Urban Forest Strategy
The Urban Forest Strategy [PDF - 6 MB] is a document that guides the maintenance and enhancement of Fort St. John’s urban forest. The urban forest includes all trees, shrubs, and understory plants – as well as the soils that sustain them – that are located on public and private property within the City boundary.
The City of Fort St John recognizes the need for an urban forest strategy and several existing City documents support the need for enhanced urban forestry practices. Most recently, the momentum to conduct an urban forestry study evolved from the work undertaken as part of the 100 Street Corridor Plan, an intensive design and engagement project focused on revitalizing downtown Fort St. John.
The benefits of urban trees are of increasing interest to the community, and there is extensive literature on the environmental, social, health, and economic benefits of trees. These include improved air quality, temperature moderation, enhanced psychological well-being, reduced infrastructure and energy costs, higher property values, and the provision of habitat for beneficial birds and pollinator insects.
This Urban Forest Strategy was prepared with input from City staff in the Community Services Division, and contains the following information:
- Benefits and challenges of urban forests
- An analysis of the City’s tree canopy cover
- A summary of existing bylaws, programs, and practices relating to urban forestry
- A summary analysis of the strengths and challenges of the urban forest in Fort St. John
- Overview of urban forest management best practices
- Recommendations for enhancing and managing the City’s tree canopy
The Urban Forest Strategy has three guiding principles:
- Protect, enhance, and expand the urban forest through updated bylaws, programs, and practices.
- Monitor and manage the urban forest to be resilient and maximize its environmental, social, health, and economic benefits.
- Communicate and collaborate with the community to develop and maintain a strong understanding of and support for the urban forest.