2008-12-01

Pine Beetles in Southwest Alberta

The number of trees attacked by the Mountain Pine Beetle has doubled in southwestern Alberta, bringing the total to nearly 50,000 infected trees. Duncan MacDonnell with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development says part of the reason is the area's winter temperature never reached the minus 40 mark needed to kill the pest the way it did in the north. He says the beetles' population growth is also a result of the numbers spreading to Alberta from B.C.. Southwest Alberta is the priority for action this year and S.R.D. crews will work towards removing every infected tree possible. MacDonnell says it's tough though as it's not just those trees at stake. He says it's also a loss of wild life habitats, recreational opportunities and community stability.