Spruce beetle killing mid-term timber supply

Rapidly advancing insect threatening Cariboo supply area

The spruce beetle epidemic is growing exponentially in B.C. File photo

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes is very concerned about the current spread of spruce beetle in the Northern Interior.

Noting she has been talking to several groups, including forestry and First Nations, the MLA says there is a significant fear the spruce beetle march is very much like the pine beetle invasion.

British Columbia communities are still trying to recover from the damage that was caused by that little insect with the voracious appetite.

“It has an epicentre right now, but they are studying it … we have to become more proactive.

“What have we learned from the pine beetle?”

Oakes notes the epicentre for the pine beetle showed up in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park and the government of the day decided to study it rather than go on the offensive.

Instead of going in and working with partners to nip it in the bud, they waited, and the pine beetle issue quickly became a full-blown epidemic.

She says the government cannot wait and study the spruce beetle epidemic because it’s growing exponentially – 50 per cent cumulatively per year.

“It grew significantly last year because of our weather pattern. It had a huge increase and moved up into the Peace River, and it’s just about at the boundary of the Quesnel Timber Supply area.

“The spruce beetle [invasion must be stopped] because that’s hitting all of our mid-term timber supply.”

She adds it isn’t just forestry companies raising the alarm. It’s a significant issue, because the First Nations are also raising it.

“We have to do more than just research it.

“Once it explodes into our forests like the pine beetle, which was too big to ever manage….”

There are significant differences between spruce and pine beetle damage.

Pine beetle damaged trees were marketable for at about 10 years after the attack, but beetle-killed spruce disintegrates in three to four years.

Furthermore, spruce trees can take up to 13-15 months before they show distress.

Oakes says harvesting spruce to get to the sawmills before it becomes wildfire fuel is more difficult and expensive because it’s in mountainous terrain.

“B.C. Timber Sales is going to have to address how it will manage it.”

 

Just Posted

Mills Memorial Hospital financing formula released

Regional taxpayers to pay $113.7 million for new facility.

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

How the provincial budget will play out in northwestern B.C.

Price of gasoline to rise and expect MSP premiums to disppear

NDP budget offers no way to pay for new programs: Ellis Ross

MLA highly critical of government’s abandonment of major projects

New hospital cost to taxpayers still unknown

Ellis to probe budget estimates: “I’m still not convinced it will actually go ahead”

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Most Read