Saskatchewan and Alberta pair up to fight mountain pine beetle

The Saskatchewan and Alberta governments have reaffirmed their long-standing co-operation on forest insects and disease, signing a three year agreement to work together on mountain pine beetle management. Saskatchewan will provide $1.25 million this year to help control the outbreak in Alberta, and to prevent or significantly slow the spread into Saskatchewan’s northern forest.

“By continuing to support Alberta’s effort to combat mountain pine beetles, we make the best use of our resources by protecting areas of Saskatchewan’s forests that are most at risk,” explained Saskatchewan’s Environment Minister, Scott Moe.

The funding will be used to support mountain pine beetle control actions in northern Alberta, including enhanced surveillance and monitoring, removal of infested trees, and research and modelling to effectively direct program efforts.


Meet The Tiny Beetle That's Killing Off Grizzly Bears

It's hard to think of too many animals that could take out a grizzly bear.

At nearly 1,000 pounds and standing up to eight feet tall on its hind legs, the razor-toothed beast seems immune to all but the fiercest of contenders — and yet, one of the biggest threats to grizzlies is a tiny animal, hardly bigger than your fingernail.

Meet the mountain pine beetle.


B.C. wildfire risk to soar with climate change says report

B.C. communities risk going up in flames under the threat of what the forests ministry calls "mega fires," saying they will be so large current firefighting techniques won't be able to cope.

The draft report from the Wildfire Management Branch says these mega fires are predicted to increase as climate change progresses, and warns a great deal of work is needed to head off future disasters.

It says climate change will mean "an ever growing wildfire risk and threat to communities, critical infrastructure and natural values in British Columbia."


Small beetle, big problem

Alberta never asked for it but like it not the Mountain Pine Beetle is here to stay.

Earlier this month, on Nov. 5, conference on managing Mountain Pine Beetle at the Forest Interpretive centre in Whitecourt. The conference was hosted by FPInnovations, a company that researchs methods and practices that can be used to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of the Canadian forestry industry, according to the company's website.

Ken Byrne, a Vancouver-based researcher, in FPInnovations harvesting and forest operations departments, facilitated a session on how to manage the Mountain Pine Beetle, held in Whitecourt.


Pine beetles stick around during polar vortex

Western Montana’s sub-zero temperatures still won’t be enough to control its pine bark beetle epidemic.

According to Montana’s Department of Natural Resources, neither last year’s polar vortex nor this November’s cold snap will have much, if any, effect on beetle populations.

Since 2000, pine beetles have infested more than 23 percent of all Montana’s forest land, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the southern part of the Bitterroot National Forest and in the Big Hole area of the Beaverhead National Forest.