Council rubberstamps forest cover recommendations



Chatham-Kent is moving forward with the development of a conservation policy and will be hiring a professional forester.

In a highly debated topic throughout the year, council approved the recommendations stemming from the early October committee of the whole meeting, including receiving a conservation by-law.

Before John Norton, director of legal services did a brief presentation, four young girls stood up beside the horseshoe of the council chambers, two with green tape over their mouths, all holding up a sign that read, “A Tree For Every Child.”

Tom Beaton, manager of parks, cemeteries and horticulture, said staff is happy to keep moving forward with the plans, and they will be monitoring the tree-cutting situation.

“Our goal is to protect what we have,” Beaton said. “A sustainability committee of experts will have their finger on the pulse of what is happening in the community… they will raise the red flag if needed.”

Beaton said hiring a professional forester will help educate Chatham-Kent landowners.

“We will be implementing an outreach program and we hope to promote this effort,” he said.

Wallaceburg Coun. Sheldon Parsons said he is concerned clear-cutting will take place before the conservation policy is created by April 1, 2014.

“My fear is we’ve created an open season from now and April 1,” Parsons said.

South Kent Coun. Art Stirling said it is a small amount of property owners that are doing the clear cutting.

“The mass majority of property owners are good environmental stewards,” he said.

A total of $70,000 was approved to go towards hiring a professional forester. The funds also include cost for promotions and an educational campaign.


  1. BOO.

    Oops, sorry, did I scare a Councillor?

    Well you should be scared, this time next year a bogeyman will be coming to get ya!

  2. excellent day for rights of property owners. while certainly not out of the woods yet (no pun intended), at least I can say that council is putting the rights of citizens ahead of the alleged rights of the collective. not happy about spending $70,000 on some guy to come in and tell people what to do with their property but when you factor in what a bylaw would cost, this is a good compromise.

  3. Excellent day for Forest Preservation in CK. We will remain vigilant throughout the winter, but this time, with many more eyes on the remaining woodlands. The "Property Rights" nut is showing some serious cracks, mostly because the weakness of the argument. In Canada, people have right to title. People do not own land in the same way as they own a shirt. The term "Land Rights" was borrowed from the ongoing struggles of Aboriginal Peoples for sovereignty. There are a few libertarian extremists who would extend sovereignty to individuals at the cost of the common good. There is no denying that laws are necessary to restrict abuses by the few, to the many. Just as one may not pollute the air and water that flow through the land, one may not destroy the natural heritage of an entire region. That natural heritage flows, through time from the past, through our present bottleneck of individual shortsightedness , towards a sustainable and balanced future. My generation, and the generations to come will achive this. We are just beggining to awaken the vast majority of urban voters and will achieve balance through Democracy. The tide is finally turning.

  4. A bylaw would be very cheap compared to a policy which you haven't seen yet. If the farm groups are involved,which they will be, the incentives alone will be equal to or greater than CK's GDP. The $70g is just to figure out how much of a budget is needed to implement a policy

  5. It is great that a forester has been hired, education is the first step in initiating change. At least this Municipality is moving forward even though some might disagree. This time if the clearing continues the By-Law is ready to go, this will be a true test that can either succeed or fail. At the end of the day everyone wants to achieve the same goal, a healthy sustainable community! ( well most people do anyway, not all)

  6. The KFA mouthpieces will have their work cut out for them on this file. They have to deal with the fact that many of their members have signed a petition in support of the bylaw. They also know that the political will is there to enact a bylaw if the clear cutting doesn't stop. Now they will have to deal with the clear-cutting landowners themselves and it seems that their federation money is on the table. That is the only good news story here. Otherwise, this is just another case of the council dithering as they have on this file since 2003.

  7. A step in the right direction, but sheesh!!! – why the delay until 'April Fools Day' 2014??? Aren't they just extending an invitation to those with an agenda for clear-cutting to get on with it, but quick! Damn!!

  8. What a shame that a bylaw wasn't passed…they really have no idea how many ppl can not WAIT for voting time! Their votes will reflect their ignorance! This has gone on WAY too long, what are they waiting for….the last tree to fall!? Remember we can not eat, drink or BREATHE money!!

  9. Well many call our city and councilors "CHATHAM-CAN'T "!!!!!!!! does not surprise me, money talks in this by-law and the money always win no matter what is at stake!!!!!


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