Cold weather helps reduce pine beetles

A cold winter and spring put a dent in the mountain pine beetle population, according to the province’s over-winter mortality survey.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight announced the findings Wednesday. He said the cold weather didn’t eliminate the beetles and Alberta pine forests are still at risk of more in-flights from British Columbia.

Survey results for the Oldman River/Crowsnest Pass area showed a low survival rate and a low likelihood of local beetle production and spread. Despite that, the risk of beetles moving in from B.C. is expected to be high for the next several years. As a result, the southwest area of the province is a priority for beetle control work.
The province tries to minimize the spread of infestations by removing single trees or stand-level (clear-cutting certain areas) harvests and doing controlled burns.