Libs Threaten Hard Won Logging Agreements: Simpson

As the government looks for ways to provide more timber to mills in communities affected by the mountain pine beetle kill, it will set precedents for logging companies in other parts of British Columbia, said the MLA for Cariboo North, independent Bob Simpson.

"To me what they're asking for is a fight," said Simpson. "I have no problem being upfront and getting shot between the eyes on it, because it's bullshit."

The government is considering lifting the "constraints" set out in the Land Use Plan for the Cariboo-Chilcotin, said Simpson.


Province seeks pine-beetle reforestation partners

Private investors are being offered a chance to create forestry jobs, fight global warming and reduce their carbon footprint under an innovative silviculture partnership sponsored by the B.C. government, Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced.

The ministry has issued a request for proposals from parties interested in replanting Crown land damaged by wildfires, pine beetle and other factors not related to commercial timber harvesting.

The request for proposals is available at: www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca.

Former beetle boss to lead recovery at Burns Lake

Bob Clark, the top forester in charge of managing British Columbia’s mountain pine beetle infestation, has been recruited by the province to lead response efforts at Burns Lake after a sawmill explosion that killed two workers.

Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell made the announcement Friday in Burns Lake where he and local MLA John Rustad are meeting with community leaders.

Bell said Clark, who has left the forest service and is now a consultant, has the experience in working with inter-governmental issues to address the most pressing needs in Burns Lake: short-term employment for the workers who lost their jobs when the mill burned after the Jan. 20 explosion, and the long-term issue of finding enough fibre to justify majority owner Hampton Affiliates rebuilding the sawmill.


Rebuilding destroyed mill hinges on damaged forest

Mill workers in Burns Lake, B.C., will be collecting their final pay cheque Thursday as the company that owns the mill that was levelled in a fire last week tries to decide if there's enough timber in the area to justify rebuilding.

Two workers were killed and 19 others were injured when the Babine Forest Products mill blew up and burned Jan. 20, destroying the workplace of the major employer in the town, 200 kilometres west of Prince George.

A once richly forested area, Burns Lake is located among the province’s woodlands that have been devastated by the pine beetle infestation.


Mountain pine beetle infestation worse in Cypress Hills

The mountain pine beetle infestation in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is worse than originally thought, the Saskatchewan government says.

The province's Environment Department said Monday it has found a higher-than-expected number of trees in the park, that are infested with voracious pest.

In recent years, the beetles have destroyed millions of hectares of pine forests in B.C. and have been sweeping eastward.


Alberta's wild winter helping with pine beetle battle

The wild swings in temperature experienced in Alberta this winter could provide a big boost in the battle against the mountain pine beetle.

Normally temperatures of -40C — and that’s ambient temperature, without windchill — are needed for at least 24 hours to start killing off the beetles, but big fluctuations can actually do the same thing, officials said.

“When the weather gets warmer, the internal mechanism of the beetle says, ‘hey, spring is coming,’ and they start to convert their natural anti-freeze to energy,” said Alberta Sustainable Resource Development spokesman Duncan MacDonnell.