The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations plans to aerially treat up to 46,000 hectares of forest in the Cariboo to reduce populations of western spruce budworm.
The proposed treatment locations are in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and 100 Mile Housedistricts, covering approximately 30 sites within a 30-kilometre radius of Williams Lake. The pest management plan and maps of treatment areas can be viewed at the 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_2012_Cariboo.htm.
The biological agent Foray 48B will be applied by fixed-wing aircraft on or about the period from June 20 to July 4, 2012, weather permitting.
The ministry says 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).
The ministry says this spray only affects 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 western spruce budworm is an insect that is 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.