2008-07-04

Alberta government preparing to surrender to mountain pine beetles


Alberta’s all-conquering conservative government could finally be headed for defeat as it reluctantly concedes the fight to stop mountain pine beetles from invading and destroying the province’s forests.

The Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) Ministry said that not even Alberta’s cold winter temperatures of minus 30C and lower early this year could slow the beetle population growth in parts of the province.

Surveys conducted this May and June by the ministry revealed that the beetle had a survival rate across much of southwest Alberta and in several pockets of northern and west-central Alberta during the winter. Survey results also suggest the potential for long-term survival of beetles in portions of Alberta’s forests.