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Sask., Alberta continue efforts to stop mountain beetle spread

Sask. and Alberta remain committed to stopping the spread of an invasive species of forest beetle.
ministry enviro lodgepole pine
The Ministry of Environment is aware of a population of the invasive mountain pine beetles in lodgepole pine forests near Cypress Hills, but none have been found in northern forests.

REGINA — Saskatchewan and Alberta have renewed their joint commitment to fight the spread of mountain pine beetles in both provinces, as the invasive species threatens northern forests in both provinces. 

Mountain pine beetle outbreaks remain a large threat to Saskatchewan forests, said the Ministry of Environment. Funding provided by both provinces is working to keep the beetles from spreading into Saskatchewan.

"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,” said Environment Minister Warren Kaeding.

In British Columbia, beetle outbreaks have killed an estimated 55 per cent of valuable pine and spread across Alberta almost to the Saskatchewan border.

Alberta and Saskatchewan made the agreement last year, making this renewal the second year of a three-year commitment. 

"Recent studies have shown that our joint efforts are working by significantly slowing the eastern spread of the mountain pine beetle," said Kaeding.

To date, Saskatchewan has invested $7.3 million towards mountain pine beetle control efforts in Alberta.

The Ministry of Environment said that as of this fall, inspection showed no indications that mountain pine beetles are present in northern Saskatchewan forests. 

The ministries of Environment and Parks, Culture and Sport also continue to work on managing the already established beetle population in the Cypress Hills area.