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

Shames Mountain creates new fund for youth in memory of late founder

The ‘Billey Season Youth Pass’ will be given out annually

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

Terrace users on Facebook post warnings about vehicle break-ins

RCMP say it’s important to always lock your doors

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

Supportive housing project delayed until end of winter

Rainy conditions have stalled groundwork for the 52-unit development on Olson Avenue

Some types of cauliflower, lettuce recalled over E. coli fears

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced recall because of possible contamination.

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Airline passengers could get up to $2,400 for delays, damaged bags: Canadian agency

Canadian Transportation Agency is releasing draft regulations for public feedback

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Canadians spent almost $64,000 on goods and services in 2017

Households in B.C. each spent $71,001 with housing costs contributing to higher average

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

White House closer to partial shutdown with wall demand

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday, Dec. 21

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Most Read