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Not If But When Pine Beetles Reach Central Canada's Boreal Forests - Already Jumping Pine Species

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:11 PM
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Not If But When Pine Beetles Reach Central Canada's Boreal Forests - Already Jumping Pine Species
Its no longer a matter of if, but when the destructive mountain pine beetle will spread east of Alberta through Canadas northern boreal forest, say provincial forestry experts in Manitoba and Ontario.

These provinces, along with Saskatchewan, are stepping up efforts to reduce the insects anticipated damage. A recent study confirming that, in Alberta, the beetle has jumped species from lodgepole pine to jack pine trees the most common type of pine in the boreal forest has amplified concerns and stirred new calls for the federal government to play a stronger role in implementing a national forestry pest strategy.


Canadas boreal forest stretches from Yukon to the Atlantic provinces. To date, Alberta has spent nearly $300-million fighting the pests advancement in that province after the beetles chewed through a large swath of British Columbias forests. Provinces had hoped the tree-killing beetle would lose steam in northern Albertas cold winters, but at a recent forestry forum in the Rockies, a grim consensus emerged.

The beetle eventually will move eastward into Manitoba and then Ontario, said Dr. Scarr, one of the attendees. In Ontarios case, that could be in two to three decades, according to the provinces modelling. For Manitoba, the threat is more acute. Manitoba is kind of positioned for a perfect storm. Weve got the emerald ash bore coming from Ontario and weve got the mountain pine beetle coming from the West, said Glenn Peterson, manager of forest health with Manitoba Conservation. If they both get here at the same time, were going to be in big trouble.

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