Mountain pine beetle on its way - county

The bane of pine trees everywhere is slowly making its way towards Strathcona County. The mountain pine beetle, once common only in the forests along western North America from Mexico to central British Columbia, has been steadily advancing eastward. The five-to-seven millimeter long locust is reviled among arborists for its ability to decimate vast expanses of old growth pine forests in a matter of weeks.

“It’s just outside of the eastern slopes of the mountains near Calgary and already has a firm toehold in the Grande Prairie area,” said Sheila Flint, foreman of urban forestry and horticulture for tourism, recreation, parks and culture for Strathcona County.