2008-08-13

Saskatchewan on high alert for pine beetle

From his office at the fringes of the boreal forest in northern Saskatchewan, Rory McIntosh is helping lead the Prairie province's charge to keep out millions of unwanted guests from the west.

The threat: the grain-sized mountain pine beetle, a forest pest that has already infested and killed billions of lodgepole pines in British Columbia and Alberta.

While the mountain pine beetle is naturally found in forests in southern Saskatchewan, it has never been detected in the province's north, and Mr. McIntosh, a provincial government expert in forest insects and disease, based in Prince Albert, is hoping to keep it that way.