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October 27, 2017 8:41 pm

Spruce Beetle Infestation Worsens

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 @ 11:43 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The amount of forest affected by the spruce beetle infestation continues to grow.

The provincial government says an updated inventory of spruce beetle-damaged forest in the Prince George and Mackenzie districts shows an increase in the number of hectares that have been affected compared to this time last year.

Photo courtesy provincial government

Photo courtesy provincial government

The update is the result of aerial surveys conducted over the summer. The total estimated spruce beetle attack in these areas is about 210,000 hectares, most of which (137,000 hectares) is in the Prince George district.

In October 2015, a survey showed 156,000 hectares of spruce beetle-infested forest in the entire Omineca region. The latest results are based on preliminary data with the final results expected later this fall.

This update has been provided in advance of a two-day spruce beetle summit scheduled in Prince George tomorrow and Thursday.

The government expects it will draw 100 academics, researchers, stakeholders and government staff to discuss best practices and the latest research on spruce beetle management.

This summer, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations committed $480,000 for spruce beetle detection, in addition to the $1 million announced previously for spruce beetle detection and research in 2016-17.

Mitigation efforts include a focus on logging spruce beetle-infested trees on the timber-harvesting land base and using “trap” trees in areas outside the timber-harvesting land base. Some licensees are actively harvesting infested trees in an effort to slow the beetle’s spread while B.C.’s chief forester is also monitoring the situation.

According to the ministry, the spruce beetle is native to BC and recorded outbreaks have occurred periodically since the 1940s, each one typically lasting six to eight years.

And while the spruce beetle is a concern, the ministry notes the potential for damage is not on the same scale as the mountain pine beetle outbreak that had a major impact on the timber supply in the Interior.

The Omineca region contains 9,018,763 hectares of forest, with just over half of that available for logging. Spruce represents about 22% of the average annual timber harvest in B.C.’s Interior over the past five years.


Remember the Bowron clearcut. That was caused by the spruce beetle. This devastating outbreak started in 2006 after a big wind storm downed a lot of trees. Because nothing was done about it, we now have an outbreak. Stupid stupid stupid. Why do we have a Forest Service anyway? Tell me which incompetent person was fired!

    Same with the pine beetle … govt of the day and environmentalists didn’t want to allow logging to curb it to be done in the park.

      Your theory does not hold any water; it wasn’t environmentalists but climate change. If you want more information go to mountain/pine beetle and provincial protected areas frequently asked questions.

      It was more than because of a warming cycle. I surveyed a lot of hectares of pine stands that had been logged because of the pine beetle. Our government aimed to control the beetle outside of the parks, but because of pressure from environmentalists etc, the beetle populations within the parks were allowed to explode into the billions. Sure, minus 40 temperatures would bring the numbers down, but when there are that many beetles allowed to produce it wouldn’t have as much impact. It was a combination of events/circumstances. I agree with diazemo.

Operatunity is knocking . Harvest dead ,dying spruce and plant a different species of tree . Douglas fir ?

Sounds like they are running short of fiber and need a reason to log it. Maybe instead of hauling the beetle all over the forest service roads they should be hauling the logs in a sealed container or process on site.

    Ya … then they’d only have to sell it for 4X the market price to recoup the costs

    Oldman you must not have ever worked in the forest industry as your ideas are not feasible. And to go to a government website for information on something they screwed up! The govt has known about the spruce beetle problem for 6-8 years. Selling this as a new problem is total hogwash. The spruce effected by the beetle does not last as long as the pine did and we are already seeing devalued spruce timber that was only recently effected. Companies have been warning about this and wanting to contain the outbreak but govt stopped them. The govt hoped that it would be contained in the Mcgregor, Torpy area due to the large valleys and mountains but this theory did not work. Mismanagement at its finest

And what do you think are the costs of seeding the rest of the forest with these little creatures when they are falling off the logs all the way to the mill? 20x?

There are solutions available to them. The spruce beetle is much different from the pine beetle. Spruce beetles do not move very far in a year. They will respond quickly to trap trees fallen in the area. However, once you fall a trap tree, you have to come back and remove it at the right time. Many of the trap trees fallen for pine bark beetles were never picked up so the result was the problem got worse. Wish I trusted forestry and forest companies to do the right thing.

Ryder–so what is your plan for to rid the spruce beetle? If you still think the pine beetle could have been stopped I would have to say BS and do you think the pine beetle could have been stopped? If so tell me how.

As Jack son says why were the trap trees never picked up?

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