Niagara Region and NPCA Working Together
The By-law regulates the destruction of trees in woodlands by cutting, burning or other means to conserve and improve woodlands in Niagara Region.
The intent is to insure that, where tree cutting occurs, it is carried out in accordance with Good Forestry Practices. In the past logging operations often employed the diameter or size limit approach, removing the larger, more valuable trees.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is responsible for administering and enforcing the By-law on behalf of the Region.
The By-law prohibits the clearing of woodland except under certain specified circumstances. Selective cutting or removal of individual trees within woodlands is provided for but in most cases a permit is required, although the By-law does contain certain exemptions.”
Woodlands are defined in Section 1.37 of the By-law on the basis of tree density and size. A woodland may include lands on one or more properties.
The Tree and Forest Conservation By-law applies to:
- Woodlands that are 1.0 hectare or more in size;
- Woodlands having an area of less than 1.0 hectare upon delegation of such authority to the Region by a local municipality in Niagara; and
- Heritage and Significant Community trees identified and designated by the Council of a local municipality, but only upon delegation of such authority to the Region.
Delegation of Authority from Local Municipalities
The following local municipalities have delegated authority to the Region to deal with woodlands less than 1 hectare in size:
- Niagara Falls
- West Lincoln
Exemptions to the By-law
The By-law does not apply to trees cut or removed:
- For an owner’s own use subject to meeting several criteria (e.g., owned it for 2 years; Good Forestry Practices are used; no commercial sale of trees; a Woodland and minimum basal area are maintained)
- To remove dead trees, diseased trees as identified in a Prescription or Forest Management Plan prepared by a Registered Professional Forester or member of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association, or hazard trees
- By a registered farmer clearing for agricultural purposes, provided it is in accordance with good agricultural and forestry practices, the land is used for agricultural purposes within three years and the land is not in a Sensitive Natural Area as defined in the By-law
- For surveying purposes
- Where a building permit has been issued by a local municipality
- In accordance with a tree saving plan approved as part of a development project
- By a municipality for activities or matters undertaken for municipal purposes
- By a transmitter or distributor as defined in the Electricity Act
- On an approved waste disposal site
- On land described in a licence for a pit or quarry or a permit for a wayside pit or wayside quarry
- For construction of drainage works under the Drainage Act
- On Christmas tree plantations, orchards and tree nurseries