Community Forest Management Strategy

Project Update

Provide your feedback on the draft Community Forest Management Strategy by completing our survey by February 18, 2022. Complete the survey now.
The draft Community Forest Management Strategy (CFMS) has been prepared to balance the need for managing urban growth with the goal to increase tree canopy.
 
Based on the Official Community Plan that guides long-term growth, the Township has provided a range of affordable housing options that accommodated over 25,000 new residents over the last decade. This rate of growth is anticipated to continue in the coming decades.
 
The draft CFMS aims to offset the decline in tree canopy caused by urbanization. It strives towards increasing tree canopy in urban areas from 23% to a target of 30% over the next 30 years. Without a strategy in place, it is forecast that the tree canopy will continue declining, due to natural tree mortality and urbanization. The draft strategy sets out actions to offset tree canopy decline by exploring opportunities to retain and plant trees on public and private lands.
 
Implementing the draft Strategy would need the partnership of both the Township and its residents. We invite you to learn more by attending the upcoming online open house, completing the survey, and developing that partnership. Get more details.

A draft Community Forest Management Strategy has been prepared for the Township of Langley and was received by Council on December 13, 2021.

The draft Strategy identifies a comprehensive set of 80 actions to be implemented over the next 30 years, in response to trends in declining tree canopy, climate change, and pressure from urban development and agriculture. It advocates for a Township-wide tree canopy target of 31% and a target of 30% for lands within the Urban Containment Boundary. The actions are organized into the following five broad categories:

  1. Plan for a more connected and climate resilient network of trees and natural assets
  2. Plant more trees to grow the community forest equitably and sustainably
  3. Protect the community forest to retain more trees and natural assets during development
  4. Manage trees to maintain a safer and healthier community forest
  5. Engage citizens to increase participation in community forest stewardship

Get Involved - Stage Four Public Engagement

The next public engagement opportunity for the Community Forest Management Strategy is taking place in January 2022. We want your input on the Draft Community Forest Management Strategy

  • Online Public Open House: January 18, 2022. Thanks for joining the online Open House to learn more about the draft Community Forest Management Strategy. If you missed the Open House, you can watch the recording here. The online Open House provided an overview of the actions and tree canopy goals of the draft Strategy. 
  • Survey: Provide your feedback to the Township on the draft Community Forest Management Strategy. Complete the survey by February 18, 2022.

Complete the Survey Now

 

Project Description

On April 15, 2019, the Township of Langley set out to create a Community Forest Management Strategy and to review the Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478. The update to the Tree Protection Bylaw was completed in July 2021, following the review and recommendations of the Tree Protection Advisory Committee. Information on the updated Bylaw can be found on the tree protection webpage.

On May 6, 2021, the first Online Public Open House for the Community Forest Management Strategy was held. View a recording of the open house presentation.

Langley’s community forest includes all trees, forests, vegetation and soil across the Township’s landscapes, including trees growing on public and private lands, whether in parks, schools, streets, parking lots, backyards, stream corridors, agricultural and rural land, and apartment and strata properties.

The community forest provides important benefits to the community such as capturing and cleaning stormwater, reducing heat, improving mental health and providing habitat for wildlife. However, the community forest is also facing challenges from fragmentation due to land use and climate change.

The Community Forest Management Strategy provides opportunities for the community to help establish a shared vision and priorities over the coming decades. It builds on the Community Forest Assessment Report that was prepared in 2019 to summarize information about the state of the community forest.

You are invited to participate in the final public engagement events for the Community Forest Management Strategy. Provide feedback on the future of our community forest!

Stage Two Public Engagement - Completed

Initial engagement for Langley’s Community Forest Management Strategy was completed in May and June of 2021. The engagement during Stage Two focused on the vision, goals, principles, and targets for the Community Forest Management Strategy.

Stage Two Public Engagement Summary:

  • There were 506 responses to the survey. Outcomes of the survey can be found in the Survey Summary Results.
  • A total of 185 important forest locations were submitted. Community forest locations and photo submissions from the community can be found using the Online Mapping Data Viewer.

Stage Two Public Engagement Information:

Project Timeline

The Township of Langley’s Community Forest Management Strategy is being prepared in four stages. We are in the final stage of the strategy process. We are requesting public input in January 2022. Completion of the strategy is targeted for March/April of 2022.

Project Timeline

Frequently Asked Questions

The term ‘community forest’ (often referred to as ‘urban forest’) refers to all trees, vegetation, soils and associated processes found on public and private land, in natural forests, parks, schools, streets, parking lots, stream corridors, urban areas, agricultural and rural areas, apartment and strata properties and in backyards. You can learn more about the status of Langley’s community forest in the Community Forest Assessment Report.

Langley’s community forest is facing significant challenges from development, forest fragmentation and climate change. The Community Forest Management Strategy will provide a clear vision, guidance, and measurable targets to sustain the community forest and maximize benefits to the community in the next decades.

The Township’s Urban Forestry section provides programs and services to manage the community forest. It is informed by several higher-level Township plans including the Sustainability Charter, Official Community Plan and Climate Action Strategy.

On private land, the Township regulates space available to retain or plant trees with the Zoning and Subdivision and Servicing Bylaws. The Township regulates trees through the Tree Protection Bylaw and Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw implementing measures for the retention, protection and replacement of private trees.

On public land, the Township manages street and park trees as well as natural areas, including more than 27,000 inventoried street and park trees. The Township plants 550-600 trees in streets and parks, 50 trees in natural areas and 300-400 replacement trees annually.

The first step of the Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478 review is complete. This step included a staff report (Tree Protection Bylaw (One Year Review) on the effectiveness of the Bylaw during its first year of implementation. The second step of the Bylaw review includes input from the Tree Protection Advisory Committee, and the Community Forest Management Strategy. A revised Tree Protection Bylaw will be proposed in conjunction with the completed Community Forest Strategy in the fall of 2021. The revised Bylaw will present improved measures for protecting trees within the Township.

The Community Forest Management Strategy will consider the Township as a whole, including both urban and rural areas.

Urban tree canopy cover includes green infrastructure within the Urban Containment Boundary such as community parks, neighbourhood parks, pocket parks, protected riparian areas, wildlife corridors, boulevards and street greenways.

Rural areas occupy approximately 75% of the Township’s land base and hold significant clusters of trees and forests. Rural forest clusters include Crown lands owned by the Federal and Provincial Governments; regional parks owned by Metro Vancouver; Municipal Nature Park, Ponder Park and Williams Park owned by the Township; riparian areas; private woodlots; and hedgerows. Many of these rural forest clusters provide critical ecological linkages between urban areas and are integral parts of the regional ecosystem in the Lower Mainland.

There are several reasons for the timing of the CFMS as a Council directive:

  • This strategy will complement and strengthen the wide range of policies related to trees that already exist into one document.
  • It has been one year since the Tree Protection Bylaw was put in place, and a review of the Bylaw, which will be done as part of the CFMS is important.
  • Climate change is affecting the Township and trees can play an important role in mitigating its affects. In hot weather, outdoor enthusiasts could easily find shade beneath a growing tree canopy that is capturing carbon and improving biodiversity.
  • As a municipality, we are increasingly aware of the benefits of trees not only environmentally, but socially and economically as well. It is a priority to strengthen our community in these ways, and trees are a part of that.

For more information, contact the Community and Policy Planning Department at cfms@tol.ca.