minds these days, but finishing the job of protecting the Great Blue Herons NOW as the Class of 2020 leaves their nests, is a feel-good act that we can all get behind. There are willing sellers of the two remaining undeveloped lots, the political will to purchase as demonstrated by unanimous consent of City Council last year, funds available through Greenways, and the desire of many bird watchers and nature lovers to see the creation of the Post Point Great Blue Heron Reserve. Please contact the mayor now.

About Jamie K. Donaldson

Citizen Journalist • 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 is retired [...]

James Loucky

Jul 02, 2020

The Greenways Advisory Committee, which Seth Fleetwood was so instrumental in forming, has wisely and unanimously recommended using Greenways funds to purchase two lots that, if left undeveloped, would prevent disruption and likely destruction of what is truly unique: a heron rookery within our city limits.

Anyone who has seen these magnificent birds in flight or foraging for food can attest to their beauty. Establishing a Great Blue Heron Reserve would ensure that herons and humans continue to share a sacred habitat for generations to come.

Difficult times call for hope, but what we truly need is active hope. Please do your part by contacting the Mayor ( .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) ), along with members of CIty Council and anyone you know in the reality community, Protecting what is precious can be a legacy that we share and celebrate together. 

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Fledgling Great Blue Herons Need Our Help

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn Jul 02, 2020

Hurry down to the Post Point Great Blue Heron colony in the next few days to catch sight of a wondrous event: the giant baby herons are preparing to leave [...]

1 comment, most recent 2 months ago

Update on Protection for the Post Point Great Blue Heron Colony

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn Mar 13, 2020

They’re baaaack! This year’s nesting season is underway at the Post Point Great Blue Heron colony in Fairhaven. With so little foliage on the alder trees right now, [...]

1 comment, most recent 6 months ago

We Have Failed to Adequately Protect Bellingham’s Great Blue Herons

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn Jan 02, 2020

As an avid amateur bird watcher and conservationist, I was deeply alarmed, saddened and shamed by an article in the September 19, 2019 issue of Science magazine reporting that since 1970, three billion [...]

What’s Going on with the Herons, Council?

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn Aug 31, 2019

We need to press Bellingham City Council members to step up their game to protect the Great Blue Heron colony at Post Point—once and for all. Heron advocates have [...]

1 comment, most recent 11 months ago

Huge Victory toward Creation of the Post Point Great Blue Heron Reserve

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn Jul 27, 2019

Thursday, Brooks Anderson, president of Fairhaven Neighbors, and I met with Mayor Kelli Linville in her office at City Hall. In that meeting, the mayor indicated that the City of [...]

3 comments, most recent 1 year ago

We Must Finish the Job and Create a Great Blue Heron Reserve at Post Point

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn Jul 26, 2019

An abridged version of this article appeared in the July 24 issue of the Cascadia Weekly. The City of Bellingham (COB) has committed to protecting the Great Blue Heron colony at [...]

1 comment, most recent 1 year ago

Good News for the Post Point Herons… For Now

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn Jul 16, 2019

Monday, July 15, 2019 was the deadline to file pre-hearing briefs outlining the arguments that opposing sides would present to the hearing examiner on the appeal of a Critical Areas Permit to [...]

2 comments, most recent 1 year ago

All Hands on Deck to Help Protect the Great Blue Herons

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn May 21, 2019

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! [...]

4 comments, most recent 1 year ago

Herons Continued: A Response to a Reader’s Comments

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn May 18, 2019

In reply to the comments Gabe Rogel posted on my article of April 4. Or, to compare this article side by side to his comments, click here for a pdf of [...]

Bellingham Heron Colony Threatened by Development - Again

By Jamie K. DonaldsonOn Apr 04, 2019

Update - Monday, April 15, 2019 As you can see from the notice, the Public Hearing to consider sub-dividing the Shorewood plat next to the heron colony was postponed until further notice. [...]

6 comments, most recent 1 year ago