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The municipalities

Forest Protection

MRC du Haut Saint Laurent

A municipality or an MRC can regulate or restrict the planting or felling of trees in order to ensure the protection of the forest cover and to promote the sustainable management of private forests.

Utility

A regulation on the planting and felling of trees may aim to promote the recognition of the forest heritage and the sustainable management of the forest in order to meet the economic, ecological and social needs of current and future generations, while taking into account other possible uses of the territory.

At regional level

The land use planning and development plan allows an MRC to determine the main orientations and objectives in terms of land use planning and development aimed more specifically at the protection and development of private forests under the Act respecting sustainable development of forest land and the sustainable forest development strategy drawn up by the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife.

The law gives an MRC the power to adopt a by-law to govern or restrict, on part or all of its territory, the planting or felling of trees in order to ensure the protection of the forest cover and to promote sustainable management of private forests.

An MRC may, with the consent of the local municipality covered by the by-law, entrust its management (monitoring the application of the by-law and issuing certificates of authorization) to an official of the municipality.

Permit or certificate

When a notice of motion has been given in order to adopt or amend a regional by-law on the planting and felling of trees, no permit or certificate may be granted by the regional county municipality for carrying out work that will be prohibited if the by-law that is the subject of the notice of motion is adopted.

Similarly, no permit or certificate may be granted by a local municipality for carrying out work that will be prohibited if the by-law that is the subject of the notice of motion is adopted, if:

  • the notice of motion has been sent by registered mail or a certified letter to the members of the council of the MRC in accordance with the fourth paragraph of article 445 of the Municipal Code of Quebec (chapter C-27.1),
  • an authenticated copy of the notice was sent, in the same manner, to the clerk or the secretary-treasurer of each local municipality in whose territory such a prohibition is to apply.

This inability to grant a permit or certificate takes effect upon receipt of the notice and ceases to be applicable to the works or use in question on the date occurring two months after the filing of the notice of motion if the by-law has not been adopted by that date or, if the by-law has been adopted, on the date occurring four months after the date of its adoption if the by-law is not in force on that date.

Fines

A violation of a regulation that governs and restricts tree cutting is punishable by a fine of a minimum of $500 to which is added:

  1. in the case of a felling over an area of less than one hectare, a minimum amount of $100 and a maximum of $200 per illegally felled tree, up to a maximum of $5,000;
  2. in the case of a felling on an area of one hectare or more, a fine of a minimum amount of $5,000 and a maximum of $15,000 per complete hectare deforested to which is added, for each fraction of a deforested hectare, an amount determined in accordance with paragraph 1.

These amounts are doubled in the event of a repeat offense.