Salvage logging in the B.C. Interior. Pine, fir and other beetles are monitored by aerial surveys. (Black Press Media)

B.C. forests ministry tracks Douglas fir beetle outbreak

Kootenay infestation ‘not big’ but treatment, firebreak work underway

An outbreak of Douglas fir beetle in the West Kootenay is being monitored and treated, but it’s tiny compared to the mountain pine beetle outbreak that has driven declining harvest and large forest fires elsewhere in the B.C. Interior, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says.

Regular aerial surveys are conducted to track conditions in fir, pine and other forests, and the 2018 map shows a fir beetle infestation across the province has declined in size since 2016, Donaldson told Black Press. That includes cyclical fir beetle outbreaks that are tracked in the Cariboo region. Fir and other beetles are naturally occurring throughout B.C. forests.

“There’s always a background population level, and in a cyclical nature there are outbreaks,” Donaldson said. “We did an aerial survey in 2018, and there were 646 hectares infected in the Kootenay Lake timber supply area, which is a 1.2 million hectare area.

RELATED: Northern timber supply reduction smaller than it appears

RELATED: Douglas fir beetle infestation a crisis, local forester says

“So we’re concerned, obviously, but it’s not big. It’s not a massive outbreak, but we are spending $288,000 this coming year in surveys and treatments in the Selkirk district, which is close to Nelson.”

Those treatments include “trap trees,” with pheromones to attract beetles to trees that are then removed.

Affected areas are also selectively logged to reduce their fire risk, in conjunction with forest companies operating in each region.

“You get a volume out that might not otherwise have been harvested because of concerns of neighbours,” Donaldson said. “You leave stems behind and it creates a better environment for species like mule deer.”

The aerial surveys and treatment protocols were stepped up in the wake of the Interior pine beetle outbreak that has caused a large increase in timber cut to salvage dead trees, and now a sharp decline as forests take decades to recover.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New museum staff undertakes new cataloguing project

The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin has had an incredibly exciting and busy year ahead

Williams Lake ranked ninth on ‘Canada’s Most Dangerous Places’ list by Maclean’s Magazine

Williams Lake has once again cracked the top 10 of Maclean’s Magazine’s… Continue reading

Dave Dickson granted Award of Distinction from B.C. government

This comes in recognition of decades of tireless work on Dickson’s part to benefit the lakecity

Williams Lake doctor gets top marks in Canada

“It still kind of feels like a dream.” — Dr. Ghaida Radhi

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Most Read