BC’s Chief Forester says pine beetle kill wasn’t as destructive as first feared

Jim Snetsinger, British Columbia’s Chief Forester, told a convention of the Western Silviculture Contractors’ Association this week that the historic mountain pine beetle infestation in interior B.C. wasn’t as destructive as first feared.

“In 2006, we were projecting a mountain pine beetle kill of 80 per cent of pine by 2013,” Jim Snetsinger said. “Our 2011 models . . . now tell us mountain pine beetle will kill about 61 per cent of susceptible pine by 2021.”

Unfortunately the news isn’t all good. Snetsinger said the mountain pine beetle continues to kill large numbers of lodgepole pine. More than half of merchantable pine in the Interior has been lost to date, even though the mortality peaked in 2004-05.