Industry facing red

Pine trees have been turning red all over the province at an increasing rate; in less than four years the estimated affected area has grown from 4.2 million to 13 million hectares, and the Shuswap is not exempt from the beetle attack. The forests around the Shuswap are part of what’s called a mixed wet belt, consisting of cedar, hemlock, balsam fir and spruce trees, but there is pine in there too. In this past year alone, stands of trees visible to Shuswap residents have been turning from green to red.

“It’s almost like someone has thrown a bucket of red paint on the forest,” says Murray Wilson of Tolko Industries Ltd., a Canadian company which holds the largest portion of harvesting licences within the North Okanagan/Shuswap.