Cariboo forests face increased fir beetles

Less prevalent impacts seen in 100 Mile House area

  • Dec. 18, 2016 8:00 p.m.

Populations of Douglas-fir beetles are currently higher than normal in parts of the Cariboo region.

According to the latest mapping data from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), the beetles killed 81,223 cubic metres of timber in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Resource District in 2015.

However, this data (collected in aerial surveys during the summer of 2016) also reveals the Douglas-fir Beetle situation in the 100 Mile House Forest District is less severe than in Williams Lake.

A written response to queries about the local status indicates the area immediately surrounding 100 Mile House the FLNRO explained:

• Licensees in the 100 Mile House area are responsible for carrying out all beetle management activities in areas where they operate;

• Douglas-fir beetle infestations tend to be cyclical and populations of these beetles are currently higher than normal in parts of the Cariboo;

• FLNRO is working closely with forest licensees and other stakeholders to co-ordinate treatments in high-priority areas;

• Mitigation work is currently underway in the 100 Mile House area, especially in the northwestern portion of the district where a forest licensee (Tolko) is working in conjunction with First Nations; and

• West Fraser and BC Timber Sales are also carrying out beetle management activities in the region, as are Canim Lake Community Forest and Clinton Community Forest representatives within those forests.

The FLNRO response also stated the ministry is committed to mitigating the spread of Douglas-fir beetles in the Cariboo and limiting their potential impact on the mid-term timber supply, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and wildfire management objectives.

For more information on Douglas-fir beetle management, or to download a guide to managing the spread of beetles on private property, visit the website at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/forest-health/forest-pests/bark-beetles/douglas-fir-beetle/management.

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