On Tuesday, June 20th, the City’s Environment and Climate Protection Committee approved the Urban Forest Management plan (UNFP) staff report, in response to community demand for a more strategic approach to urban forest management. The report/plan will be discussed at the City Council meeting on June 28th.
The Urban Forest Management Plan is a 20-year strategic plan for growing Ottawa’s urban forest and making it healthier, more diverse and resilient. The plan focuses on working towards sustainability, protecting existing trees, increasing knowledge of the urban forest, expanding community engagement, minimizing risk, fostering resiliency and diversity, managing the urban forest more proactively and providing resources to urban forest management.
One of the 26 recommendations outlined in the plan includes a review of all tree-related by-laws, including the Urban Tree Conservation By-law. Committee received an update on this by-law, which regulates the removal of trees on private land within Ottawa’s urban area.
Here are my comments presented at Environment Committee by Chair Chernushenko.
I am very pleased to see the City is taking initiative with the Urban Forest Management Plan. This is a very important step forward to ensure that the City takes a leadership role in protecting our natural environments. My ward is one of the
faster growing areas in the City and almost all of this development is greenfield development and involves the destruction of the natural environment.
While intensification is necessary to manage urban sprawl, I strongly feel that we also must ensure that work is done in partnership with the land developers to ensure that urban forests are protected. This is a major concern of mine which is also strongly shared in my community. We have witnessed many trees affected by development and I am looking forward to having a policy to solidify the protection of some of the urban forests. This plan provides the greater projection that we as a City need to stand for to ensure there is proper planning in the development of our communities and that we can strive to move away from the bulldozing mental and practice that we experience far too often. We need to find opportunities to work with the development industry to protect and enhance our environment. I look forward to working with staff as this plan moves forward.
I would like to thank the Environment Committee for all of their work on this item which will help to keep Ottawa green for many years to come! For more information, please visit http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/water-and-environment/trees-and-community-forests