Statement on the Hunt Club Forest

Nov 29, 2023 | News Updates

Last week, I received notice that the Ottawa Airport Authority had made the decision to move forward with clear cutting of the Hunt Club Forest Red Pine Plantation located along Hunt Club Road – just west of Uplands Drive. This was devastating news for our community. This forest has stood for generations, and it is difficult to understand how such an aggressive measure was necessary, especially in the midst of a Climate Crisis.

I appreciate the calls and emails which I have received from residents across the city expressing concern. Like many residents, I too am disappointed by this news and had hoped through the many efforts of city staff, my colleagues, the Airport Authority, and the community that we would have found a better outcome.

As many of you know, this land is entirely owned by the federal government and is managed by the Airport Authority. Over the past several months, I had met with our local MP as well as Mark Laroche, CEO of the Ottawa Airport, to express the significant importance that this forest holds to the community and to ask for consideration for an alternative to clear cutting the forest. Unfortunately, these discussions were not fruitful.

As of today, the Airport Authority has not indicated that they have an active application for these lands, but I suspect that one will be forthcoming.

I want to thank the many residents that worked tirelessly over the last few years to advocate for the forest. Your efforts- certainly prolonged the life of the Red Pine Plantation and for that, I am grateful. I recognize that our urban tree canopy is under constant threat and despite this major loss, I am committed to working with the community to look for ways to reforest our neighbourhoods, parks, and streets.