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S.M. 2013, c. 44
Bill 30, 3rd Session, 40th Legislature
The Forest Health Protection Amendment Act (Heritage Trees)
(Assented to December 5, 2013)
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
The following is added after section 26 and before Part 5:
HERITAGE TREE PROGRAM
The minister is to establish a program to recognize trees with exceptional significance to Manitobans in order to promote public awareness of the environmental, cultural, social and historic importance of trees and forests.
A tree may be designated as a heritage tree if it falls within one of the following categories:
Historic or culturally significant tree — A tree that is associated with a historic event or that has significant cultural importance;
Record tree — A tree that is one of the largest, broadest or oldest of its species in Manitoba or that is a prime example of a species that is extremely rare in Manitoba;
Notable tree — A tree that is in a unique location, has unique characteristics or features or that has attracted widespread public recognition as a prime example of its species.
The minister is to establish a committee to
(a) review nominations for heritage tree designation; and
(b) make recommendations to the minister respecting the designation of heritage trees.
The heritage tree review committee is to consist of at least five and no more than seven persons appointed by the minister.
The minister must ensure that the heritage tree review committee includes persons who are arborists or who have experience in the field of forestry or plant science.
A member of the heritage tree review committee is to be appointed for a term not exceeding four years.
After a member's term expires, the member's appointment continues until he or she is re-appointed, the appointment is revoked or a successor is appointed.
The minister must designate one member of the heritage tree review committee as chair and another as vice-chair, to act if the chair is absent or unable to act.
Any person may nominate a tree for designation as a heritage tree.
A nomination must
(a) be made in writing to the director on a form approved by the minister; and
(b) provide information to explain why the person believes that the nominated tree falls within one of the categories set out in subsection 26.1(2).
The director must forward all nominations to the heritage tree review committee.
The heritage tree review committee must review all nominations. As part of its review, the committee may
(a) inspect the tree in question; and
(b) request additional information from the person making the nomination.
If a nominated tree is located on private land
(a) the owner of the land must be given a copy of the nomination;
(b) the owner of the land must be given an opportunity to make a written submission to the heritage tree review committee before the committee makes its recommendation on the nomination;
(c) any submission made by the owner of the land must accompany the heritage tree review committee's recommendation to the minister; and
(d) the minister must have regard to the owner's submission when deciding whether to designate the tree as a heritage tree.
The heritage tree review committee must provide the minister with its recommendation on each nomination.
After reviewing the recommendation of the heritage tree review committee, the minister may designate a tree as a heritage tree.
The minister must provide public notice of the designation of heritage trees and promote public awareness of heritage trees
(a) by publishing pictures and details of heritage trees on a government website or in other publications;
(b) by posting signs or plaques near heritage trees; or
(c) in any other manner that the minister considers appropriate.
The minister may enter into arrangements with other organizations to promote public awareness of heritage trees and the importance of trees to Manitobans.
If a heritage tree is located on Crown land, the minister must ensure that no person is authorized or permitted to cut the tree down unless
(a) an arborist recommends that the tree should be cut down because it is affected by a forest threat or poses a safety hazard;
(b) the tree is required to be cut down under a forest health order or a regulation made under subsection 18(1); or
(c) the removal of the tree is required to permit work on public infrastructure to occur and the cost of performing the work without removing the tree would be excessive.
The following is added after clause 33(l):
(l.1) respecting the process for designating heritage trees under Part 4.1;
This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.