Salvage logging in the B.C. Interior. Pine, fir and other beetles are monitored by aerial surveys. (Black Press Media)

B.C. forests ministry tracks Douglas fir beetle outbreak

Kootenay infestation ‘not big’ but treatment, firebreak work underway

An outbreak of Douglas fir beetle in the West Kootenay is being monitored and treated, but it’s tiny compared to the mountain pine beetle outbreak that has driven declining harvest and large forest fires elsewhere in the B.C. Interior, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says.

Regular aerial surveys are conducted to track conditions in fir, pine and other forests, and the 2018 map shows a fir beetle infestation across the province has declined in size since 2016, Donaldson told Black Press. That includes cyclical fir beetle outbreaks that are tracked in the Cariboo region. Fir and other beetles are naturally occurring throughout B.C. forests.

“There’s always a background population level, and in a cyclical nature there are outbreaks,” Donaldson said. “We did an aerial survey in 2018, and there were 646 hectares infected in the Kootenay Lake timber supply area, which is a 1.2 million hectare area.

RELATED: Northern timber supply reduction smaller than it appears

RELATED: Douglas fir beetle infestation a crisis, local forester says

“So we’re concerned, obviously, but it’s not big. It’s not a massive outbreak, but we are spending $288,000 this coming year in surveys and treatments in the Selkirk district, which is close to Nelson.”

Those treatments include “trap trees,” with pheromones to attract beetles to trees that are then removed.

Affected areas are also selectively logged to reduce their fire risk, in conjunction with forest companies operating in each region.

“You get a volume out that might not otherwise have been harvested because of concerns of neighbours,” Donaldson said. “You leave stems behind and it creates a better environment for species like mule deer.”

The aerial surveys and treatment protocols were stepped up in the wake of the Interior pine beetle outbreak that has caused a large increase in timber cut to salvage dead trees, and now a sharp decline as forests take decades to recover.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

Chilliwack Agriculture Tour goes virtual during pandemic

Rather than bus tourists to local farms, tour stops will be posted on Facebook and Instagram

City of Chilliwack holding annual Hazardous Waste Day in early October

The one-day event is a chance to get rid of household things like pesticides and paint cans

Child sex offender relocated from Princeton after newspaper reveals his proximity to school

Offender convicted in 2019 of charges related to sex assault and child pornography

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Chilliwack Chiefs to play home-heavy preseason slate

The BCHL team will play 11 exhibition games, only three of them on the road

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Most Read