Spruce beetles a growing concern, government says

Many forest stands in parts of the Bulkley-Nechako region are vulnerable to spruce beetle attacks, as government officials told a Regional District board of directors meeting on Sept. 5.

John Pousette, Provincial Park Beetle Coordinator with the Office of the Chief Forester Division; and Ken White, an Entomologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) updated the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako with the situation on spruce beetles.

“Spruce beetle infestation peaked in 2017 in the Omineca region. It hasn’t peaked in the Skeena region. But the Skeena region is larger than Omineca,” said White.

Infestations in the Omineca exploded from 7,653 hectares in 2013 to more than 217,251 in 2014, then fluctuated until 2017 when it peaked at 341,000 ha, according to FLNRORD data in the officials’ presentation. More than 250,000 hectares of that is in the Prince George Natural Resource District. The infestation for Omineca fell to 242,000 ha last year.

 

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IMAGE: John Pousette (L), Provincial Park Beetle Coordinator from the Office of the Chief Forester Division; and Ken White (R), Entomologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development give a presentation on beetle outbreaks to the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako on Sept. 5. (Blair McBride photo)