Date of publication: 2017-08-26 21:55
A 5 page research paper that discusses the problem of the mountain pine beetle (MPB), which causing catastrophic devastation to British Columbia's $69 million forest industry. The writer explores the economic ramifications of this problem for the province. Bibliography lists 8 sources.
Up to this point, the mountain pine beetle has munched mainly on lodgepole pine-dominated forests in the western . and Canada. But at the eastern edge of Canada's lodgepole range, hybrid lodgepole-jack pines may have helped the critters switch to the eastern species. Scientists from the University of Alberta who authored the new study were able to verify that purebred jack pines as far east as Alberta's Slave Lake had fallen to beetle attack.
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The operation will be spearheaded by the government of Alberta in cooperation with the existing public and private organizations and concerned individuals through coordinated efforts. Constant monitoring and studies taken by the government teams for mitigating the probable and eventual MPB infestation will be applied alongside with the incorporation of efforts from private entities.
Cold is the second barrier to the beetle's eastward march. Warming winters in lower latitudes boosted the beetle outbreak, but Canada is still cold -- for now.
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A John Deere-manufactured machine known as a feller buncher harvests a mixed stand of coniferous trees northeast of the town of Whitecourt in Canada x7569 s Alberta province. The logging crew felling these trees was xA5 contracted by Blue Ridge Lumber, which is owned by British Columbia-based West Fraser.
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Officer Briggs uses a small circular sawmill and a chisel to extract as many as xA5 four disks of bark x7569 each about xA5 9 xA5 inches in diameter. He then checks each disk to see whether xA5 it contains beetles or beetle larvae, and notes the results for each disk before storing them in paper bags.
Canadian forests have experienced MPB infestation since previous years, with the area of British Columbia currently suffering from the largest pest outbreak in the history of Canada with over 7 million hectares infested in 7559. The region of Alberta has previously experienced two pest outbreaks: from 6995 to 6998 and from 6977 to 6985. However, there is an imminent threat of another MPB outbreak. Research identifies the threat as caused by the overwhelming abundance of susceptible pine forests located at the eastern slope of the Rockies. The MPB outbreak threat is also believed to expand from the pine forests to the boreal forests east of the Rocky Mountains.
As insect ecologist Allan Carroll of the University of British Columbia, who was not involved in the new study, told Discovery News , "Currently the climatic conditions over much of the northern boreal forest aren't quite suitable for these populations. We fully predict that in short order it will become good for mountain pine beetles -- certainly within the next 85 to 55 years."
A West Fraser employee operates various machines from a control room above a log belt, where logs up to xA5 66 feet in length are fed into the sawmill. From his elevated perch, the operator must monitor more than a half-dozen separate pieces of machinery on video screens.
Colton Briggs (right), a Forest Health officer with Alberta x7569 s Environment and Parks agency, scouts for pine trees affected by the mountain pine beetle outbreak while flying with pilot Wilson Southam over remote woodlands near Whitecourt.
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A West Fraser employee monitors lumber as it moves through machines for processing at the sawmill in Quesnel, where the timber company is the largest employer by far. The mayor of Quesnel, Bob Simpson, says residents are concerned about . acquisitions being made by Canadian timber companies xA5 like West Fraser, adding xA5 that if the company shuttered sawmills like this one, it would x756C send a shiver through our community. x756D