BC begins third year of heli-logging operations to manage Douglas-fir beetles
Dec. 20, 2018 – B.C. is starting a third year of helicopter logging operations in the Williams Lake area to help mitigate the spread of Douglas-fir beetles on Crown land.
By Ellen Cools
According to a news release, helicopter logging allows infested trees to be removed while protecting nearby trees. In the past two years, this type of logging, along with related containment treatments, has helped slow the spread of the beetles in the area.
These logging activities are overseen by the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The heli-logging project is also being expanded to new areas, based on monitoring of previous treatment areas, where fewer trees are currently under attack.
Helicopter logging flights are expected to begin as early as today in the Esler, B.C., area. Then work will move to the South Lakeside area, and then to a site further south. These heli-logging activities are expected to be finished by mid-March 2019.
The Williams Lake Beetle Management Unit 2018 Treatment Plan also includes using the anti-aggregative pheromone methyl cyclohexenone to prevent or disrupt Douglas-fir beetle attacks on small infestation sites. The province will also establish “trap trees” by cutting down large, healthy Douglas-fir trees in accessible areas, which will be left on the ground to attract adult beetles in the spring, thereby reducing the number of attacks on healthy Douglas-fir trees nearby. Once adult beetles and larvae are established within a trap tree, it will be taken to a mill where the insects will be destroyed in the milling process.
The plan also calls for cutting down some infested trees and burning them on-site, where appropriate. Funeral traps will also be deployed within mill yards and log storage areas to capture adult beetles.