Spruce beetle spreads in B.C. Interior

Biggest infestations in 30 years identified in Prince George area, spreading with help from recent dry, warm and windy conditions

Spruce beetles bore through tree bark and lay eggs

The B.C. government is moving to contain an infestation of spruce beetles in the Prince George area that is the largest seen since the 1980s.

The affected area has grown from 7,653 hectares in 2013 to 156,000 hectares this spring, according to aerial and ground surveys by the forests ministry. Spruce beetles are native to B.C. and normally feed on the inner bark of fallen or weakened trees, but can attack healthy trees.

“Recent weather patterns, including warm springs, dry summers, warm winters and windstorms (resulting in more blowdowns), have contributed to the increase in spruce beetle populations in the region,” the ministry said in a statement Friday.

A $1 million fund has been set aside for control activities, including “sanitation logging” of infested areas. Protected areas and those that are uneconomic to log are treated using “trap trees.”

The affected areas are in the eastern valleys of the Mackenzie timber supply area and the northern part of the Prince George timber supply areas. Both are in the Omineca region, an area more than nine million hectares with 4.7 million available for logging.

[Ministry fact sheet here.]

Just Posted

Comedy, chicken poop and dancing at Lytton Festival

This year’s festival will honour longtime supporter Shirley James

LETTER: Recreational angling has low-impact on Fraser salmon

Jason Tonelli writes about his displeasure at the call to close recreational fishing on the Fraser

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read