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Saskatchewan, Alberta renew pact to battle mountain pine beetle threat


December 6, 2021
By Government of Saskatchewan
Photo provided.

The Government of Saskatchewan recently approved up to $1 million to fight the threat of mountain pine beetle in Alberta. This is the second year of a three-year agreement with the Government of Alberta to stop mountain pine beetle from spreading into Saskatchewan’s northern forests.

Recent studies have shown that our joint efforts are working by significantly slowing the eastern spread of the mountain pine beetle,” Environment Minister Warren Kaeding said. “Renewal of this agreement is a cost-effective, proactive approach that will continue to control beetle spread in Alberta, and support our efforts to keep it out of northern Saskatchewan.”

Renewal of the Alberta-Saskatchewan agreement builds on long-standing co-operation on forest insects and diseases, and will support control efforts in areas of Alberta of most concern for the beetle’s eastern spread. Since the agreement began in 2011, Saskatchewan has invested nearly $7.3 million toward mountain pine beetle control efforts in Alberta.

The mountain pine beetle outbreak in Alberta remains a significant threat to Saskatchewan’s northern pine forests, as well as the sustainable forest developments they support. The mountain pine beetle outbreak has killed approximately 55 per cent of the merchantable pine in British Columbia and has spread across Alberta to within 40 kilometres of the Saskatchewan border.

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Ministry of Environment surveys completed this fall have detected no mountain pine beetles in Saskatchewan’s northern forests. However, the ministries of Environment and Parks Culture and Sport work together to manage an established beetle population in the lodgepole pine forests of the Cypress Hills in the province’s southwest.