Pine Beetle To Arrive Later Than First Thought

Friday, February 09, 2007 at 14:50



A scientist says it’s not a matter of if the mountain pine beetle will come to Saskatchewan — but when.


Rory McIntosh of Saskatchewan Environment has been studying recent data about the creature’s devastation in B.C. and Alberta. He says 80 per cent of B.C.’s economically-valuable pine could be lost over the next six years.


McIntosh says the beetle is already at Slave Lake, Alberta and continuing eastward.


He says a harsh snap of cold weather in November has slowed its advance somewhat, but it will eventually get here.


However, unlike previous forecasts, he doubts the beetle will spread to Saskatchewan before the year is out.


McIntosh notes this isn’t the first time our province has had to deal with the beetle.


In the early 1980s, an outbreak took place in the Cypress Hills region.


But the threat was controlled by cutting down old trees and planting seedlings.


The beetle kills trees through a mixture of eating them and infecting them with fungus.