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Saskatchewan and Alberta pair up to fight mountain pine beetle


January 20, 2015
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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The Saskatchewan and Alberta governments have reaffirmed their long-standing co-operation on forest insects and disease, signing a three year agreement to work together on mountain pine beetle management. Saskatchewan will provide $1.25 million…

The Saskatchewan and Alberta governments have reaffirmed their long-standing co-operation on forest insects and disease, signing a three year agreement to work together on mountain pine beetle management. Saskatchewan will provide $1.25 million this year to help control the outbreak in Alberta, and to prevent or significantly slow the spread into Saskatchewan’s northern forest.

“By continuing to support Alberta’s effort to combat mountain pine beetles, we make the best use of our resources by protecting areas of Saskatchewan’s forests that are most at risk,” explained Saskatchewan’s Environment Minister, Scott Moe.  
The funding will be used to support mountain pine beetle control actions in northern Alberta, including enhanced surveillance and monitoring, removal of infested trees, and research and modelling to effectively direct program efforts.

Saskatchewan and Alberta’s original co-operation agreement was signed in 2011.

The mountain pine beetle outbreak has killed more than 18 million hectares of lodgepole pine forest (about five times the size of Vancouver Island) in British Columbia and spread across Alberta, to within about 120 kilometres of the Saskatchewan border. Research has confirmed that the beetle can survive in jack pine, putting forests in northern Saskatchewan at risk.
While surveys conducted in the fall of 2014 found no mountain pine beetles in Saskatchewan’s northwest, there is already an established beetle population in Cypress Hills, in the province’s southwest.