Pine beetle toll on Alberta forest falls by half

Alberta said Tuesday that its annual aerial survey of pine beetle-infested forest shows the number of trees killed by the invasive insect fell by half compared with last year.

"I don't think we'd claim total victory, but we are clearly having an impact," said Sustainable Resource Development Minister Frank Oberle. "We have about 50 per cent fewer red trees this year than last year." Pines killed by the beetle turn red about one year after they die.

"They've made considerable efforts," said Allan Carroll, a professor in the department of forest sciences at the University of British Columbia. "They've been very, very rigorous in their approach, and I think they certainly have achieved a positive result.