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AB continues pine beetle battle

Forest companies have spent tremendous resources redirecting their operations in order to limit the spread of mountain pine beetles. Their efforts are paying off, but there will be no rest during the winter.

According to the Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune, Weyerhaeuser and Canfor direct their clear-cutting towards at-risk areas, after Sustainable Resources Development (SRD) has removed highly infected individual trees in remote locations to restrain spreading. In the last few years, SRD has seen a 50% reduction in beetle infestation year over year.

"(The strategy) has really done wonders in slowing the spread and making sure that we're not in the same situation as B.C. is, where they're significantly short of timber and their whole forest is under threat," said Brock Mulligan from the Alberta Forest Products Association.

Forest companies around Grande Prairie have witnessed firsthand the devastation in B.C., where 60% of the pine forest is affected, and the government is expected to decrease the forest companies' annual allowable cut, leading to a drastic decline in B.C. production.

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