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

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read