New Brunswick

Irving foreman saw herons, documents suggest

Court documents obtained by CBC News suggest that a J.D. Irving foreman saw Great Blue Herons nesting where the company later built a logging road near Cambridge Narrows, N.B.

Court documents obtained by CBC News suggest that aJ.D. Irving foreman saw Great Blue Herons nesting where the company later built a logging roadnear Cambridge Narrows, N.B.

Between 12 and 20 heron nests were destroyed when the company built a wide track through itsproperty this summer. The nests were part of a large colony, and the incident has sparked an investigation by the Canadian Wildlife Service.

The birds, and their nests, are protected under federal legislation.

CBC News has obtained copies of the search warrants and supportingdocuments executed as part of the CWS investigation.

Ian Langlais, an enforcement officer with the Canadian Wildlife Service, applied for the warrants in Saint John provincial court earlier this month.

In documents filed to the court, Langlais laid out his grounds for believing that J.D. Irving may have violated federal law protecting migratory birds.

Langlais says on Aug. 15, a provincial conservation officer found six heron nests that had been destroyed on Irving-owned land. Officers seized three of the nests as well as feathers and bones.

The court document says a J.D. Irving Woodlands foreman told a conservation officer that he had seen herons in late July when he was laying out the route for a logging road. The foreman says he took note of the location using his global position system.

But according to Langlais, the coordinates the foreman gave to the investigators are located in the middle of a lake.

A judge granted the Wildlife Service warrants to search two J.D. Irving offices in Sussex. Investigators seized approximately 70 documents, computer files, and maps from the offices.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and no one has been charged.J.D. Irving spokeswoman Mary Keith will not comment on the case while the investigation is ongoing, except to say the company is fully cooperating with authorities.

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