Community Forest Management Strategy

The Community Forest Management Strategy provides a comprehensive vision for the trees in the Township. It captures the state of the forest and sets goals, targets, and actions through an implementation plan all in effort to protect and steward the forest for generations to come.

On May 9, 2022, Council unanimously approved the Community Forest Management Strategy with the support of the Tree Protection Advisory Committee. Stay up-to-date on community forest news in the Township by signing up for the Sustainability and Climate eNews.

Over the next 30 years, the Strategy strives towards increasing tree canopy in urban areas from 23% to a target of 30%. Without a strategy in place, it is forecast that the tree canopy will continue declining, due to natural tree mortality and urbanization. The Strategy sets out actions to offset tree canopy decline by exploring opportunities to retain and plant trees on public and private lands.

Read the Community Forest Management Strategy, including the vision, goals, and actions.

The Strategy was developed with support from the Tree Protection Advisory Committee, a broad-based team of community members that was established by Council to provide advice and guidance for the protection, preservation, and planting of trees in the Township.

Public Feedback also helped shape the strategy. Two Open House events, and two online surveys provided opportunities for the community to engage in the planning process. The surveys received 761 responses, and 185 important forest locations in our community were submitted using our online mapping tool

Community Forest Assessment Report

The Community Forest Management Strategy builds on the Community Forest Assessment Report (2019) to summarize information about the state of the community forest. The Assessment Report was updated in 2021 to reflect refinements in canopy cover values.

Tree Protection Bylaw

Tree Protection Bylaw 2019, No. 5478 was adopted by Council in 2019 and updated in 2021 to protect trees, regulate cutting, and outline replanting requirements.

To help ensure tree health and the urban canopy, property owners are required to apply for a permit if they want to cut or remove a tree from their property. To apply for a permit, visit the tree protection webpage.

Climate Action Strategy

In July 2019, Township of Langley Council declared a Climate Emergency with the goal of highlighting and accelerating climate change action. In response, the Township of Langley has developed a Climate Action Strategy that will work to:

  1. tackle the causes of climate change through actions to cut carbon pollution, and
  2. prepare our community to better adapt to a changing climate well into the future.

Preparation of the Community Forest Management Strategy was an action item in the Climate Action Strategy to reduce the urban heat island effect, lower cooling needs for buildings, maintain/increase carbon sequestration, and improve biodiversity.

Find out more about the Township of Langley’s Climate Action Strategy.

Key Documents

Report to Council (May 9, 2022) - final CFMS

Report to Council (December 13, 2021) - draft CFMS

Report to Council (July 12, 2021) – Tree Protection Bylaw Update

Report to Council (October 26, 2020) - Tree Protection Bylaw (One Year Review)

Report to Council (June 15, 2020) - TPAC and CFMS Terms of Reference

Report to Council (May 27, 2019) – Tree Protection Bylaw

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.

The Township’s Urban Forestry section provides programs and services to manage the community forest. It is informed by several high-level Township plans, including the Sustainability Charter, Official Community Plan and Climate Action Strategy. Through the Community Forest Management Strategy the Township will work to increase the level of tree service and identify opportunities to increase the number of trees planted annually.

On developing private land, the Township regulates space available to retain or plant trees on developing lands with the Subdivision & Development Servicing Bylaw. All other sites, within the urban containment boundary, trees are regulated through the Tree Protection Bylaw with 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 currently plants 550-600 trees in streets and parks, 50 trees in natural areas and 300-400 replacement trees annually.

The Community Forest Management Strategy considers 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, street greenways, and trees on private property.

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.

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