Prince Rupert council told to protect trees on public, private property

Prince Rupert council heard concerns about the state of greenery in the city on May 27.

Prince Rupert council heard concerns about the state of greenery in the city on May 27 as Christine Malloca pushed for the protection of trees in the community.

“I have lived here for 26 years, moved away and then moved back, and in that time I have steadily seen numerous trees in various parts of the city disappear. We live in the rainiest city in Canada, which makes us the greyest, starkest, dreariest, mildewiest city in Canada and I think one of the only things we have going for us is the beauty of the area. If you look through the downtown area, where there used to be trees, including Mariner’s Park … and throughout the city, there just aren’t anymore,” she said.

“When I look at the Official Community Plan and the attributes that received very high ratings, one of them was the protection of natural areas. I think we have seen a lot of passion in our city for natural areas, such as the incredible uproar about potentially cutting down the trees on the courthouse lawn and cutting down the natural area on Atlin Ave.”

Malloca said she wanted to see that protection extended to private property through a heritage tree policy that would protect trees of certain species and sizes within city boundaries.

“I think we need that here,” she said.

However, council said they not only had some concerns about the idea but had other priorities on the go as well.

“I think it would be pretty hard to enforce on private property saying someone can cut down a tree or not … I think there is some merit to what you are saying and it is worth some talk, but to be honest and fair it probably wouldn’t end up being on our priority list,” said Coun. Anna Ashley.

“Trees are beautiful, but they are also dangerous. Some trees are quite old and pose safety concerns,” said Coun. Gina Garon, with Coun. Joy Thorkelson adding that any heritage trees would need to stand up to a North Coast wind storm.