The mountain pine beetle is a type of bark beetle that feeds mainly on pine trees. It is native to
western North America and has proven itself to be one of the most destructive forests pests in Canada.
The current infestation of mountain pine beetle covers approximately 14.5 million hectares of British
Columbia, equating to 620 million cubic metres of timber, and is encroaching on the Fort Nelson Forest
District. Adult beetles carry a blue stain fungus that attacks the living tissues of trees. A tree
that has been attacked by mountain pine beetle will turn red in the year following the attack and turn
gray in subsequent years. More information on the mountain pine beetle can be found on the Ministry of
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Mountain Pine Beetle website.
The mountain pine beetle has arrived in the Fort Nelson District. Its presence was first confirmed in
the District during 2010 aerial overview survey flights. The beetle is moving in from the south and
is making its way up the Kechika River corridor.
As part of the Fort Nelson TSA Forest Health Strategy, a Mountain Pine Beetle Working Group was struck
to develop strategies to effectively manage the mountain pine beetle. The working group held its first
meeting in January of 2010. The groupís objectives are to assess the potential impacts the beetle would
have on the area, track the beetleís course as it enters the District and explore management options
to control the spread. If you are interested in participating in the working group or for more
information please contact the Fort Nelson District Office at 250-774-5511.