Montclair’s Community Forestry Management Plan Approved

COMMUNITY FORESTRY MANAGEMENT PLAN (CFMP) FOR MONTCLAIR APPROVED BY NJ Greenleaf TreeSTATE FORESTRY SERVICE

On June 26, 2015, the Township of Montclair was notified that the Community Forestry Management Plan (CFMP) was approved by the New Jersey State Forestry Service. The Township adopted a management plan after finding its community forest significantly reduced by recent weather-related disasters, such as the Halloween Snowstorm of 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The established urban forest is important to Montclair’s identity and environmental health; hence, the Township designed the CFMP to preserve the natural beauty of its tree canopy, which requires both planting replacement trees and caring for existing trees, while reducing tree hazards, and to perform such tasks proactively rather than reactively.

The first goal of the CFMP will be to conduct an inventory, assessment and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of trees on public property in Montclair, identifying what trees we have (numbers and species), what their needs are (with respect to removal and pruning), and where new trees are needed. Once the inventory is complete, Montclair can efficiently perform regular tree maintenance, and from there begin a pro-active pruning cycle, which will reduce future potential liabilities and maintenance costs.

An approved Community Forestry Management Plan allows the town to:

  • Apply for grants, such as Community Stewardship Incentive Program (CSIP), which can be used to pay for a portion of the cost of the inventory;
  • Apply for certification as a “Tree City, USA,” which in turn allows access to other grants for planting and tree care; and
  • Secure points towards silver status under the Sustainable Jersey program.

The CFMP is a set of guidelines – if the plan is followed, we can both preserve the natural beauty of Montclair, and improve our quality of life. Among other benefits, trees can:

  • Improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide, and potentially harmful gases such as sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, from the air and releasing oxygen (one large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen for four people);
  • Help conserve energy by shading us in summer (reducing cooling costs), and blocking wind in winter (reducing heating costs); and
  • Save water by shading thirsty lawns, thereby slowing water evaporation, and retaining stormwater or surface runoff.

Click here for the full-text of the CFMP.