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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

MISSING TEEN: Williams Lake RCMP ask public’s help in finding Angel Emile

Emile was last seen on Windmill Crescent in Williams Lake Jan. 16

Literacy Week coming to Clearwater with lots of reading-related events

Clearwater will be celebrating Family Literacy Week (Jan. 26 to Feb. 2)… Continue reading

Don’t be surprised to see Vikings in Wells Gray

The Vikings are coming to Clearwater. On Feb. 1, the Wells Gray… Continue reading

Around 100 people hit the Clearwater slopes for Winter Fest

The Clearwater Ski Club joined in with the Winterfest Fun on Jan.… Continue reading

Author Ian Hamilton tops Clearwater’s most popular adult fiction library book in 2019

It seems bibliophiles who frequent the Clearwater Library had a penchant for… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Interior Health issues drug alert in Kamloops

Testing of two samples of drugs sold as crystal meth was positive for fentanyl

Most Read