NEWS

Vernon heron rookery ruffling feathers

06/17/2013 04:24 EDT | Updated 08/17/2013 05:12 EDT
A blue heron rookery is ruffling feathers in Vernon, B.C., after one of the herons' nesting trees fell on a neighbouring home.

More than 100 majestic blue herons nest in the cottonwood trees belonging to landowner Jan Bos, who signed an agreement with the North Okanagan Regional District not to cut them down.

But since Bos agreed not to chop down the trees, the City of Vernon has allowed developers to build homes right next to the stand of trees. Now Bos is now being sued by some homeowners whose house was hit by one of the trees.

Bos told CBC News he feels betrayed because he thought he was doing something good for the community when he agreed to keep the birds' habitat intact.

He thinks he is not to blame for the fact one of the trees fell on a neighbouring home and thinks the regional district and the City of Vernon need to take legal responsibility.

"I've given all my time and effort to support the heronry and my family has also," he said. "We are upset that we should be the ones they want to legally go after."

Regional district chair Patrick Nicol says he's sympathetic to Bos's situation but can't comment on the lawsuit.

"There is a legal covenant protecting the heronry as it currently exists within Jan Bos's property and he has been very giving as an individual to allow that to take place," he said.

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