Bob Moore (Ward 3) responds to the
GUFF Election 2014 Candidate Questions
I too have concerns about establishing and maintaining a healthy tree cover for our city. I appreciate the work of GUFF in keeping these concerns in front of the community and the elected officials. I have been active myself in the Guelph Community Orchard Project, and the Treemobile project to promote edible forests in Guelph.
This is an important social and environmental concern. As always, we must find a way to balance environmental with economic concerns. I think the best way to do that is to have a comprehensive and co-ordinated plan in place.
- full funding for the Urban Forest Management Plan and the Arborist Crew in the next budget cycle
Because a well-managed urban forest pays for itself, I would move towards full funding. I would not commit to full funding in the next budget cycle because we would have to wind down commitments for other things that are not as well-justified. My goal would be full funding within three years. I would like to explore a mix of staffing and contracting, that would allow us to have an arborist crew on staff for maintenance and would give us the freedom to contract out any jobs that are out of the ordinary, e.g. a seasonal rush, or a response to storm damage, or the removal of very large trees, etc.
I support a shade policy because I think the case has been well-made that shade pays for itself in reduced cooling, maintenance, and health benefits.
Refer to http://www.epa.gov/heatislands/resources/pdf/TreesandVegCompendium.pdf, especially page 11.
3, 4, 5. Tree Protection
I would promote a point system that could use a dollar sign that would be applied to any tree in Guelph. Any tree could be assigned a value based on size, age, history, health, species, location, etc. Trees, on public, private or institutional land, with a higher value would need a higher level of approval before removal, and would also warrant more protection from the danger of encroaching developments. Also, trees on public land with a higher value would need a lower level of approval before getting attention or maintenance.
A comprehensive inventory would be costly but a formula that could be applied to any tree in question would be very helpful. This value would then be used in the assessment of the cost of proposed city projects.
- Emerald Ash Borer
Research has shown that a passive approach would cost the same or more than a managed approach; it is just a matter of when we want to spend the money. I prefer the model adopted by council and would support the funding it requires with one or two cautions:
- The plan says that the pesticide has to be administered by a professional arborist. The city of Madison, Wisconsin cut their application costs considerably by training city staff to apply the pesticide. I would like to look at that option.
- We could save a considerable sum of money by planting saplings now where space permits. The cost to supply and plant a sapling is considerably less than the cost to supply and plant a 10 cm or even 5 cm tree. For example, on the boulevard between Westgate and Edinburgh (between Speedvale and Woodlawn) there are quite a few ash trees but there is also space between the ash to plant saplings now. By the time the ash have to come down, the saplings will already be established and providing shade. Planting saplings would be a great summer job for U of G students.