Langley Township committee to look at urban forest

Citizens will consider the current and future state of local tree cover

A committee of local citizens will look at how to manage Langley Township’s forests, after council approved a new Tree Protection Advisory Committee in June.

The nine-member committee, plus a non-voting member from the Township council, will work on an expansion and honing to the tree protection bylaw the Township passed last year.

They will also bring forward a Tree Protection Canopy Standard, for the entire Township but with an initial focus on the Brookswood-Fernridge area.

The goal of the canopy standard is to create “a clear direction for the protection, preservation, and planting of trees and forests, based on a shared vision and best practices,” according to a staff report.

The report noted that public engagement is one of the goals of the new committee, but that will be challenging given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

After years of discussion on a possible tree protection bylaw, the council passed regulations in 2019.

Council voted to ensure that at least two-third of the committee members must be Township residents at the urging of Councillor Kim Ricther.

READ MORE: Langley Township tree bylaw now in effect

The current regulations say that property owners who want to cut or remove a tree from their property must apply for a permit, with a few exceptions for smaller diameter trees.

The current bylaw does not affect tree removal for farmland, and trees can also be removed for construction activities, whether for building a new driveway or for a major multi-family development.

Trees that are hazardous can also be removed.

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