|Lodgepole pine forests make up 35% of British
Columbia's forested land base and provide a bounty of wildlife, recreation, range, water
and local community values. This tree accounts for 25% of the total timber volumes
harvested in British Columbia. The mountain pine beetle, however, continually threatens
this valuable resource.
Mountain pine beetles killed over 200 million mature pine trees in British Columbia between 1972 and 1988. At their peak in 1984, outbreaks covered an area of 482 000 ha. Between 1981 and 1991, the Ministry of Forests spent over $50 million in attempts to reduce the negative impact of the mountain pine beetle.
Recent epidemics have on average resulted in the death of 30 million mature pine per year. This annual threat forced changes in forest harvesting strategies that reduced government and industry revenues. Expansive clearcut areas were created that adversely affected non-timber values. In an effort to reduce these impacts, the Ministry of Forests implemented an aggressive control program designed to consider and protect all forest resource values.