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Woodlands - General Information



What are Woodlands?



Woodlands are comprised of a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees, woody shrubs, and groundcover vegetation such as ferns, mosses, and lichens.  Healthy woodlands contain stratified layers of diverse vegetation from the woodland floor to the canopy.  These habitats support a diverse number of animal species including birds, mammals, and amphibians.  The Township recognizes the economic, environmental, aesthetic, and recreational opportunities that woodlands provide and takes every step to ensure the persistence of native woodlands in the area. 



Why Does the Township Protect Woodlands?


Woodlands can improve air quality by acting as a sink for pollutants that might otherwise remain airborne.  Their presence adds natural beauty to an area and can enhance privacy along your property, reduce ambient noise, facilitate groundwater recharge, slow runoff, stabilize soil, and provide quality habitat for native species. 



Woodland Protection



Through a permitting process, the Township aims to closely regulate disturbance activities that occur within regulated woodlands.  With the overall goal of providing protection for woodlands, the Township prohibits any unregulated harvesting or disturbance within these woodlands.  Such disturbance can readily enhance soil erosion, siltation, wind damage to adjacent homes, susceptibility of stands to disease, and diminish wildlife habitat.  In order to maintain a network and sustain the regenerative abilities of woodlands, these areas can not be viewed strictly in isolation from other natural systems.  Woodlands provide buffered areas, particularly for wetlands, and the continuity between in tacked woodlands and healthy wetlands is important for regional planning decisions.



Woodland Restoration



Woodland restoration can be a slow process, especially if soils have been highly eroded and disturbed.  The establishment of native vegetation in a restoration area is critical for a successful project in the long-term.  If native vegetation is not used, the wooded area will not be as biologically diverse and invasive species such as buckthorn have greater opportunity to colonize into the restoration area.  The ultimate goal of woodland restoration is to develop a diverse and high quality habitat that will provide public health and environmental benefits within the Township.



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