Saturday, July 31, 2010

Heron's seen as proxy for battle to save tree canopy; Seattle, WA

Saving Seattle's trees - one bird at a time?:
For years, neighbors near Magnolia's Kiwanis Ravine worked to preserve the places where great blue herons nest and breed.
When a developer bought a larger tract of land and proposed to put in a small subdivision of large houses and cut down the trees where the birds build their nests, neighbors fought the proposal hard enough to get it scaled back.
'The herons have been nesting in that location for decades,' said Pam Cahn, a neighbor who keeps regular tabs on the herons. 'It's a treasure we were trying to protect as much as possible.'
Now the city is grappling with the broader question of whether it can preserve its tree canopy and the birds have become players in the drama.
The city's advisory Urban Forestry Commission, charged with recommending ways to preserve the city's trees, made preserving trees near heron rookeries one of its first proposals.

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