Alberta gets federal funding to combat mountain pine beetle


October 9, 2020 at 9:35 am - Home, Local News
By Erika Chorostil

Alberta is getting financial help from the federal government in fighting the mountain pine beetle.

The Government of Canada has announced $60 million in funding for Alberta over the next three years to support ongoing work in fighting the invasive species.

“The mountain pine beetle infestation is a huge threat to Alberta’s forests and I want to thank the federal government for recognizing the importance of this work.,” said Devin Dreeshan, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

“With this funding and Alberta’s successful management efforts last winter, Alberta will undertake the most comprehensive control plan the province has seen in two decades. The beetle stops here.”

The province says new aerial fall surveys show that the aggressive control measures in infested areas and the last two cold winters have helped in slowing the spread of the beetles.

More than 147,000 trees killed by mountain pine beetles were detected by aerial surveys this year, over an area spanning almost eight million hectares, which the province says is down significantly from the more than 244,000 trees detected last year.

The number of trees killed by mountain pine beetles by forest area were as follows:
– Calgary – 3,298 in 2019; 1,437 in 2020
– Edson – 140,997 in 2019; 115,020 in 2020
– Grande Prairie – 8,796 in 2019; 2,252 in 2020
– Lac La Biche – 342 in 2019; 135 in 2020
– Rocky Mountain House – 32,123 in 2019; 15,169 in 2020
– Slave Lake – 6,020 in 2019; 4,474 in 2020
– Whitecourt – 52,671 in 2019; 8,559 in 2020

The province is now developing a detailed ground survey and control program for the upcoming winter when individual mountain pine beetle-infested trees will be cut and burned.

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