Editor, The News:
Re: Ridge tree bylaw needs work, says observer (The News, June 19).
While there are positive aspects to the proposed tree bylaw as it applies to urban and developed properties, its application to rural ones is seriously flawed.
There is not obvious comprehension of the tenets of sustainable forestry or woodlots, or responsible rural culture in general.
The proposed $500 permit fee and $25 a tree to cut any one greater than 10 centimetres on properties under five acres, and for properties over five acres after five trees a year is patently ridiculous.
A sustainable woodlot requires thinning, cutting of mature trees and replanting.
This results in increased biomass and a bigger tree canopy, neither of which are predicated on counting trees or centimetres.
It is a garden on a 40-plus year cycle.
If I pull more than five carrots out of my garden, should I be expected to get a $500 permit, or pay $25 to pull a sixth?
This bylaw is simply an initiative to take money from rural people who are trying to live a sustainable life, and will resulting in penalizing non-complaint people who are simply trying to heat with wood or clear trees from around their gardens, or creating room for an outbuilding and road.
Even the urban culture that informed this bylaw would likely recognize a road as a reasonable way to access a building.
What is an orchardist supposed to do if he or show wants to remove unproductive trees and plant another variety?
Sometimes trees simply need to be removed, and others planted in their place.
If the intention of this bylaw is actually to save trees, rather than tax people, the city would simply create one like Surrey’s, which states that for every tree cut down you most plant two.
While it may not apply to urban or development properties, it is an intelligent, effective and acceptable bylaw for rural properties and guarantees the expansion of the canopy.