Heli-logging operations resume Feb. 18 to help manage Douglas fir beetles

A fourth year of helicopter logging in the Williams Lake area is expected to start this week

A fourth year of helicopter logging in the Williams Lake area is expected to start this week to help minimize the spread of Douglas fir beetles on Crown land.

These native forest pests normally attack small groups of trees, and a significant infestation can weaken and eventually kill a tree over a period of about one year. However, helicopter logging that selectively removes infested trees and protects other trees nearby, and related containment treatments, have helped to slow the spread of the beetles in the Williams Lake area over the past three years.

These logging activities are being conducted under the direction of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Monitoring of Douglas fir beetle infestations in previously treated areas has identified fewer trees currently under attack, so the helicopter-logging project has been expanded to new sites around Williams Lake.

READ MORE: Heli-logging expanding to manage Douglas fir beetles in Williams Lake

Helicopter-logging flights are expected to begin as early as Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, in the Chimney Valley area southwest of Williams Lake. Once work at that site is completed, operations will move to the Anderson Road area and then to sites on Fox Mountain. Heli-logging activities should be completed by mid-March 2020.

Residents can expect to see helicopters in the air as selective logging operations get underway, but no flights will occur over residential buildings. The aircraft will be flying only during daylight hours.

Owners of livestock and pets are advised to take precautions to protect their animals from injuring themselves. Horses in particular can be sensitive to helicopter noise and may run if startled.

For safety reasons, members of the public should stay away from active harvesting areas. They are also reminded that unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) must not be operated anywhere near the harvesting areas, since doing so can endanger the safety of pilots and workers on the ground.

In addition to the direct harvesting of infested trees, the Williams Lake Beetle Management Unit 2020 Treatment Plan includes the following activities:

• The anti-aggregative pheromone methyl cyclo hexenone (MCH) will be used to prevent or disrupt Douglas fir beetle attacks on small infestation sites. This naturally occurring pheromone can successfully repel the beetles from vulnerable areas and also help protect small stands of trees near parks, protected areas, campgrounds, residential properties or old-growth management areas. In some cases, the application of this pheromone has reduced Douglas fir beetle attacks by over 90 per cent.

READ MORE: Heli-logging continues

• “Trap trees” will be established by cutting down large, healthy Douglas fir trees in accessible areas. The trees will be left on the ground to attract adult beetles in the spring. Trap trees are more successful in attracting adult beetles than standing trees and therefore can greatly reduce the number of attacks on healthy Douglas fir trees nearby. Once adult beetles and larvae are established within a trap tree, it will be taken to a mill where the beetles and larvae will be destroyed in the milling process.

• Where appropriate, and if no other practical options are available, some infested trees may be cut down and burned on site to destroy beetles that are in the bark.

• Funnel traps will also be deployed within mill yards and log storage areas to capture adult beetles.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is committed to addressing the spread of Douglas fir beetles in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Regional District and mitigating impacts on the mid-term timber supply, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and wildfire management.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Homicide investigation underway in Prince George

A 26-year-old woman has died as a result of stabbing.

Criminal incident in lakecity June 30 has RCMP appealing to public for help

Did you witness anything suspicious in area of Eleventh Avenue and Huston Street Tuesday?

Study to identify housing capacity, gaps in Central North Cariboo

The City of Williams Lake, Cariboo Regional District will partner on the project

Williams Lake RCMP receive reports of possible counterfeit US currency

Anyone who comes in contact with money appearing to be counterfeit is asked to contact police

Rain prompts travel advisories, road closures in Cache Creek area

No stopping during heavy rain on highways near Cache Creek

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Community infrastructure funding announced for 24 Northern B.C. projects

Recipients include municipalities, First Nations and not-for-profits

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

Most Read