The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations plans to aerially treat approximately 34,000 hectares of forest in the Williams Lake Timber Supply Area and the 100 Mile House Timber Supply Area to reduce western spruce budworm populations.
The biological agent Foray 48B will be applied by two fixed-wing aircraft starting about June 23 to July 5, 2014, weather permitting, on sites near White Lake, Fletcher Lake, Big Creek, Gaspard Creek, Alex Lake, Westwick Lakes, and San José and Pipeline roads south of Williams Lake, as well as Big Lake, Clink Lake, Alberta Lake, Big Bar Lake and Jesmond.
The western spruce budworm is an insect native to B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. In its larval stage, it defoliates Douglas-fir, true firs, spruce and larch trees. A budworm outbreak has the potential to seriously harm or kill trees over large areas.
The pest management plan and maps of the treatment areas can be viewed at Cariboo Region Forest Health Program office at Suite 200, 640 Borland St., Williams Lake or online at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/rsi/ForestHealth/Western_Spruce_Budworm_Spray_2014_Cariboo.htm.
Foray 48B is a biological insecticide that is widely used in B.C. and is registered with the Organic Materials Review Institute.
The active ingredient in Foray 48B is the naturally occurring bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk).
This spray affects only moth and butterfly larvae and can be used safely around humans and other animals. Birds, household pets, fish and beneficial insects (including honey bees) are not affected.
The ministry will be using the Cariboo Regional District’s South Cariboo Regional Airport at the 108 Mile Ranch as a base for its spraying operations.
The 2013, the ministry was able to treat 6,800 hectares using the South Cariboo Regional Airport as a base. It is expected about 20,000 hectares will be treated from the airport this year as many of the blocks in the Williams Lake timber supply area are closer to the South Cariboo Regional Airport than the Williams Lake Airport.