Saskatchewan Government Combatting Mountain Pine Beetles

Written by Tara Garcia on Friday, 16 January 2015
cypresshills copyCypress Hills Interprovincial Park

An agreement has been renewed between the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan to combat the Mountain Pine Beetle.

Dr. Rory McIntosh, Provincial Forest Entomologist and Pathologist with the Ministry of Environment Forest Service Branch says the outbreak of the beetle has been felt throughout the forests of many provinces.

“The Mountain Pine Beetle of course as many may be aware the outbreak has breached the British Columbia interior and spread half way across Alberta posing a real threat on our forest industry here in Saskatchewan.”

The agreement which has been in place since 2011, will see over one million dollar allocated this year towards efforts to help control the outbreak in Alberta and to prevent or slow down the spread to Saskatchewan forests.

The outbreak has also reached the Cypress Hills region. However, Dr. McIntosh says that according to statistics it appears as though preventative measures seem to be working in this area.

” We had just 2 trees in 2006 and last year it peaked at about 444 trees that we needed to remove. This year it’s dropped to 287 so it suggests that our activities are helping to keep the outbreak in check down in the Cypress Hills.”

This is not a new issue for the forests of the Cypress Hills region. Dr. McIntosh says the last outbreak of the Mountain Pine Beetle occured in that region in the 1980’s.

Although evidence suggests the beetle is not present in Saskatchewan’s northwest, however research  has confirmed that the beetle can survive in jack pine which puts the forests of northern Saskatchewan at risk.

Dr. McIntosh says that forests in the northwest are being carefully monitored and so far the Cypress Hills region is the only area in Saskatchewan with presence of the beetle.

via Local News

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