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Alberta sees signs that it is winning the war against the mountain pine beetles

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Issue date: 
January 5th, 2011
Publisher Name: 
Forest Talk
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Alberta is seeing signs that it is winning the war against the mountain pine beetles, thanks to:

  • the weather
  • wisdom gained from B.C.’s mountain pine beetle fight
  • an aggressive $250 million attack

The mountain pine beetle can play a healthy role in a forest – by feeding on older pine trees, ensuring the renewal of the forest. However, thanks to warmer winters in western Canada, and the suppression of forest fires leading to more available old pine, the mountain pine beetle populations have exploded.

In British Columbia, when the beetle damage began to increase in the mid-1990′s, the province’s forest industry did not react swiftly, assuming the beetle was at a natural peak in its population and the infestation would soon be over. This led to a massive infestation that only began to decrease in British Columbia in recent years when the beetles ran out of pine to infest.

Alberta learned from British Columbia’s experience, and attacked the beetles hard. Using aerial surveys to identify new outbreak areas, Alberta sends in teams to manually remove, and burn, newly infected trees throughout the province.

Alberta has also been aided by fortunate cold snaps, right when the beetle larvae are most susceptible to cold temperatures.

Read more about Alberta’s mountain pine beetle fight:
Alberta winning battle against beetles thanks to lessons learned in B.C. (Globe and Mail)


Extpub | by Dr. Radut