FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2022
WHATCOM LAND TRUST SEEKS ASSISTANCE TO PROTECT CRITICAL HERON COLONY HABITAT AT POST POINT
Bellingham, WA. – On March 28, Bellingham City Council approved the purchase of 1.43 acres of forested hillside adjacent to the Post Point Heron Colony. This will be added to .29 acres approved for purchase last fall by City Council, creating a 1.72-acre forested buffer around the active heron colony.
The property will be purchased by the City of Bellingham for $768,000 with assistance from the Whatcom Land Trust, who was involved in facilitating the purchase. Whatcom Land Trust will be organizing a donation campaign to raise $100,000 to contribute to the acquisition. The Land Trust plans to continue working with the City to protect the heron colony, with the potential for a conservation easement owned by the Trust to protect this critical habitat in perpetuity.
“Over the last 5 years I’ve had numerous Bellingham residents contact me requesting support from the Land Trust to protect this property. With generous funding from the City and tremendous leadership by the Mayor we’re proud to be able to contribute to this conservation success story.” –Gabe Epperson, Whatcom Land Trust’s Executive Director
The heron colony has been on the forested slopes above Post Point Lagoon for over 20 years, with 45 active nests as of 2021. The colony produced 95 successful fledglings in 2021 and is still increasing with three new trees and five new nests added last year. The City created a management plan for the property in 2003 and has been monitoring it annually since 2005. More information about the colony, as well as annual reports and management recommendations, are available on the Post Point Heron Colony page of the City website.
Great Blue Herons are listed as a priority species by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Due to their priority species status, the Post Point heron colony is protected under the City’s Critical Areas Ordinance. Whatcom Land Trust is asking for the community’s help in raising $100,000 before Earth Day, April 23, 2022. The Land Trust is excited to work with the City of Bellingham on this project and to continue and improve upon the protection of the only known heron nesting colony in the City of Bellingham. If you are interested in contributing towards this public fundraising campaign, please click here or call the office at 360-650-9470.
Contact: Gabe Epperson, Executive Director (360) 746-6967 email@example.com or Alex Jeffers, Conservation Manager (360) 746-6804 firstname.lastname@example.org