Urban Forests: Planting Our Future

Urban forest values are often under-recognized and under-valued. It can be difficult to manage the urban forest in the face of threats such as wildfire and pests like the mountain pine beetle. For smaller communities, finding the staff with expertise to manage this resource can be a challenge. 

This toolkit was designed to provide an overview of the tools and strategies that can be used to help communities to enhance the values in their urban forest and address some of the challenges.
It will be useful for local government staff and politicians, community groups, First Nations and others who are trying to address the challenges of climate change and economic diversification, and working to improve the quality of life in their home town. 
This document includes examples from communities throughout British Columbia and beyond who have developed successful strategies for urban forest management.

Bylaws and Incentives Examples

  • The City of Vernon prohibits damage or destruction of any tree over 8 cm at diameter breast height without a permit to do so. Hazard trees that are endangering people or property may be removed without a permit.
  • The District of Highlands prohibits the cutting of more than two trees per year where slopes are greater than 30% in order to protect steep slopes.
  • In the City of North Vancouver, trees will not be removed to create view corridors (although judicious pruning may be allowed), to reduce shade or due to nuisance factors (e.g., seeds, leaf litter). Tree removal petitions can be considered by the City if all neighbouring property owners are in support
  • District of Sechelt: Urban Forestry Plan
Authors: Judith Cullington, with Jeremy Gye and Sairah Tyler
Publisher: Union of British Columbia Municipalities, Ministry of Community Development
Oct, 2008
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PDF icon Plantingourfuture.pdf1.81 MB