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Provincial Bark Beetle Management Technical Implementation Guidelines

August 2007

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The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' Provincial Forest Health Strategy documents the goals, objectives and priorities of the Ministry in its pursuit of maintaining and improving forest health in the province.  Complimenting this document is the biologically-based Provincial Bark Beetle Management Technical Implementation Guidelines (formerly known as the Provincial Bark Beetle Strategy) (pdf, 77 k, posted May 14, 2003) that explains in more detail the goals, objectives, strategies and tactics the Ministry has developed to manage bark beetle infestations throughout the province.  There is also a separate, higher level document now called the Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan that is prepared and updated annually by the Emergency Response Team.  It describes how government proposes to mitigate the impacts of the bark beetle outbreak.  This new document includes the Technical Implementation Guidelines as a basis for assigning treatment priorities.  The broader strategy include an action plan that identifies government's socio-economic strategies to guide the allocation of AAC and other resources and to conduct further analysis on impacts in the short and long-term. 

The abbreviated version of the biologically-based Technical Implementation Guidelines is presented below.   The document describes how the division of the Province's beetle infested areas into three broad "provincial bark beetle management zones" based on several parameters (i.e., level of attack, distribution of attack, susceptible stands remaining, age of outbreak, etc.) that relate to the likelihood of successful management. The three zones are:

  1. Aggressive Management - beetle populations are managed down to endemic levels; 
  2. Containment - populations are held static; and 
  3. Salvage/Limited Activity - minimal active management of beetle populations.  

Within each broad zone are many individual Beetle Management Units (BMUs) that each have been assigned one of four specific strategies.  These strategies are:

  1. Suppression (also includes Prevention)
  2. Holding Action (also included Maintain Low)
  3. Salvage
  4. Monitor (formerly Abandon)

[Note: The FPC Bark Beetle Management guidebook and other documents refer to six strategies but these were recently consolidated to four]

Follow this link for more specific and updated criteria for assigning strategies to BMUs

The majority of BMUs contained in the Aggressive Management zone have a suppression strategy.   Containment and Salvage/Abandon zones may have a full range of BMUs strategies although the numbers of suppression zones decreases with decreasing levels of management.  These zones may not be identical to the areas identified within the Emergency Bark Beetle Management Area designated by regulation. The biologically based goal of the activities within the Aggressive Management zone is to eliminate 80% of the beetle brood in the first year and  100% in the second year before the next beetle flight.  By doing so, beetle populations may be driven back to endemic levels.  In the Containment (B) zone, the target is to eliminate 50 to 80% of the beetle population to hold or slow the rate of expansion.  Minimal impact on beetle population growth is expected to be achieved by management in the Salvage/Abandon (C) zone. More detailed criteria for assigning BMU strategies is included in the Provincial Bark Beetle Management Technical Implementation Guidelines (pdf, 77 k, posted May 14, 2003)Specific data  are required to rank suppression BMUs provincially for the rational allocation of resources.

Follow this link to the description of the most current approved Provincial Suppression Beetle Management Units.   

Districts annually submit tactical plans based on their assessment of the bark beetle infestation and the opportunities for managing them.  With the submission of the tactical plans and budget proposals to regions/HQ, a set of statistics are required to describe each suppression BMU that permit ranking of funding priority at a provincial level.  Follow this link to see the description of the required Suppression BMU statistics.

Research supporting this strategy is provided by the Pacific Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service.


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