You may be aware that Ontario, along with many other jurisdictions, is being hit hard by the imported pest Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus plannipennis. It has already killed tens of thousands of ash trees. The Municipal Arborists and Urban Foresters, a Committee of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Ontario Urban Forest Council are working to raise awareness about EAB and the environmental and economic fallout.
Public property owners, homeowners, businesses, institutions, and utilities will have to deal with thousands of ash trees before they become a liability and bear the cost of implementing programs to deal with this terrible loss to our urban forest.
Effective EAB programs involve the following:
- Identifying ash trees, size and locations (an inventory)
- Monitoring the distribution of the pest within local area
- Identifying and treating trees worthy of preservation
- Tree removal on public and private lands, and disposal of wood waste
- Replanting replacement trees.
A FEDERAL and PROVINCIAL ROLE IN URBAN FORESTRY
WHEREAS over 80% of Canadians now live in urban areas and have come to rely on the environmental, ecological and economic benefits of urban forests;
AND WHEREAS the health of Canadians is sustained by their urban forests which provide services through improving air quality, cooling city streets and buildings, acting as a windbreak, shading from harmful UV rays, and filtering storm water, as well as beautifying our communities;
AND WHEREAS neither the federal nor provincial governments currently include urban forestry in their mandates except in a limited role with respect to exotic, invasive pests;
AND WHEREAS the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has not been able to stop the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer throughout Ontario and Quebec
AND WHEREAS the Emerald Ash Borer is expected to cost Canadians over $2 Billion dollars in treatment and replanting;
AND WHEREAS Canadian forestry programs and research are solely focused on industrial forests and do not at present include urban tree planting, appropriate species research, and insect control and management; and
AND WHEREAS other jurisdictions such as the United States Forest Service and the European Urban Forestry Research and Information Centre include urban forestry as a program and research area;
AND WHEREAS Canada engages municipalities in a number of substantial infrastructure programs;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Municipality of _______________________________ calls on the Federal and Provincial governments to take leadership roles in recognizing the need to support urban forestry, by establishing urban forestry mandates and programs which includes funding assistance to municipalities for the control and management of the Emerald Ash Borer- and any future significant imported diseases and insects -as well as the creation and funding of programs designed to support the on-going sustainable management of urban forests.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That all municipalities across Ontario be encouraged to endorse this proclamation and that this resolution be distributed to The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources; The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities; The Honorable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance; Local Federal Member of Parliament _____________________;
Honourable Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources; Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Honourable Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance; Local Provincial Member of the Ontario Legislature__________________, Tim Hudak, MPP, Leader of Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and the Opposition Party; Andrea Horvath, MPP, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario;
Association of Municipalities of Ontario; Federation of Canadian Municipalities;