Beetles declining

A tough winter seems to have taken its toll on the mountain pine beetle in the Kananaskis area, says an expert from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

Brad Jones, a forest health officer with SRD, said ground surveys have indicated a sharp reduction in beetle populations, something the government agency had hoped for some time. Those studies have indicated that only 101 trees have been afflicted with the small beetle, a large drop from past years.

Jones said the reduction can be attributed to two factors — steady work by the government in eliminating infested trees that could have created a resident population and cold weather that killed the beetle.