Over 8100 hectares have been damaged by spruce beetle in the Lakes timber supply area. That’s a significant increase from 2016, when 1200 hectares had been damaged, and from the 58 hectares damaged in 2014. (Black Press files)

Spruce beetle infestation nearly doubles in B.C.

Some areas have seen a significant increase in the past year

  • Dec. 18, 2017 1:30 a.m.

The spruce beetle, a forest pest that is native to spruce forests and attacks the inner bark of these trees, continues to be a growing concern in B.C.

According to the province’s latest areal overview survey, the total infested area in B.C. has nearly doubled this year – from 283,083 hectares in 2016 to 501,873 hectares in 2017.

Over 8100 hectares of forests have been damaged by spruce beetle in the Lakes timber supply area (TSA) – a significant increase from 2016, when 1200 hectares had been damaged, and from the 58 hectares damaged in 2014.

READ MORE: Spruce beetle a growing concern

READ MORE: B.C. on high alert for spruce beetle

While the situation has gotten worse in the Lakes TSA, the Morice TSA has remained fairly stable. Over 2900 hectares were affected in 2017 – similar to 2014.

The situation is much more severe in the Prince George TSA, where 275,108 hectares were affected in 2017 – almost double than the 142,837 hectares affected in 2016.

Bill Miller, Chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, says the regional district has been “involved with this situation from early days” and has been engaging with the provincial government on how address the issue.

In addition to the annual aerial overview survey, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development plans to carry out detailed aerial surveys to do a refined aerial detection of infestations for follow-up treatment.

The ministry will also carry out ground surveys to identify spruce beetle populations and provide information for treatments. Other actions planned include encouraging co-operative action with licensees to target infested timber for extraction, as well as using trap trees to absorb beetle populations for removal after the next beetle flight.

Spruce beetle outbreaks have historically lasted up to seven or eight years.

The Lakes TSA extends from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the south to the Tildelsy watershed in the north. It includes Burns Lake, Decker Lake, François Lake, Grassy Plains and Danskin.

The Morice TSA extends from Babine Lake in the north to Ootsa and Whitesail Lakes in the south. The main community is Houston, while the remainder of the population lives in smaller communities such as Topley and Granisle.

The Prince George TSA stretches from near the Alberta border in the southeast to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the southwest and Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park in the northwest. It includes Prince George, the towns of Vanderhoof and Fort St. James, and several smaller communities such as Fraser Lake.


 

@flavio_nienow
newsroom@ldnews.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands

Prime minister rides horseback with Chief Joe Alphonse, TNG Chairman, to Xeni Gwet’in meeting place

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Rain, snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

B.C.’s Interior set to get hit with snow while the Lower Mainland is expected to see more rain

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Most Read