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.

Just Posted

Trail Smoke Eaters win second straight, roll over Grizzlies

Smoke Eaters forward nets eight points in two wins over West Kelowna and Victoria on the weekend

Beaver Valley Nitehawks win back-to-back at home

Beaver Valley Nitehaws defeat the 100 Mile House Wranglers and Sicamous Eagles for a weekend sweep

MVI sends 3 to hospital in Trail

Firefighters and RCMP attended the scene

Silver City putting a shine on bridge-to-park connector

Trail granted $250k for Groutage Avenue Revitalization Development project

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read