Pine Beetle Devastates Canadian Forest, May Fuel Global Warming

Erica Lee's foe is small yet mighty.

She's fighting an invasion by the mountain pine beetle, an insect the size of a grain of rice that threatens to destroy forests across North America.

``What we're experiencing in western Canada is an infestation of pine beetles of a magnitude never before seen,'' said Lee, 34, who is the Alberta government's top specialist on the insect and a leader in efforts to contain it. ``The potential to spread to eastern parts of the continent is very real.''