The by-law regulates the destruction of trees in woodlands by cutting, burning or other means to conserve and improve woodlands in Niagara.
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 Niagara 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.
We're undertaking a comprehensive review of the Region’s Tree and Forest Conservation By-law. Learn about the Woodland By-law Review.
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:
The following local municipalities have delegated authority to the Region to deal with woodlands less than 1 hectare in size:
Under the by-law trees cannot be cut unless
A Good Forestry Practices Permit may be issued where
The by-law does not apply to trees cut or removed:
An applicant may appeal to Regional Council if the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority refuses to issue a permit. Application must be made within 30 days after the refusal.
The by-law provides for the establishment of an Advisory Committee by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. It is to be a technical advisory committee and is to review and provide advice on matters of tree and forest conservation as requested by the Authority.
The committee is to include, at a minimum, representatives of the local municipalities, the Niagara North and Niagara South Federations of Agriculture, the Niagara Woodlot Association, and the logging industry.
Where a by-law enforcement officer is satisfied that a contravention of the by-law has occurred the officer may issue an order requiring the person who contravened the by-law, or who caused it to be contravened, to stop the injuring or destruction of trees.
The by-law provides for fines to individuals on first conviction of up to $10,000 or $1,000 per tree, whichever is greater. Where a corporation is responsible, the fines may be up to $50,000 or $5,000 per tree. On subsequent convictions the fines can be higher.
Send questions or requests for information concerning this by-law to:
Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
250 Thorold Rd. W, 3rd Floor
Welland, ON L3C 3W2
905-788-3135 ext. 247