SK to remove beetle wood from park
The Saskatchewan government has awarded a contract to Duncan Henderson Contracting for up to $240,000 over three years to cut, pile and burn Mountain Pine Beetle infested trees in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport is working to protect the Lodgepole Pine Forest in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
Duncan Henderson Contracting is located in British Columbia where they have been managing the massive die off of lodgepole pine due to Pine Beetle infestation over the past few decades.
In the last four years, Mountain Pine Beetle populations have been steadily increasing and are now threatening the existence of the Lodgepole Pine Forests in the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and surrounding area.
Historically, outbreaks have been limited by cold winter climate but due to mild winter conditions in 2011, the overwintering survival of Mountain Pine Beetle larva was high resulting in an increased emergence of adult beetles in spring/summer of 2012. The numbers of infested trees have increased from two in 2006 to 433 trees in 2012.
“The Mountain Pine Beetle poses a serious threat,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Kevin Doherty said. “Left unmanaged it could have devastating results. We continue to be pro-active in our strategy to contain infestations so that park visitors to the Cypress Hills area can continue to enjoy this amazing forest.”
The ministry takes a collaborative approach to manage Mountain Pine Beetle on a landscape level with adjacent land holders such as Parks Canada, Alberta Parks, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Rural Municipality of Maple Creek, Carry the Kettle First Nation, Little Pine First Nation and as well with many private landowners and other stakeholders in the Cypress Hills area.
The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport works closely with the Ministry of Environment and the Forest Service Branch who will continue to monitor and address the control and management of the Mountain Pine Beetle in the province.