Is The Islands Trust Proposed Tree Protection Plan Putting YOUR Home At Risk of FIRE?

Provincial Firesmart Guide
to Preventing Homeowner Forest Fire

Please watch the video from the Province of BC or visit the Firesmart website for more helpful tips and graphics to keep your home safe.  A key forest fire prevention measure is ENSURING your homes and buildings (barns, garages, etc.) have no “highly flammable” coniferous trees with cones and needles like Western Red Cedar, Douglas-fir, Spruce, and Pine within ten 10 metres. These trees represent highest risk fire hazards.
Other highly flammable plants include juniper, Leyland cypress, broom, rosemary and eucalyptus. If these plants and trees ignite within 10 metres of your home they can cause serious damage, plus their ember showers can ignite your home.

High-Risk Trees & Plants

Avoid planting these trees or plants near your homes and structures.

Trees To Avoid Within Ten Metres of Your Home.

The foliage and cones of Coniferous trees like Douglas-Fir trees are highly flammable. These trees should be removed within a 10-metre area distance of your home and buildings like barns and garages, says the BC Homeowners Firesmart Guide. So why does the Islands Trust Draft New Policy Statement recommend all these Fir trees be protected with no extraction permitted? Scroll down for screenshots from policy statement below.

Recommended Trees to Plant

The Firesmart Guide recommends more deciduous, leafy trees be planted to ensure a healthy, diverse, fire-resistant forest zone.

Recommended Tree-Clearing Plan for Firesmart Home Zones  

Highly flammable Fir Douglas-fir and Western redcedar trees should be removed within ten metres of homes, barns and garages. Beyond that distance, up to 100 metres from your home, these trees should be and “thinned” or spaced at least three metres apart in areas further away from homes or other structures like barns or garages.

Islands Trust Wants Tree- Cutting Authority on Private Property

The proposed new regulatory bylaw appears to place tree protection above all other priorities, inherent in their new Draft Policy Statement. Homeowners, farmers and others will be required to get permits/approval before clearing any dangerous or flammable trees on their own private property.

Islands Trust Appears to Want Tree Protection At All Costs

The proposed Islands Trust plan appears to have a very clear goal to protect Fir trees and other “aesthetic” values of the existing forest with “no extraction” permitted, on top of a ban on clear-cutting or logging of any old-growth trees anywhere in the Trust area.

Also clear is the Islands Trust’s goal to supplant the Ministry of Forests and govern commercial forestry within the Islands, yet without any expertise or stumpage revenue to cover these costs. While concern over maintenance of old growth characteristics and a desire to promote environmental integrity is noble, management of our forests is complex and comprehensive.

The Islands Trust does not have and cannot be expected to achieve the requisite expertise let alone the authority or structures in place to cooperate with First Nations to leverage their knowledge and participation. Anything the Islands Trust imagines it might do will fundamentally be duplicative of the Ministry’s efforts and at a far lower degree of competence and comprehensive involvement.

Remember, Islands Trust Just FAILED its Second Management Review

Great Northern Management, an independent expert consultancy hired by the Islands Trust to conduct a review of their policies, practices, and procedures, has concluded the Trust is “dysfunctional”, has a “leadership deficit” and no clear direction, among other findings in their report here.

Do you really think they should be given additional authority to regulate tree-cutting on your private property?

Write to your Politicians.

Demand the Islands Trust Stop Their Expansion into Provincial Authority and New Tree-Cutting Regulations.

The Islands Trust does not have the expertise or ability to regulate new tree-cutting policies or follow adequate Firesmart practices on the Gulf Islands. That means they’d have to hire more staff or consultants, growing your property tax bills.

Homes and businesses are especially vulnerable to forest fire, with annual summer water shortages and water pressure issues impacting forest firefighting resources.

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Honorable Forest Minister Katrine Conroy:

COPY TO: (us) (Islands Trustees group list)

Protecting Your Home from Forest Fire

Number one rule is ENSURING your homes and buildings (barns, garages, etc.) have no “highly flammable” coniferous trees with cones and needles like western redcedar, Douglas-fir, spruce, cedar and pine within ten 10 metres. If they ignite, their embers spread easily to your home.

Rural areas like ours lack steady water supply and abundant local forest firefighting resources.

So why does the Islands Trust Draft New Policy Statement recommend all these trees be protected, removing your right to cut dangerous trees on your private property?

Check out our new video!

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