On Tuesday, October 13, Haldimand County Council formally adopted a new Forest Conservation By-Law (No. 2204/20) to replace regional forest conservation by-laws that have been in effect since prior to 1981. The new by-law is aligned with current forestry standards and demonstrates Haldimand’s ongoing commitment to protecting natural resources.Over the past two decades there have been many changes in the realm of forest management and certain activities permitted under the former Regional Forest Conservation By-law (enacted in 2000) are no longer considered best practices in the forestry industry. In 2017, staff initiated the forest conservation by-law review process to bring Haldimand’s forestry regulations up to contemporary standards.The Forest Conservation By-law review was conducted over a 3-year period and largely informed by consultations with Haldimand’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, conservation authorities/committees, forestry industry experts, neighbouring municipalities, private landowners and the broader community. The new by-law sets out tree cutting regulations that balance the ecological need for woodland conservation with landowners’ property management and/or agricultural needs.The new Forest Conservation By-Law:
promotes Good Forestry Practices to assist landowners, staff and forestry professionals when planning for and conducting tree cutting activities;
introduces a simple, straightforward permitting system that offers landowners more flexibility to meet personal land management objectives while protecting woodland habitats;
deregulates isolated woodlands that are less than one (1) hectare in size and provides additional exemptions for tree cutting;
sets out a defined approval and appeal process for regulated woodland clear-cutting;
implements harsher penalties for tree-cutting activities that contravene the by-law.
Forestry staff will be working closely with the community and private woodland owners to implement the new by-law and provide ongoing education with respect to tree conservation in Haldimand.More information on the new Forest Conservation By-law (No. 2204/20) – including a new permit application form – will be available shortly on the County’s Foresty web page.