2007-08-30

Alberta to battle pine beetle infestation with fire

The tiny and determined pine beetle wants to get into southern Alberta's Rocky Mountain forests badly, and the province is preparing to torch valleys to stop it.

A full-scale epidemic raging in neighbouring British Columbia is threatening to destroy 80 per cent of mature pines, and Alberta is frantically trying to slow the insect's voracious march eastward.

Alta. to burn mountain valleys to stop pine beetle

The tiny and determined pine beetle wants to get into southern Alberta's Rocky Mountain forests badly and the province is preparing to torch valleys to stop it.

A full-scale epidemic raging in neighbouring British Columbia is threatening to destroy 80 per cent of mature pines, and Alberta is frantically trying to slow the insect's voracious march eastward.

2007-08-27

Beetles devour Colorado forests

Mountain pine beetles are obliterating a forest that stretches from British Columbia to Mexico, and in the process are creating a hazard for fire, public safety and water supply.

“What we’re looking at is an entire lodgepole pine forest dying right before our eyes,” said Gary Severson, executive director of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments.

2007-08-06

Wildfire threat can be reduced says Silvicultural Association

Planting wildfire breaks, thinning forest fuels and executing prescribed burns can do as much to reduce the wildfire threat across British Columbia as fire suppression according to a provincial forestry industry association.

“As we face increasingly severe wildfires and extended fire seasons across the province the forestry work we need to undertake in the woods when the fires aren’t burning is going to become more critical to the survival of communities and eco-systems,” says John Betts Executive Director Western Silvicultural Contractors Association (WSCA). Betts says decades of successful fire suppression have seen our forests fill in with more trees and more fuels on the forests’ floors. The ongoing mountain pine beetle plague along with other bugs and blight are adding to that load. And climate change is literally capable of fanning the flames.

2007-08-01

The beneficial side of pine beetles

For Roger Packham, the Interior’s forests are still a promising place. While many see only economic gloom in the brown and desiccated tree husks altering the countryside’s colour scheme, Packham sees change.

“As in anything, there are winners and losers in this mountain pine beetle thing,” said the Ministry of Environment’s Cariboo region senior ecosystem biologist. “One of the winners – because everyone seems to quote the devastating effects – one of the biggest benefactors of this are the grassland dwelling species.”