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JDI Forester Finds Several Great Blue Heron Nests


Veteran Block Planner, Jonathan Carson, has put his enviro-training into action and has identified several Great Blue Heron nests. The first was a single nest he found in the summer of 2016 while working in a jack pine stand in the Deersdale area. The following year, he returned to the nest to monitor. It was evident that the original nest had been abandoned, but four new nests had popped up in surrounding trees. He noticed immediately the broken egg shells on the forest floor. Jonathan then notified operations to ensure proper setbacks were implemented. As part of our Eagle/Heron nest program, Jonathan was eligible to receive a reward once the nest site was confirmed by our Chief Naturalist, Kelly Honeyman.


These were not Jonathan’s first encounters with protected species. In the summer of 2010, Jonathan and co-worker Randy Crealock identified a single Great Blue Heron nest in the Lower Durham area and a few weeks later Jonathan identified another single Great Blue Heron nest in the same area about 5kms away. JDI employees receive specialized training in stick nest and bird habitat recognition. A few signs of an active nest include fresh foliage within the nest, pellets, excrement and prey remains on the ground below, as well as the sounds of the large birds. Stick nests are not Jonathan’s only findings. Later in the summer of 2010, he identified a rare plant known as Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (believed to have been last seen in the late 1800s) in the Lakeville Corner area. 

J.D. Irving, Limited is committed to healthy forests and our environment, and as part of this commitment we provide specialized training in the identification and protection of rare plants, stick nests and other sensitive environmental areas within the boundaries of our operations. J.D. Irving, Limited also has an established rewards program for identifying these special features on the lands where we operate. 

Environmental training covers topics from how to spot potential rare habitat to the implementation of site specific habitat procedures when a stick nest, vernal pool or bear den is located. Proper documentation of the location using our precision GPS is key when placing the site into our mapping database. This documentation ensures that the site will be preserved well into the future so that future operations will know what areas to either avoid, or perhaps schedule operations at a time of year that will not threaten the sensitive feature. 

Our voluntary and award-winning Unique Areas Program has grown from 29 sites in the 1980s to over 1300 sites to date on the lands we own and manage in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine. We value the partnerships we have with the many environmental and community groups, as well as local universities in identifying, conserving, and studying these special places which include the following:
- Aesthetics
- Birds and Mammals
- Fish
- Lakes and Wetlands
- Old Forests & High Conservation Forests
- Uncommon to Rare Plant Sites
- Historic Sites
- Geological & Fossil Sites
- Reptile & Invertebrate Breeding Areas 
- Unique Forest stands