A new bylaw to regulate clearcutting of forests in North Glengarry, which would require landowners to obtain a permit before undertaking large projects, may be a model for other communities in Eastern Europe to follow. Ontario, said a spokesperson for a group that lobbied for the new regulations.
“I am delighted that the bylaw is passed,” said Pete Bock, a North Glengarry resident of the Glengarry Neighbors group, who has been lobbying municipalities in the area to take action against unregulated clearcutting. forest land. “It took a lot of hard work from a lot of people and the council’s willingness to listen – it was the first council from the entire region to listen.
Bock said he hopes other municipalities in the United Counties of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry (SDG) and Prescott-Russell (UCPR) will take note and take the necessary steps to pass their own bylaws. He thanked the officials and council members of the Township of North Glengarry, who he said worked diligently to satisfy all parties interested in the settlement, in order to find a solution acceptable to all.
North Glengarry Township Council passed its long-awaited clearcutting bylaw at its Tuesday October 12th council meeting. Prior to the adoption of the bylaw, two public consultations were held: one in November 2019 and one in September 2021. Members of local groups, as well as individuals, had the opportunity to express themselves and ask questions of the board members. Council and staff met with members of the Glengarry Federation of Agriculture, as well as Glengarry Neighbors, to discuss the content and intent of the regulation.
The bylaw aims to regulate any nuisance associated with clearcutting. Under the new by-law, a woodlot owner who intends to harvest an area of 1.0 ha (2.47 acres) or more of woodlot will have to submit an application to the township. The information must be submitted at least 30 working days before the start of the harvest. The new regulations came into effect on October 13.
Clearcutting is a contentious issue and the new regulations aim to find common ground between those who support clearcutting and those who would like the practice to be stopped altogether, said Jacob Rheaume, construction manager, of the regulation and town planning of the township. north of Glengarry. The bylaw will also inform the township of planned projects and is expected to alleviate some of the historic problems caused by unregulated clearcuts in the municipality.
Rheaume said the township has worked closely with the local agricultural society and environmental groups on the new settlement. He noted that the new clearcut bylaw only affects large plots of land and will not affect smaller tree-cutting operations by township residents.
“Some fear that if they cut a few trees, they come under the jurisdiction of the regulation, but they are not,” said Rhéaume. “It’s really when you cut more than 2.5 acres that you have to apply, so if you want to cut a few trees you’re good at – it’s only for large clearcut projects.
Rheaume also supported the idea that other municipalities in Eastern Ontario might consider using the North Glengarry settlement as a template for their own clearcut bylaws – noting that this is the first of the kind in the region.
Information concerning the clearcutting regulations is available on the website website of the municipality or by contacting the Township of North Glengarry Director of Construction, Regulations and Planning, Jacob Rheaume, at [email protected] or 613-525-1116.