Tree Cutting

Here is some information about the Trust's request to the Province for tree cutting regulatory authority. Quotations are from Trust reports, followed by my comments. 

*"Amendment sought: Change in regulation by order-in-council. Lieutenant Governor in Council may make s. 8(3)(c) of the Community Charter apply to LTCs under s.53(2)(j) of the Islands Trust Act."
"Enabling Legislation:
1) Under Section 8(3)(c) of the Community Charter, municipal councils have the fundamental
power to “by bylaw, regulate, prohibit, and impose requirements in relation to .... trees.”

     Of note is the reference to LTCs, Local Trust Committees, rather than Trust Council. This would mean that the decision of whether to enact any tree cutting regulations would be a local decision.

*"Establish Development Permit Areas to protect forest ecosystems and regulate forest practices on private lands
Seek enforceability of Development Permits
Pursue the implementation of tree cutting permits and forest management regulations.
Use zoning (i.e. Conservation Zoning) as a way to regulate tree removal and retention on private lands."

    Note that Lasqueti does not have any DPAs, and that they have been strongly opposed by the public and consistently rejected by the Local Trust Committee.

*"In unserviced areas such as Lasqueti Island, there is a particular challenge related to the use of trees as a source of heat energy. It is expected that many islanders would be opposed to a tree protection bylaw that would limit their ability to cut trees for firewood. There is a risk that if tree protection bylaws are proposed, this may have the unintended consequence of land-clearing where property owners attempt to beat the clock by cutting their trees before they need to apply and pay for a permit."

     I believe I made it clear at Trust Council that such regulation would be strongly opposed here.
It is unclear if the Province is at all disposed to grant this authority. However, having re-read the amendment sought section at the top of this post, is seems clear that the request is for Local Trust Committees to be granted the authority, keeping the decision local. I will seek further clarity tomorrow and report back. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Tim   tpeterson [at] islandstrust [dot] bc [dot] ca

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