2009-10-30

Alberta’s forest industry wants Ottawa to take over front-line beetle fight

Alberta’s forest industry wants Ottawa to use large, controlled fires to keep the mountain pine beetle from spreading east into the rest of Canada.

Crews have reported that new swarms of the tree-killing insects flew into Alberta this summer from British Columbia and the mountain parks. The province warns that the new infestation threatens the boreal forest, the forest industry, jobs and the environment.

The Alberta Forest Products Association says it’s time for the federal government to shift the fight against the beetles from B.C. — where the bugs have already destroyed one-quarter of mature lodgepole pine trees — to Alberta, where they have penetrated as far east as the Slave Lake area north of Edmonton.