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Yellowhead County receives provincial funding to fight mountain pine beetles

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May 8, 2020 at 10:35 am - Home, Local News
By Erika Chorostil

Yellowhead County is receiving grant money from the province to help fight the mountain pine beetle problem.

The County is receiving $300,000 through the government’s Mountain Pine Beetle Municipal Grant Program.

Since 2018, surveys show mountain pine beetle activity has continued to grow in certain areas of the province, including the Edson Forest Area.

“Mountain pine beetles have killed millions of trees in Alberta. That is why we’ve increased funding to protect our forests for future generations. Our government is committed to working with foresters and municipalities to enable sustainable forest management practices and to reduce wildfire risks across the province,” says Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Devin Dreeshan.

Department staff is working with Yellowhead County officials to identify areas where control activities will have the greatest impact on the overall provincial control effort.

Yellowhead County Mayor, Jim Eglisnki is thanking the province for the continued funding.

“Yellowhead County appreciates the extended Mountain Pine Beetle Grant funding provided by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Yellowhead County residents benefit directly from this funding, with over 1,200 infected trees destroyed in our region this winter. This work, in combination with the work done directly by the province, will help our residents stay safe and allow our industry to continue to thrive.”

MLA for West Yellowhead, Martin Long is also praising the continued efforts by the province for tackling the issue, saying, “It is vital for the safety and livelihood of our communities to have the resources needed to fight the spread of the mountain pine beetle. I am pleased to see our government has allocated funds for Yellowhead County pine beetle mitigation efforts.”

The Alberta Government has treated 44,214 infested trees within Yellowhead County to date.

Mountain pine beetle infestations threaten Alberta’s timber supply and healthy forest ecosystems. Millions of trees have been killed across the province since the outbreak began more than a decade ago.

The Mountain Pine Beetle Municipal Grant Program was established in 2006 to support the costs of municipal pine beetle control operations. The program provides funding and expert advice to municipalities that support mountain pine beetle management on municipal and private lands. Funds can be awarded to municipalities with trees infested with mountain pine beetle and whose management programs align directly with Alberta’s overall objectives.

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