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Alberta gains ground against mountain pine beetles


November 12, 2010
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Alberta is making good headway in its fight against mountain pine beetle infestations, as revealed by Government of Alberta aerial surveys conducted across the province since July. “Surveys confirm the number of new trees attacked by mountain…

Alberta is making good headway in its fight against mountain pine beetle infestations, as revealed by Government of Alberta aerial surveys conducted across the province since July. “Surveys confirm the number of new trees attacked by mountain pine beetle has declined from a year ago, and that there were no inflights of beetles from B.C. last summer,” Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight said.

Government action to remove infested trees, coupled with help from Mother Nature, are responsible for the lower number of attacked trees this fall, Knight explained. Removing infested trees reduced the number of beetles that hatched last summer to attack healthy trees, while extreme temperature fluctuations last winter caused higher than normal mortality among beetles.

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The aerial surveys, completed in August and September, pinpoint locations and counts of trees attacked in 2009 and 2010. Results are combined with the findings of beetle population trend surveys conducted last spring to determine where and how much removal of infested trees will occur in the coming year. Operational plans for removing infested trees will be developed this fall.

While encouraging, the results from this year’s aerial surveys do not signal the end of Alberta’s fight against pine beetles, Knight cautioned. “We had some success this year but the battle is far from over. There are still pockets of infested trees to be controlled, there are still dead trees on our landscape from previous years’ attacks, we are still threatened by future inflights from outside the province and we are working to renew the forests killed to date.”

For more information about mountain pine beetles and the Government of Alberta’s fight against infestations by the insects, please visit http://www.mpb.alberta.ca/.


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