Urban Forest Management Plan

The District developed an Urban Forest Management Plan to protect, enhance, and maintain the health of West Vancouver's urban forest over the next 15 years.

View the Urban Forest Management Plan (PDF).

View larger mapWest Vancouver’s urban forest includes all trees, vegetation, and soil found within parks, along streets, in surrounding forests, and on private property. The urban forest is an asset that provides many important benefits for the health and livability of our community, but it continues to be impacted by climate change and development activities.

Why we need an Urban Forest Management Plan

The Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) ties together years of studies, reports, and community feedback into a cohesive plan with specific goals and strategies to support the District’s guiding policies related to urban forest management in order to maintain the health and maximize the benefits of our urban forest over the long term.

The Plan includes five goals with a total of 59 associated actions that aim to address the following challenges:

  • Competing uses - Urban forest goals must be balanced with other objectives in West Vancouver. Protecting and growing tree canopy will continue to require careful planning and trade-offs (development on private property and transportation routes and infrastructure on public lands).
  • Inequitable distribution - There is a 49% gap between West Vancouver’s neighbourhood with the highest canopy cover, Sunset Beach (68%), and its lowest canopy cover neighbourhood, in Ambleside 1 (19%). Growing canopy cover in those neighbourhoods will be important to distribute urban forest benefits more equitably.
  • Views - Views and trees both provide benefits to many property owners and visitors that sometimes can overlap and be perceived as detrimental to one another.
  • Climate change - Climate change has already started impacting ecosystems and communities worldwide. The urban forest is a critical natural asset to help the District in its climate change mitigation (e.g., carbon storage, rainwater management, air quality) and adaptation (e.g., shading and cooling) initiatives because of its many environmental benefits. Trees also pose a risk to the community due to impacts on the urban forest from wildfires, storm and wind events, drought, and pests, which can result in hazardous and dead trees that need to be managed.
  • Increased demand for municipal urban forest management - In recent years, the municipality has processed a growing number of tree permits and work orders for tree issues on public land.
  • Lack of data on assets in highest-use areas - Acquiring an inventory of its urban tree assets’ number, diversity, and condition would help West Vancouver plan for, budget, and maintain its urban trees more proactively over the coming years.
  • Infrastructure conflicts - Trees pose significant issues in terms of the maintenance of District infrastructure (road, culvert, watercourse blockages, tree root damage to pipes, buildings, pavements, power lines), which impact service levels, require immediate response during storm events, and pose challenges for planting trees.


Adoption, Engagement, and Implementation

On March 11, 2024, Council adopted the Urban Forest Management Plan with a request to engage with the community to prioritize the implementation of the actions.

The engagement sessions will take place on:

  • Tuesday, June 18, 1–3 p.m.
    West Vancouver Memorial Library – Welsh Hall (1950 Marine Drive)

  • Thursday, June 20, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
    Gleneagles Community Centre (6262 Marine Drive)

The District is inviting residents to provide their input on what actions should be the top priorities to maintain and enhance the urban forest and tree canopy cover. There are short-term actions identified in the Plan to be implemented within the next five years; however, not all actions can be implemented at the same time due to budget and resource constraints. We are seeking your input on where to start.

Following these engagement sessions, staff will evaluate the feedback to determine which actions to work on in 2024 and subsequent years for Council consideration.

Staff have already begun to implement several actions in the Plan.

Completed:

  • Adoption of a 52% canopy cover target by 2036.
  • Recommended replacement tree list for climate suitability and resiliency
  • Recommended tree replacement list for properties in the Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area
  • New Resources for residents:
    o native soil conservation and management guidelines
    o best practices for spacing, width, soil volume, tree spacing, permeability for planting trees
    o educational information about value of trees, how to choose the right species, and how to improve bird and pollinator habitat
    o International Society of Arboriculture’s Trees are Good materials to help residents choose, plant, and maintain the right tree for their yard
  • Plant-A-Tree program with schools
  • District public tree inventory assessment and database development

Ongoing:

  • Expanding tree planting program on public lands
  • Continuing to encourage use of wildfire risk reduction treatments that minimize tree removals where possible
  • Tracking annual tree planting on public lands and private property (where possible)
  • Working with tree nurseries to grow diverse tree species suited for West Vancouver’s urban forest and climate
  • Pursuing external funding for District tree planting and maintenance and community planting initiatives
  • Providing stewardship opportunities for the community to participate to tree planting and forest restoration events

The District developed an Urban Forest Management Plan to protect, enhance, and maintain the health of West Vancouver's urban forest over the next 15 years.

