2013-11-27

Fighting pine beetle spread

Saskatchewan will provide up to $1.1 million over the next year as part of a partnership agreement with Alberta to help prevent the spread of the mountain pine beetle into northern forests. The two provinces will collaborate for a third year on the removal of beetle-infested trees in eastern Alberta.

“As we’ve seen, the mountain pine beetle has no regard for provincial boundaries, making a regional strategy essential,” Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said. “The leading edge of the infestation is now at our doorstep, making this agreement with Alberta a critical measure in preventing the mountain pine beetle from becoming established in Saskatchewan’s northern pine forest.”

The mountain pine beetle outbreak has killed more than half of British Columbia’s lodgepole pine forests. Seven years ago, the infestation crossed the Rocky Mountains, spreading halfway across Alberta. Research shows that jack pine forests in northern Saskatchewan and across Canada are also at risk.