Community Forest Management Strategy

Project Description

Preparation of a Community Forest Management Strategy is currently underway in the Township of Langley in conjunction with a review of the Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478. Langley’s community forest includes all trees, forests, vegetation and soil across the Township’s landscapes. This includes trees growing on public and private land whether in parks, schools, streets, parking lots, backyards, stream corridors agricultural and rural land, and apartment and strata properties.

Langley’s 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 Township of Langley’s Community Forest Management Strategy will provide an opportunity for the community to help establish a shared vision and priorities for community forest management in Langley over the coming decades. It will build on the Community Forest Assessment Report that was developed in 2020 to summarize information about the state of Langley’s community forest.

You are invited to participate in the visioning and planning for Langley’s Community Forest Management Strategy throughout this year. Have your say in the future of Langley’s community forest!

Get Involved

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first phase of engagement for Langley’s Community Forest Management Strategy in May 2021. Phase one focused on the vision, goals, principles, and targets for the Community Forest Management Strategy.

Next Engagement Opportunity

A second public open house will be hosted online in the fall of 2021 to share the draft Community Forest Management Strategy, present the implementation plan, and again seek your feedback. Check back later this year for more information on the second phase of engagement.

Project Timeline

The Township of Langley’s Community Forest Management Strategy will be developed in four stages. Work is already underway and began with background research completed in 2020 to assess the community forest’s condition and management.

Project Timeline

This year, the Community Forest Management Strategy will enter stages 2 through 4 of development. We are seeking public engagement in spring and fall of 2021. Completion of the strategy is targeted for the winter of 2021.

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.