View the Urban Forest Management Plan (PDF).

View larger mapWest Vancouver’s urban forest includes all trees, vegetation, and soil found within parks, along streets, in surrounding forests, and on private property. The urban forest is an asset that provides many important benefits for the health and livability of our community, but it continues to be impacted by climate change and development activities.

Why we need an Urban Forest Management Plan

The Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) ties together years of studies, reports, and community feedback into a cohesive plan with specific goals and strategies to support the District’s guiding policies related to urban forest management in order to maintain the health and maximize the benefits of our urban forest over the long term.

The Plan includes five goals with a total of 59 associated actions that aim to address the following challenges:

  • Competing uses - Urban forest goals must be balanced with other objectives in West Vancouver. Protecting and growing tree canopy will continue to require careful planning and trade-offs (development on private property and transportation routes and infrastructure on public lands).
  • Inequitable distribution - There is a 49% gap between West Vancouver’s neighbourhood with the highest canopy cover, Sunset Beach (68%), and its lowest canopy cover neighbourhood, in Ambleside 1 (19%). Growing canopy cover in those neighbourhoods will be important to distribute urban forest benefits more equitably.
  • Views - Views and trees both provide benefits to many property owners and visitors that sometimes can overlap and be perceived as detrimental to one another.
  • Climate change - Climate change has already started impacting ecosystems and communities worldwide. The urban forest is a critical natural asset to help the District in its climate change mitigation (e.g., carbon storage, rainwater management, air quality) and adaptation (e.g., shading and cooling) initiatives because of its many environmental benefits. Trees also pose a risk to the community due to impacts on the urban forest from wildfires, storm and wind events, drought, and pests, which can result in hazardous and dead trees that need to be managed.
  • Increased demand for municipal urban forest management - In recent years, the municipality has processed a growing number of tree permits and work orders for tree issues on public land.
  • Lack of data on assets in highest-use areas - Acquiring an inventory of its urban tree assets’ number, diversity, and condition would help West Vancouver plan for, budget, and maintain its urban trees more proactively over the coming years.
  • Infrastructure conflicts - Trees pose significant issues in terms of the maintenance of District infrastructure (road, culvert, watercourse blockages, tree root damage to pipes, buildings, pavements, power lines), which impact service levels, require immediate response during storm events, and pose challenges for planting trees.


Adoption, Engagement, and Implementation

On March 11, 2024, Council adopted the Urban Forest Management Plan with a request to engage with the community to prioritize the implementation of the actions.

The engagement sessions will take place on:

  • Tuesday, June 18, 1–3 p.m.
    West Vancouver Memorial Library – Welsh Hall (1950 Marine Drive)

  • Thursday, June 20, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
    Gleneagles Community Centre (6262 Marine Drive)

The District is inviting residents to provide their input on what actions should be the top priorities to maintain and enhance the urban forest and tree canopy cover. There are short-term actions identified in the Plan to be implemented within the next five years; however, not all actions can be implemented at the same time due to budget and resource constraints. We are seeking your input on where to start.

Following these engagement sessions, staff will evaluate the feedback to determine which actions to work on in 2024 and subsequent years for Council consideration.

Staff have already begun to implement several actions in the Plan.

Completed:

  • Adoption of a 52% canopy cover target by 2036.
  • Recommended replacement tree list for climate suitability and resiliency
  • Recommended tree replacement list for properties in the Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area
  • New Resources for residents:
    o native soil conservation and management guidelines
    o best practices for spacing, width, soil volume, tree spacing, permeability for planting trees
    o educational information about value of trees, how to choose the right species, and how to improve bird and pollinator habitat
    o International Society of Arboriculture’s Trees are Good materials to help residents choose, plant, and maintain the right tree for their yard
  • Plant-A-Tree program with schools
  • District public tree inventory assessment and database development

Ongoing:

  • Expanding tree planting program on public lands
  • Continuing to encourage use of wildfire risk reduction treatments that minimize tree removals where possible
  • Tracking annual tree planting on public lands and private property (where possible)
  • Working with tree nurseries to grow diverse tree species suited for West Vancouver’s urban forest and climate
  • Pursuing external funding for District tree planting and maintenance and community planting initiatives
  • Providing stewardship opportunities for the community to participate to tree planting and forest restoration events
Page last updated: 11 Jun 2024, 01:46 PM