Feds announce $68.2M to address mountain pine beetle challenge
By Ellen Cools
The Canadian government today announced it will be investing $68.2 million over three years to help control, research and mitigate the effects of the mountain pine beetle on forests across the country.
The government of Alberta will receive the bulk of the funding ($60 million) for forest management and research.
Meanwhile, $6.9 million will go to Parks Canada to mitigate the impacts of the mountain pine beetle, including wildfire risks in the Rocky Mountain National Parks.
Natural Resources Canada will use the remaining $1.5 million to enhance its core research program.
According to a government press release, this funding includes $24 million for the 2020-2021 fiscal year to deal with the mountain pine beetle outbreak in Alberta and the Rocky Mountain Nationals Park while mitigating negative effects on forestry and forest communities. The government also says this funding will help protect the environment, reduce fire hazards caused by infestation, and mitigate the effects of climate changes by increasing carbon storage in the forest.
“The Government of Canada is to be commended for its action on mountain pine beetle. The beetle is a threat to the environment and jobs in Alberta and throughout Canada. This funding will support work to mitigate the beetle’s spread and maintain healthy forests,” said Jason Krips, president and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association, in a statement.