Did you notice the dozens of trees literally cut by a chainsaw along Coldbrook path, once you crossed the two new footbridges? It is a sad sight. From the Coldbrook trail to the shoreline extends a band of trees, savagely sawn, with no regard to their morphology, their trunks stripped, standing there like skeletons, offering passersby a desolate view. But the adjacent owner has an unobstructed view of the lake. How is it possible that Town of Brome Lake permitted such a massacre?

“There is not much we can do, once the trees have been pruned. We can only identify which trees will not grow and charge an appropriate penalty,” explained Tommy Cioc, Environmental Inspector at TBL. “There are rules regarding cutting trees. For example, one cannot cut down a tree unless it is sick, dangerous, harms the growth of other trees or prevents construction of a house. But in this case the owner pruned, but did not cut down the trees. So it is difficult to punish the owner even if the pruning is too severe,” he added.

Inform yourself before cutting

“Before starting such a massacre, owners and the contractors engaged in these projects must, at the very least, inform themselves of the municipal rules on cutting trees,” insisted Cioc. Residents can also make a complaint if they witness dubious activities being carried out on properties. Owners do not have unfettered rights on their lands.

Public Land Ignored

There is another problem along the Coldbrook trail: the public section, namely land adjacent to the path that belongs to the municipality, is not being respected by a large number of the owners: they cut, plant and landscape almost anything they feel like in that area, even though such activities are banned. “We do not have the resources to inspect every land parcel,” adds Cioc, “but as soon as we become aware of an apparent infraction we intervene.”But it is clear that few people know, or they consciously ignore, that the town portion is 90 feet (about 29 metres) the whole length of the trail, where it is forbidden to do any work at all.

“TBL intends to send a letter to all Brome Lake residents reminding them that owners of land adjacent to the trail cannot carry out any work on the town portions on either side of the Coldbrook trail,” Gilbert Arel, general manager of TBL, told Tempo.

Translation: Tam Davis