Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Tree Protection and Urban Forest Growth in Langley City

A few weeks ago, I updated the background image on my social media profiles and this blog, showing an aerial picture I took of the powerline trail network, H.D. Stafford Middle School, and the Pleasantdale Creek Trail. This picture generated some feedback about what the City is or needs to do about tree protection in our community.

I know tree protection becomes top of mind in neighbourhoods when someone removes mature trees on their lot, especially when it is part of replacing an older detached house with a new detached house.

I know that some folks also believe that building housing and growing our urban forest are at odds with each other, but this doesn't have to be the case. We can grow our urban forest and increase the supply of housing.

Tree preservation is important, and expanding the urban tree canopy is even more critical due to the climate crisis. These reasons are why Langley City is working on creating a new Urban Forest Management Strategy.

This new strategy will cover all aspects of Langley City's urban forest, from our parks and natural areas to yard and street trees. It may surprise some, but Langley City also has land within the Agricultural Land Reserve, which has its own best practices for forest management. All this will be part of the new strategy, as shown in the image below.

Components of Langley City's Urban Forest. Select the image to enlarge.

In the summer, Langley City Council received a report card about our urban forest's current state and protection, which was only "fair." We know we need to make improvements. You can read more about this report card in a previous blog post.

In the coming months, the City will deliver a draft of the new strategy for the community to provide feedback. I will certainly be posting about it. This feedback will inform the final version of the strategy for Council to consider approving, hopefully, this year.

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