Skip to comments.Pine beetle threatens Canada's boreal forest
Posted on 08/15/2006 10:32:51 AM PDT by george76
A mountain pine beetle infestation that has already killed off billions of trees in British Columbia is threatening to take over Alberta's jack pine, marking the start of a deadly cross-country trek.
Each mountain pine beetle is the size of a grain of rice, but the voracious insects have already devoured an area of B.C.'s forest the size of Iceland.
Another two million hectares in Alberta are now at risk, and the infestation could spread to Canada's boreal forest.
"It likes all pine species and we've recently discovered this includes jack pine, which is a component of the boreal forest," said Allan Carroll, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service.
Mountain pine beetles began invading parts of Alberta four years ago.
If the beetles jump from the lodgepole pine to the jack pine, an infestation could wipe out billions of trees all the way to the East Coast, he said.
The Rockies at risk
The frontlines in this battle are the northeastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbc.ca ...
Adult mountain pine beetles prefer large diameter trees, according to the Canadian Forest Service.
Solution - Light a fire! BC's grasslands are also shrinking because we put out forest fires. Small, low intensity fires are a key to healthy balance of pine forests and grasslands. Unfortunately, because there have been so few fires allowed to burn, low-intensity fire is now very hard to have. So much debris is laying on the ground that high-intesity fire is often the result. Nontheless, fire is the answer. Managing it is the question.
thank the anti-logging tree huggers for this one.
This infestation sounds similar to one that attacked the trees in the forests of Northern Arizona a few years back. It was due to a lack of rain that allowed the tree to produce a sap, that the beetles stayed away from out of dislike for it. In other words, the beetles were a natural occurrance, but due to lack of rain, they multiplied and devoured the healthy parts of the trees, which caused the tree to die, thus creating a huge fire hazard...
They have done quite a bit of damage in Colorado just south of the Rocky Mountain Park I was up there last weekend. I asked a park ranger about them and she said the problem is that they have done such a good jb of suppressing fires. That area has not seen one in over 100 years. To many trees per acre leaves all of them weak. Good job tree huggers by not thinning them we will lose all of them.
We were up there last year and it is a horrific sight. It looks like the aftermath of a fire. It was very stark after driving through the gorgeous mountains with beautiful lush trees, then going around a few curves and seeing a mountainside of dead tree trunks and stems. Signs were everywhere about the beetle infestation.
I sincerely hope Canada is able to stop this bug before it hits the US, especially Michigan. We've been clobbered by the Emerald Ash Borer, which is now affecting nearby states. Beautiful ash trees that aren't already diseased have to be removed because of this pest. With all the pine here in MI, the last thing we want is to lose more trees.
If they dont start logging off the infested areas, you won't have any trees left to lose.
There was a recent quote from an old forester :
Something like, either you log the deads trees or they burn...your choice.
Please send me a FReepmail to get on or off this Canada ping list.
What is it with the Canadian environment today? :P